Daily tutorial system should remain

March 6, 2020 — by Andy Chen

With the creation of next year’s new bell schedule still underway, the pros and cons of each potential change are being debated by parents, students and teachers alike. Of the four schedules currently being considered, one stands out due to its lack of a daily tutorial.

While the other schedule changes more or less maintain a daily tutorial system, this schedule, listed as Schedule A in the feedback form released to the school, favors a lengthy tutorial every other day in place of regular tutorials every day. To do this, the school would lengthen Blue Day tutorials from 30 minutes to 40 minutes and replace Red Day tutorials with a 10-minute brunch period before passing. 

This idea may seem plausible and even appealing at first, but the lack of a daily tutorial system would greatly inconvenience both students and teachers.

The biggest problem is inconsistency. Under a daily tutorial schedule, students can be assured that they’ll have the opportunity to meet with their teachers on any day of the week, but if tutorial occurs every other day, this would no longer be the case. This could prove to be detrimental for students with difficult Red Day classes, as students often use tutorial to prepare and review for important assessments, so cutting Red Day tutorials would give students significantly less time to prepare for an important third period test or Socratic seminar.

Additionally, students who currently use tutorial as a time to destress would be unable to, perhaps reducing their attentiveness in their classes. 

According to a 2014 study published on Science Direct, long instruction times lead to lower attentiveness and higher stress, so breaks are essential for maintaining student productivity. 

The lack of a proper tutorial on Red Days wouldn’t be the only problem; longer tutorials may seem appealing to students and teachers, but the proposed Blue Day tutorial provides too much free time to even be considered a “break.” Students would be released from their second-period class at 10 a.m. and would be expected to be in their fourth-period class at 11:05 a.m. — a gap spanning more than an hour. Given this large gap, many students, especially upperclassmen, could be incentivized to abuse the longer tutorial and sneak off campus, diminishing the school’s legitimacy and tight learning environment.

While the district’s efforts to create a better bell schedule are admirable, removing daily tutorials isn’t the correct answer. 

The obvious better approach: Just have tutorial every day.

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On March 27, members of the Air National Guard converted the Santa Clara County Convention Center to a temporary federal facility for about 250 coronavirus patients. The center is to house those who have tested positive for the virus, but don't require intensive in-hospital care. More information can be found through the local news. Photo courtesy of Randy Vazquez of the Bay Area News Group.

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