Average school starting times in the United States are seven oclock through eight-thirty a.m. But does this give teens enough time to wake up and stay awake? At this age teenagers need more sleep than they used to need when they were little kids. Little kids can wake up bright and early and thats when they are ready to learn because they are all energized and ready to go but once you advance into the higher grades it gets harder and harder to get our brains working in the morning. By the time school starts up a lot of us are still so tired that we cant even think strait, well at least I know I am. The only thought running through my head is its time to go back to bed! I think school should start later in the day because it would be beneficial to all students by increasing safety and academic performances. The students would be more alert and on task and it would be a lot less stressful for both the students and the staff at the school.
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If we started school later in the day there would be a huge boost in the students studies. We would see a large increase in the students attitudes which would increase their academic performances as well. If the students were in better moods then they would be more likely to work in class, ask questions if they need help, and pay attention. So if we as students werent so tired and cranky then it would help us out a lot for example: when I am tired or in a bad mood I dont feel like doing anything in class. I postpone my homework to work on at home and often dont get it done when I am supposed to. Im not working in class so therefore I have all this free time to get in trouble or just do nothing. I dont ask questions for two reasons one Im not working on my work so I dont have any questions yet and two I dont feel like talking. And when Im in a bad mood I dont like to pay attention to teachers in class. But if I got more sleep at night and woke up on the right side of the bed I would be more likely to pay attention, ask questions, and use my time wisely as would all the other students. Doctors studies have shown that if students get that extra time in the morning to sleep then they would be on task and their focus would rise. It would also help the absenteeism in schools. Some of the schools that have tested these theories of sleep studies and school starting times have found that there was on average an 8 percent drop in general absents. There was also a huge reduction in persistent absenteeism. The students safety would rise and most likely the crime rates would decrease after school hours. Just about every parent that has a high school child is still at work when school lets out. But with the new school time change we could change a lot of that. Most of the parents would be home or on their way. That would be making it safe because if the child is home alone she or he has less of a chance against any person trying to brake in or attack. But with the parent home the child has more of a chance. And the students with parents home have less options of getting in trouble. I dont know of any parent that is proud when their child is brought home in a police car with a warning. If the parents arent there it gives the child a chance to sneak around the neighborhood doing who knows what. And no one wants to hear about their teen being in trouble with the police. Newspaper reporters have spoken with the police asking about teens and the crime rates of after school hours. And police say that crime rates go up at least fifteen percent right after school lets out because most kids are left home alone with nothing to do but stir up trouble. With school starting half an hour to an hour later in the morning we could easily change that fact. Teachers would benefit from the time delay too. If the times were delayed it would give the teachers more time to prepare. Some teachers, like my step mom for instance, have to come in on their weekends or stay late after school hours to get the classroom ready for the next day when they could be out doing their own thing. It would give them plenty of time to get up and get ready in the morning because just like the students our staff members need sleep too.
Most morning its a rush to get ready for both teachers and students. Some students cant wake themselves up in the mornings. It is said by doctors that due to puberty teens develop as much as a two hour sleep-wake phase delay. Meaning its not as easy for them to wake up. For example, in the mornings I might be up and physically moving but not fully awake or aware of my surroundings. With all this rush we need to be awake and alert because if we arent then we could miss the bus or forget important things or maybe even accidently skip breakfast. Forgetfulness causes stress to everyone, not only the students but the parents, the teachers, and maybe any relative or friend in charge of bringing you what you forgot. Forgetting breakfast can be horrible. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Without breakfast you feel tired and drained all day. Eating breakfast sets the tone of your day and in studies, have shown that kids who eat breakfast achieve more in school. Studies have also shown that you are more likely to get tired when your brain and body run low on fuel. About mid-morning you might get a quick snack or something to wake you up like soda or coffee and for a while it might work but sooner or later you will crash. When students come to school tired and hungry they feel that school is a waste of time. We can eliminate this thought by changing the school start time. There have been many studies on this topic and almost everyone states that the more satisfaction you get with your sleep the more motivated you are, the less sleepy you are during the day, and the less depressing moods you have. North Tyneside high school did an experiment. The school tested the differences between the normal school starting time and a new one. Before they tested the time change they had the kids take a survey test. The percentages turned out to be: 90 percent of the students say that is it difficult to get up in the mornings and that they thought their grades would improve if they postponed the start time. 78 percent said they have to skip breakfast in the mornings just to be ready for school. 70 percent said they are I bad moods because they are tired and cranky. And 16 percent said that they regularly get enough sleep. After every student took the survey test they pushed back their start time one hour. They kept the time back for a month then had the students take another survey test. They saw a dramatic difference in the results. They said things ran smoothly and there were less mouthy kids therefore less irritated teachers. According to the schools head teacher, Paul Kelley,
We can help them learn better and we can help them be less stressed by simply changing the time of the school day.
A school in Rhoad Island did an experiment just like the North Tyneside high school. Rhoad Island only delayed the start time thirty minuets later than their regular start time. Their students also took the before and after survey tests. The results stated that the percent of students who were unhappy, tired, and depressed at school decreased from 65.8 percent to 45.1 percent, which is a 20.7 percent difference. The percent of students who were annoyed or irritated at school went from 84 percent to 62.6 percent, which is a 21.4 percent difference. And the percent of students that thought school was pointless and a waste of time went from 21.3 percent to 2.6 percent, an 18.7 percent difference. By the end of the study the faculty decided to keep eight-thirty the school starting time for the upcoming spring term because they believe it might decrease the drop out rate. Ph. D of the University of Minnesota, Kyla Wahlstorm has a lot to say about the delay on school start times.
Why arent all schools changing to a later time? writes Kyla Wahlstorm. The answer to that is actually very complicated. The time that a school starts is felt to be sacrosanct by those who have some to rely on it as a predictable part in their daily life.
Wahlstorm also state facts saying that, students reported less depression when there was a later starting time. The teachers reported that students were more alert and ready to learn. And parents even reported that their children were easier to get along with because emotions were more regulated I believe this statement could be very true.
Though this may sound like a good idea in many ways like most things it has its disadvantages too. Maybe youve been thinking about all those students who dont try and those who stay awake to all early hours of the morning. Why should they get an extra chance to get some sleep if they are being irresponsible? Well I have thought about this too. And though a few kids would take advantage of the new times and some will still just not care about their grades I think that most kids will appreciate the time change and not take advantage of it.
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On average almost all the students still would care about their grades and still wouldnt try change for their school has liked the results. There was a huge academic boost, the kids were safe and out of trouble after school, the students actually showed up for school on a regular basis, and they were more alert, ready to learn, and on task. According to many doctors and sleep studies experts the teens today are not getting enough sleep. The kids try to sleep in late in order to be less sleepy during class then its a rush to get ready. When it becomes a rush thats usually when the students start to forget the things they need, the important things like homework thats due or books needed for class. So even though a small percentage will just advantage of the time change, I think that it would be a great idea for our school to try. I think it would benefit a lot if our kids and keep them out of trouble.
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