By Elvis Lau
Every weekday at 8:00AM, Galileo springs to life the first class of the day gathers the school community for the next seven hours. However, with such an early start, many students have trouble getting to school on time, resulting in numerous problems. Students who live far away and/or take Muni have to wake up as early as 5:00AM to avoid being late to their first class. Others skip breakfast because they do not have sufficient time to eat. Still others don’t have enough time to prepare for their classes. As a result, school becomes more of a burden than a catalyst to learning.
By the time students get to school, they are tired and ready to go back to bed their minds want to rest more than anything else. This poses obstacles not only for individual students but for the classroom environment as a whole. No tired students want to participate and contribute to discussions, no tired students want to take out their notebooks and take notes, and all students want the school day to be over. Rather than listen to their teacher or classmates speak, they put their heads down and take napsI, personally, have been in this very situation.
What if the start of school was pushed back one hour from 8:00AM to 9:00AM? Students can secure more hours of sleep, have enough time to eat breakfast, and be ready to focus at school. The classroom can be more productive and beneficial for both teachers and students; teachers can focus on teaching, while students can obtain the information and properly store new material in their minds. Of course, there are disadvantages to pushing back the end of school from 3:10PM to 4:10PM. Some students may still come late to school, and others may be robbed of an hour of studying time after school. A lot of students might even see the delayed start of school as a sign to sleep an hour later than usual. Additionally, a portion of students enjoy the early start of school and would like for an even earlier start. However, I believe that a later start of school will benefit the majority of students and allow for a better learning environment.
I hope that school administrators consider pushing back school hours to allow for an appropriate time to prepare for class. Students should not have to forfeit their sleeping schedules in order to make time for school. In fact, by forcing students to change their sleeping schedules, school does not aid in the education of students but rather the destruction of their studies.