How Teachers Can Help Students

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Originally featured in the November 2017 Edition

At Baldwin, teachers are expected to adhere to certain standards in order to maximize teaching time and student time. For example, teachers are asked to assign homework and post the homework on PowerSchool Learning by the end of the day, giving students two full days to finish the work. They are also expected to note tests on the test board in the Schoolhouse as soon as the test is assigned. In addition, students should not expect homework for a single class to take more than one hour.
As the Hourglass Editorial Board, we appreciate our teachers’ efforts to assist us. We understand they try their best to educate students and make Baldwin the incredible institution it is. Therefore, we would like to provide recommendations for our teachers on how to support our education.
Allowing laptop usage: This would allow students to improve their understanding of the material. For example, taking notes on a laptop in a science class allows for more rapid note-taking and therefore minimizes the chance of missing points. However, if teachers were to allow us the benefit of using our laptops during each and every class, the student body must comply with the rules that come with this privilege, such as staying on task.
Creating study guides for graded assessments: Offering a study guide or list of topics will help us study and instill in us a sense of greater confidence going into the preparation process. If teachers were to give us a study guide before every assessment, students would spend less time doing busy work to figure out the topics covered on the assessment and more time studying.
Notifying students about homework and assessments in advance: We would like to have one week’s notice before every test and quiz that takes place. That would act as a de-stresser and allow us to plan our study schedules. Tests should be listed on PowerSchool Learning and the test board. We would also like the homework to be posted on PowerSchool Learning by the end of each class before it’s due, if not before, so we can ask for clarifications in class and reduce the number of emails or meetings outside of class.
Assigning homework that takes one hour: Students would appreciate no more than one hour of homework per class. While many math or science problems may help with learning, ungraded and repetitive busywork takes up precious time and feels unimportant and not worth the time spent. In addition, it would be helpful to be notified on PowerSchool Learning how long homework assignments will take.
We understand students may sometimes take advantage of opportunities and assistance provided by teachers. For example, shopping in class or waiting until the night before and then complaining about how much time it takes to study is not fair to our teachers. However, if teachers do provide us with the help listed above, students will benefit and be grateful.
We urge the Administration and dean of students to hear our voices and consider these changes and enforcements to the school policies. At a rigorous school like Baldwin, it is important for the students to feel support not only from peers but also from teachers. These are some ways that teachers can help us excel in our classes and build a trust in us that cannot be found at any other institution.

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How Teachers Can Help Students