Homework? Yes or No?

To give or not to give? Awww... the eternal question. Should we assign homework or do we allow them to have the night off? Personally, I'm a non-homework kinda girl. I want the night off (which rarely happens, but hey! when it does!) so why shouldn't I honor that wish for my students. Am I robbing them of their childhood? Or am I robbing them of an education?

I don't think the answer to either question is yes. I think I simply made a choice to not assign homework. When I first started teaching homework was all the rage. Assign homework. Every teacher worth her weight assigns homework. You aren't a real teacher until you assign homework. So... I assigned homework. An extension of our class assignments. Something that would provide additional practice. Then came the dreaded day when I realized that not all of my students were doing their own homework. I was shocked. Why would a parent do a student's homework for them? I took a paper to the principal and asked her The Question. She told me to call the parent and say, "Your child told me that you did the homework for them. Surely this isn't true?" I did. And it was true. I was devastated. And, it was a school administrator. So, I did what any self respecting teacher would do. I took off my rose colored glasses and looked education squarely in the eye. If I wanted my students to learn (and I did) I would make sure that they had ample class time to complete "independent practice". I would act as a facilitator during this time, answer questions, provide examples, whatever they needed to learn the concept that I was teaching. I think that is the moment that I really became a teacher. I was not a cookie-cutter example of a teacher, but a living, breathing human making her own decisions for what was best for her and her students.

What do you think? I'd like to know. Is homework still the thing to do? Or have times and philosophies changed?


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