WELL, I should not panic. The memo (Memorandum No. 392) issued by the Department of Education applies only to elementary schools. Okay, I could still give assignments to my students on weekends.
No, don’t get me wrong. I don’t give assignments to my students to simply make their lives miserable. Come to think of it, the teacher needs to assess the students’ outputs afterward. In other words, giving assignments to students also means additional work for the teacher.
But why am I not happy that the Memo is to be enforced only to the elementary pupils?
Here are the answers:
- It is during Fridays that you can assign tasks that students can’t do on weeknights. There are necessary learning experiences that students don’t encounter in the classroom or within the school’s premises. Over the weekend, they can perform these tasks and process their insights when they return to school.
- Assignments teach students to be responsible. When you give assignments to students, it is expected that they turn them in on the day agreed upon. Give immediate feedback to impressive output to encourage students to do their homework.
- Assignments ensure continuity of the learning process. Most subjects are taught for only one hour everyday. For me, it is not enough a time to ensure learning. It takes time to activate the students’ interest in the subject matter. Sometimes, it takes them several hours to process a concept that appears strange to them. By giving them assignments, they are given more time to think about those concepts and strengthen their learning. On weekends, if they are not given something to do that is related to the subject matter taught in class, they would forget about it. It is very taxing for the teacher to redirect the students’ attention back to the lesson. The teacher then has to device a strategy to regain the students’ enthusiasm.
I don’t think that assignments limit the students’ social development on weekends. I believe that the teacher can design an assignment such that it involves the students’ interaction with parents, neighbors, friends, and other people. We can even make assignments that students would find entertaining and leisurely.