The Student News Site of Saratoga High School

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Teachers: Please make homework due times right before class

Annie Liu
Students experience increased stress with current deadlines.

With 5 minutes until the due date and one paragraph left to write, you stare at the clock as you type furiously on your keyboard. A bead of sweat trickles slowly down your neck as the clock ticks in the background. Seconds away from midnight, you hastily click the “submit” button: A small burst of confetti appears on the screen, marking your completion of the day’s homework. 

Thinking back on your work, you realize the quality of it is rather low — and in the end you didn’t learn much from the tedious experience. 

Clearly, deadlines are important for students’ time management skills. But many teachers set Canvas deadlines at 11:59 p.m. on the night before class. Some even have their deadlines due at more unconventional times, such as 9 p.m. the night before class.

Although these teachers are sure to have reasons for their due dates, they should return to a beneficial aspect of pre-pandemic education and set their due times at the beginning of class to alleviate stress and increase sleep for students. 

Why is it better to have due dates set at the beginning of class? For one thing, many students attend a plethora of extracurricular activities after school, causing them to do their homework late at night upon returning home.

Forcing these students to turn in assignments earlier than class starting times creates a situation where they rush through their assignments, ruining the educational purpose of homework. 

This increases students’ existing stress and anxiety over the assignment, leading to negative consequences on their mental health. A student constantly thinking about their approaching midnight deadlines and late-night workload is bound to experience a lot of stress.

Another unintended consequence of the due date policy is loss of sleep. A student with a midnight or early morning due date is more likely to stay up late than those with deadlines the next day.

Ideally, students should have the opportunity to complete homework during tutorials, lunch and free periods before later classes. Although this change may seem small, even an extra hour of sleep can bring many benefits to students.

In addition, making assignments due before the class period also ensures that all students have the same amount of time to complete their work, creating a more equitable academic environment. When due dates are the same for all periods of a class, later periods have less time to complete the homework.

These later periods can also miss out on valuable tutorial time that is available to students of earlier periods — first- and second-periods have two tutorials compared to one tutorial for other classes.

Despite these benefits, some people may argue that preclass deadlines invariably lead to procrastination.

However, this argument doesn’t focus on the real issue: Some students will always procrastinate, and later due times will not change their habits. Pre-class due dates merely change the time at which these students will do the work — a net neutral effect — while simultaneously helping the students who need the extra time and help before class.

Teachers should prioritize students who are under a lot of stress over students who procrastinate, as the former are more likely to suffer in terms of mental health. Teachers can’t change how much students procrastinate, but they can change due times to benefit those with genuine need.

Since there are special assignments or rare cases that require unique due dates, a school-wide policy might not be the best idea. However, teachers themselves do have the ability to use more student-friendly due dates, and they can easily do so by setting their assignment deadlines before class — a simple fix that will certainly benefit students.

Donate to The Saratoga Falcon

Your donation will support the student journalists of Saratoga High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Saratoga Falcon