Regular school days for sophomore Michael Greaves go like this: He gets up for school, goes to swimming until 5 p.m. and then gets home to homework.
Specifically, in Greaves’ words, “one-to- two hours (of homework), and If I have a project due then even more.”
Greaves holds school as a his highest priority and said, “Every student’s priority should be school, but I think if you are having a tough time with your homework, then you might have to stop doing an (extracurricular) activity.” It was for this reason that Greaves had to stop doing jazz band.
I don’t think that having one to two hours of homework is good for students, especially students with extracurricular activities. About how much free time sophomore Matthew Fuller got between homework and jazz band, he said, “Well, I don’t get much.”
People could say, “Students don’t have to participate in extracurricular activities,” but those activities teach students important life skills and are necessary for students who want a leg up on college resumes for their futures.
A solution for students to gain free time would be giving students’ credit for their extracurricular activities so they could have space in their schedule for an academic lab to give them more time to complete their homework or to study for tests.
An example of this solution would be to have a sport be a P.E. credit and have a student who participates in the fall or spring play or writes\acts in a one-act receive a fine art credit.
According to athletic director Jerry Collins, cheerleading was a sport in 2000 and was taught by a certified P.E. teacher Gloria Smith as a first hour P.E. class. Collins added that the main reason why after school activities aren’t counted as school credit is because they don’t have instructors who are certified to teach classes with P.E. credit.
A system is already in place for jazz band students to receive half of a credit for participating each year.
Very few coaches are certified P.E teachers, but more than a few coaches are teachers with educational degrees like Jay Blossom for basketball, Terrence Verstraete for men’s tennis, Tim Cashel for men’s soccer, and Chris Allen for women’s soccer to name a few.
Collins said in his opinion it wouldn’t take much for a teacher with an educational degree to become certified in P.E. This is a great opportunity for coaches to help their students.
Also, Todd Schaefer teaches drama classes which receive fine art credit, so he would be certified to teach the fall play and the One-Acts as classes for a fine art credit.
This would be a great solution for students who want to use their after-school activities for required school credits like P.E. or fine art credits, and make space for an academic lab to take care of some of their homework and have free time to enjoy themselves.