BY: GRAYSON O’MARRA

2020 has been a crazy year. Among many other things, it has brought us a totally new format of education in Montgomery County. Since September, Montgomery County Public Schools have been entirely online. Now, students have instruction four days a week (two A days and two B days) and Wednesdays have been reserved for independent work and teacher/student check-ins. Even though Montgomery County Public Schools have independent work days scheduled now, this change might not be permanent, despite the fact that these independent Wednesdays benefit and motivate students to do all their assignments. 

All teachers want their students to succeed in their schoolwork, on time, while absorbing knowledge. Designating one day in the school week for students to work on assignments and ask teachers for help betters academic performance and increases confidence. Independent days give students who might be nervous about asking questions in front of their whole class a chance to work with their teacher one-on-one and build their confidence in asking and answering questions. 

The adjustment from middle to high school is difficult, especially when it comes to workload. Many students also transition from taking regular and honors classes to taking AP and IB level courses. On average, high schoolers report having three to four hours of homework per day; and when you factor in jobs, college applications, clubs, and sports, many students are left with no free time at all. Students need this independent workday to stay on track and catch up on any assignments.

In addition, having a big workload comes with a lack of motivation for many students. Having a day to be able to focus on working and studying will increase students’ motivation to get their work done early, rather than at the last minute.

Making Wednesday a permanent independent work and teacher/student check-in day will help students complete their work effectively and allow them to get whatever help they may need.