Daily village time will benefit all Watkins Mill students


Sanjay Fernando

Daily village time is beneficial for students and teachers, as it helps them be more prepared for class.

Dedicating a small amount of time each day to a village time period would be beneficial to Watkins Mill students and teachers.  If students had a class period to complete unfinished work and assigned homework, stress levels would decrease, and grades would improve.  

In-person school is back for all MCPS students, and with the exception of a countywide mask mandate, not much has changed.  Students are still dealing with huge workloads, stress, and trying to balance school with life.  

In-person school brings all of the regular in-person extracurricular activities, and a large portion of the students at Watkins Mill are either members of an after-school club or members of a sports team (possibly both).  

Many kids also have jobs and responsibilities at home, like taking care of siblings or helping out their families.  With so much to do in such little time, becoming overwhelmed with it all is very easy.

Having time to finish school work would allow students to go home every day and do other things besides just school work.  They would be able to spend time at school focused on our work, and leave the building to focus on other things.

A daily village time period would also greatly benefit teachers, as it would not include additional lesson planning, but would allow students time to get the help that they need to complete assignments, frequently freeing up lunch for teachers.  Especially in light of the fact that studies have found homework to be detrimental to students’ social and emotional health. 

The best way to fit a village time period into our current schedule would be to use a schedule that mirrors Watkins Mill’s homeroom schedule. Putting the village time period between third and fourth would prevent students from skipping it, and would allow them time to complete the assignments from their morning classes or finish their later classwork from the previous day, therefore arriving prepared to their afternoon classes. 

Other schools, including Wootton High School are currently running nine period days (using one period for lunch and one for a homeroom period). This also provides built in time for county provided social-emotional learning lessons as well.

Students would also be able to visit their teachers during this period to get extra help (with the teacher’s permission), and tutors could be made available to help as well.  Having an option for one-on-one teaching would allow students to get personalized assistance and learn in a way that best suits their needs.

We strongly urge the administration to consider this option as a way to best serve Watkins Mill’s students.

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