As almost everyone does, I told myself I would finish my summer assignments within the first month of summer vacation to avoid the stress of completing it at the last minute. Fast forward two months and I was printing my diagnostic essay for English at 12:30 a.m. with school starting in just under eight hours. I’m ashamed to admit my procrastination, however I think the vast majority of high school students can relate to my struggles.
Teachers shouldn’t assign summer assignments because the work students put forth will almost always be rushed and sloppy. The problem with this is when an assignment is completed at the last minute, it’s typically not showcasing the student’s best work. In addition, some teachers use summer assignments as a baseline to judge students’ ability level, but when the work is rushed it may not indicate a student’s true capabilities.
One major reason why summer assignments fail is because only students taking AP courses are required to complete them. Teachers assign summer homework in order to prepare students for the more trying course, but this creates a significant learning disparity. The students in AP classes don’t necessarily know more than students in regular classes, they have just covered material the regular students’ haven’t addressed yet. To prevent this disparity from occurring, teachers should not assign summer homework for any of the classes offered at the school.
The thought of completing a summer assignment is even more angering when the teacher grades the assignment for completion. Students sacrifice time and effort in completing the assignment, as sloppy as the finished product may be, and they aren’t even rewarded for it. There’s no point in teachers even assigning work over the summer if they aren’t planning on taking it into account for students’ grades.
While arguments that summer assignments teach students responsibility have some validity, I truly think it’s unfair to deprive students of their free time away from school. Students would much rather be outside enjoying the freedom summer allows them than doing even more school work when they’re already forced to do so for nine months out of the year. In fact, students are kept busy learning during the summer through activities such as sports, drawing and painting, spending time with family and discovering new things. With the little free time students are given, they should not have the constant worry of finishing their summer assignments sitting in the back of their mind all summer long.