Breaking up large projects increases holidays enjoyment

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but all of the holidays can create extra stress for students.

Holidays split up the second quarter time and time again. While the extra breaks can seem rejuvenating, they can also create more stress for students in the long run. Having assignments spread  throughout the quarter can be challenging because it is harder to keep track of deadlines when much of the quarter is spent out of school.

Teachers often assign big papers for the year during the second quarter, with different deadlines from the start of the quarter until the end.  Occasional parts are even due the day after winter break. This is not fair to students, because breaks are meant to be free from work and the anxiety it produces.

Clearly, Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks cannot be moved, but another solution could be a compromise between teachers and students. To help out with the stress of remembering deadlines,  teachers should make due dates before the holidays. Assignments handed out at the start of the quarter and due in January are hard because it is difficult to remember the due dates. A better strategy for big assignments is for teachers to break them up into manageable parts. Each part should be due prior to the break to eliminate some stress over the break while still leaving productive students the option to work ahead on future parts.

It is important for teachers to keep up with posting due dates on Blackboard and for students keep checking the site, especially during the second quarter. Instruction sheets for assignments should be put on Blackboard as well, because students cannot get into the school over break, and if they forget to bring the sheets home in the rush to leave school, they cannot get the work done until the school are re-opened.

It would not be time-consuming or challenging to alleviate some of the stress students face; it would just take minimal adjustment on the teachers’ parts and less procrastination on that of the students. It is important for holidays to remain a time for friends and family, not essays and assessments. All it takes is earlier due dates and more student-teacher communication.