Photo Courtesy of Yale University
3 January 2018
We all thought Raider Time was a brilliant idea back in 2015 when it was first introduced, but after reading about 1987’s “conference day” policy, Raider Time pales in comparison. Thinking about how Raider Time has benefited everyone’s grade in one way or another, “conference days,” class periods set aside for student use, probably had a tremendous impact on past students grades.
According to Lee Maclnnis, an Atholton journalist alumni, study hall policies used to include seven study periods per month. One period or class be replaced by study hall each month. Our Raider Time is only four (and sometimes fewer) study halls per month, occurring during 30 minutes after second period every Wednesday. Mathematically, the 1987 Atholton had 350 hours of studying in school per month, and today we only have 120 (or fewer) hours per month. Students then had almost triple the amount of time to study than we do today.
Raider Time has definitely had a positive impact on students’ academics, giving them time to study, catch up on homework, make up missed tests, and provide them with more time to digress from stressful work throughout the week. Teachers also benefit, having time to plan and grade papers.
However, Raider Time is nowhere in the same league as “conference days.” With Raider Time only taking five minutes away from each class period, an argument could be made that we could have Raider Time everyday. Most teachers don’t utilize all class time, with some teachers either starting class a little after the bell, or ending class with five or even ten minutes left to spare. These extra minutes here and there could be put to good use with more frequent study periods
Although it is unlikely, we should implement a similar policy to “conference days” if we want our Raider Time to reach it’s maximum potential of effectiveness. Every teacher falls victim to giving what we all dread, “busy work.” Conference days would counter the amount of “busy work” by introducing time to study useful information rather than gradebook fillers. With more hours in school being focused on studying, students would have more leisure time after school to digress and reduce their stress levels.
If we can’t get “conference days,” we should definitely consider getting Raider Time everyday. Why not? It would make the atmosphere around school a more bright one with students having some time in the middle of the day to relax.
There is only one argument against Raider Time, which is the fact that it is hard to keep track of where students are. But with “conference days,” students would have a more regimented system of being accounted for by the teacher. If a student needs to go to another class they could just ask for a pass.
History is all about learning from the past to make the present and future better, so let’s learn from the past and influence the future.