Recently, Principal Jennifer Baker decided to remove the weekly homeroom policy that was initially implemented for the 2019-2020 school year. The purpose of a weekly homeroom was to make time for surveys, drills and presentations that would normally take away from class time. The words I hear the most every Tuesday are, “is there homeroom today?” We struggle to keep up with the constantly changing schedule, especially because WJ does not do a good job of announcing it, leaving students confused.
Almost immediately, homeroom got off track. For the first week of school, homeroom consisted of endless handouts and a message from Baker. In the second week, we were given a presentation on the dangers of vaping and the third week consisted of a video about confirmation bias. By the time of the confirmation bias presentation, we realized that homeroom had become more of an errand than anything else.
For the homeroom schedule, classes are shortened by five minutes. Those five minutes can be really valuable, especially during tests and long lessons. On homeroom days, almost all my teachers were interrupted by the bell midway through their instruction. One homeroom day, I went home and did not know how to do my Spanish homework because the teacher didn’t have time to finish explaining.
Homeroom drew time away from our regular classes, but for what? These lessons aren’t that important, and we have been taught these lessons before. We learned about confirmation bias in middle school and we were taught about the dangers of vaping in health class. Are these things really worth taking away time that would be used for learning other valuable lessons in our classes?
Now, the new homeroom situation is almost more confusing than the old. Homeroom is not weekly\; it is only held occasionally for surveys, important videos and handouts, and usually we don’t find out until the day of because of the lack of communication. I’m starting to lose my patience.
It is too confusing for us to have a constantly changing schedule. There needs to be announcements about homeroom the day before so we can know the schedule.
Weekly homeroom was unnecessary. It needed to be eliminated. But now that it is has been, WJ needs to improve its communication with students to reduce the confusion.