For many of us, when we were kids, homework was one of the worst things in life.
We’d have to abandon playtime to sit for hours at a desk, scribbling down answers to math puzzles and reciting dates from historical events, convinced that no-one had it as bad as us.
But as much as we hated homework, we can see now that it served a purpose… or can we?
One teacher, based in Texas, never assigns homework to her pupils – because she thinks it’s a waste of time.
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I feel so accomplished today! See that second shelf on my cart? That’s where I keep papers that need to be graded. Notice anything there?! I GRADED OVER 100 essays and a few class sets of quizzes between yesterday and today. I feel like that deserves some type of reward, or at least a coffee. 😅 #teachertired
Courtney White can remember herself how difficult it was to stay on top of things as a kid. Speaking to Insider, she said:
“I just remember being a student trying to juggle all these things.”
She knows that her high school English students don’t just have homework to do; there’s also sports practice, band rehearsal, after-school jobs, looking after siblings, and even worrying about food.
For this reason, Courtney chooses not to add to her pupils’ list of evening responsibilities, and not everyone agrees.
She initially posted a video on TikTok explaining her thoughts on giving out homework, and the internet was divided.
In the video, she said that there was no proof that homework would make her students better. Why? Because kids tend to take the easy way out with homework, anyway.
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If your students aren’t in the right mindset, you can’t teach them. Showing students grace will give you the results you’re looking for in the end. Show your students that you care about their mental health more than their test scores and you’ll be surprised at how much you get out of them. 💕 #GraceOverGrades
“If you talk to kids, they’ll tell you, ‘Oh, I Googled it’ or ‘Oh, I got the answers from a friend’ or ‘I didn’t have time because I was doing 800 other things I should be doing instead of being a kid’. If it wasn’t going to be done meaningfully at home, then it really is not serving its true purpose.”
Courtney made the point that when us adults come home from work, all we want to do is relax. Yet our kids can’t do this, because when school ends, they have more work to complete.
She puts much more focus on what’s happening in her classroom, ensuring that her students grasp her concepts.
If someone actually comes to Courtney and asks for extra practice on a certain topic, she’s more than happy to assign them something to do. She also offers extra tutoring to students who want it.
And if students fall behind in class, any work they haven’t completed will be finished off at home – not that anyone has had to do that yet.
Her initial video about homework had been relatively lighthearted, so Courtney was surprised by the negativity.
She had imagined that people would love her idea of giving no homework, but the reaction couldn’t have been more different.
One person wrote:
“Isn’t homework practice to make sure they’re actually learning?”
According to Courtney, others commented that she was “lazy” and that she was “not preparing her students for the real world.”
Everyone on the internet has an opinion, but in this case, people were jumping to conclusions without considering both sides of the story.
This led Courtney to produce a video explaining in detail the reasons why she doesn’t give homework out.
On TikTok, her video response already has 4.7 million views, and on YouTube, it has more than 2 million views.
Courtney was brave to stand up for what she believed in, and while her second video still received a critical response, she also gained a host of supporters.
Her words, if you haven’t heard them yet, are worth listening to. You can watch her video just below.
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