The Bow Tie Boys

The Bow Tie Boys

Thursday, March 9, 2017

My Experience With Stress

Stress is one of the things that almost everyone experiences, myself included. Although stress can have some damaging health benefits, I have seen that there is such a thing as "healthy" stress, one that can help a person, not damage them.

I know that I work so much better when I have stuff to do. I know many of my peers feel similarly. When I am busy, I know that I have stuff to do, with little time to do it. For example, at the beginning of this year of high school, I was so not used to the massive workload. In addition to the dramatically increased workload, I had cross country six days a week. As a result, when I came home at almost 6:30 each school night, I would go immediately to homework, and except for breaks for showering and eating, I did straight homework for up to four hours. On nights I didn't have as much homework, I still would come home and start immediately on work. On the other hand, when I am not busy, I will not be as focused and will often waste time and do the work with lower quality. Almost every year, toward the end of school, I have significantly less work, and almost every year, I nearly stumble, but then realize that the work must done, so I feel busy again. When I am busy, I am stressed. However, I have not been stressed to the point that it became a health issue. I was stressed enough to keep me on point, and to not slack off.

I personally work better when I have x amount to do in y amount of time, compared to when I simply have a lot to do. Many of my peers would agree with me. To create this atmosphere of busyness, more homework isn't necessary. If class time is made so that there is a large workload, and any spill over goes to homework, students will take empowerment to work hard during class and to pay great attention. Trusting students to rise to the occasion will succeed. In the words of Linda Rief, "Trusting and respecting our students may be the best models we provide for them in creating culturally healthy environments in our schools." (Seeking Diversity, 1992). Trusting students can result in more dedication to the learning, not to the thought of getting out of it. Creating this busy vibe in the classroom can create a "work time" atmosphere, that prompts students to work hard knowing that it has rewards. This "work time" is needed by writers. Penny Kittle described this as, "We (writers) need to understand what work time looks like" (Write Beside Them, 2008). Exposing students to this work time can help mimic an environment found in the work place.

The solution to creating this busy environment is not to give out significantly more homework. More work isn't always the solution. This increased homework load can also cause the unhealthy stress that I talked about above, not the healthy stress that drives a students. One option that could work would be having the classroom be set up in a manner that there is a lot of rapid fire work with anything that spills over ends up being homework. This would set up the environment with the idea of x amount of work to do in y amount of time. Also the idea of reduced homework in the eyes of many students, myself included, is huge motivation. This framework has similarities to my seventh grade English class. Everyday, we would come in, and for the first half of class we would analyze a poem or a song, or do a quick write. The second half we would do our grammar, reading, writing, etc. The work done during the second half of class would be laid out at the beginning of the interim (one half of a quarter or one eighth of the school year). We would have the interim to do the work but half of each class would be dedicated to doing the work. This new set up I am describing would essentially be my seventh grade class, but instead of the time frame being one interim, the time is one day. This would hopefully reduce the effects of procrastination. One final thing is that with more work being done during class time, there would be less of a need for homework, which I know as a student, is definitely something I look forward to. Creating an environment with a healthy stress can push a student to perform at a high ability with in the classroom and produce high quality work.

Works Cited:

Kittle, Penny. Write beside Them: Risk, Voice, and Clarity in High School Writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2008. Print.

Rief, Linda. Seeking Diversity: Language Arts with Adolescents. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Educational, 1992. Print.

1 comment:

  1. You're so right that stress can either work FOR us or AGAINST us Joe and I love your descriptions from both sides so that we can see the impact of each one. Great post and Penny & Linda were perfect citings.