Extend the Time to Extend the Mind

By Keira De Vita

In this issue of The Shield, study hall is a hot topic. Extend the time? Don’t extend the time? Is it beneficial, or is it not? At Westmont High School, study hall is a duration of twenty five minutes squeezed between break/brunch and second period. In this time, students are given various opportunities in each different class room they step into. Some teachers run silent study halls, purely to use the time for silent study purposes, other teachers have laid back study halls where students can talk and study, or work on projects and homework. Study hall is also an opportunity for students to turn in late or missing assignments, make up tests/ quizzes, and receive a teacher’s aid in the respective classrooms. It is my strong opinion that study hall is just not long enough. 

A student is sick, or requires a test/exam retake? Where is the time to do that? Study hall. The time construct fails to nurture a proper environment for students who need to retake lengthier tests/exams. If study hall occurred over a longer duration of time, it would leave ample time for students to finish exams in one sitting rather than coming in multiple study halls, or even during lunch or after school. 

Some study halls are packed, filled to the max with eager students awaiting the aid of their teachers. If study hall was longer this would provide ample time for teachers to be able to answer more students’ questions or help further grow their education in the way that student seeks. A great example of this is English class essays. Students who seek to review their essays with their teacher do so through study hall, but if it takes at minimum five minutes per student, this leaves the teacher able to only assist a maximum of 5 students per study hall, or 25 students a week. Where this is a large number of students, that is equivalent to a smaller or average sized classroom at Westmont. This also does not account for students that may have questions or need to receive direction.

Westmont’s most valuable members are its teachers. Who just so happen to be human, and need just as much of a break as students, which is where a longer study hall would become of value to teachers. Having to give up lunch or a duration of time after school to help a student is unpaid for time given to students by some teachers. If we extended study halls this would limit the amount of students who need to come in during lunch and after school, not only giving the students a break in between classes but teachers. Lastly, if there is more time during study hall, more being done, this also gives teachers the ability to prep or work more efficiently. 

It is evidently obvious that both students and teachers would benefit from a longer study hall when considering: the time it takes to focus and get true studying done, test taking time, and the benefit of more time for both the students and teachers.