Today, I want to talk about something that every one of us hated when we were a kid, but that worked to build the success of our future. I want to remind you of that which you were tortured by for 12 years or more, but that which developed character and perseverance. I'm writing about something many of us still struggle with daily, but through which we might gain a better stronghold on that which will save us. Peaked your interest?
As a naive and sometimes lazy public school student, I dreaded the phrase at the end of every period, "The homework for today is…" Whatever followed that introduction could not be good. It would mean time and energy. It would mean a sacrifice of something else. It would mean that school didn't end with the three o'clock dismissal bell.
Now, as a public school teacher, the perspective from the other side of the desk is much clearer regarding the reason and purpose for homework. As adults removed from our educational studies, we can see that picture clearer too, if we can only admit it. Homework reinforces lessons learned in the classroom. Homework exercises build foundations of familiarity, on which we construct more difficult and complex concepts.
All right, maybe I haven't yet exorcised the homework demons that plagued you as a junior higher, all too anxious to shoot hoops with your friends in the backyard. In putting it off, you reasoned that it wouldn't count all that much in your final grade, you probably wouldn't be alone in your procrastination, and the teacher had too many other students to deal with to worry too much about your apathy. But what if the principal came down during English grammar class and gave you a personal assignment? Do you sit up in your chair a little straighter? ...