As a Freshman at Brooklyn Technical High School, this is my first time having to balance schoolwork, homework, and extracurriculars. I, and many others at this school, can definitely say that balancing all of these standards and requirements taken a toll on our both our physical and mental health.
One thing that most freshman can agree with is that the workload at BTHS is a lot to keep up with. Students that I converse with complain about the workload and claim to be losing sleep and skipping meals as a means of finishing the work given. I wholeheartedly agree with these claims and can say that I have lost a lot of sleep because of the intense workload and the very high standards placed upon myself.
There are two things in particular that most BTHS freshman, as well as the upperclassman, struggle with and those are homework and tests. Now, coming to this school, we, of course, must expect a lot of homework and many tests. What we do not expect our first year is to be bombarded by tests and quizzes from different subjects all on the same day. There have been multiple occasions where I’ve had three or four exams falling on the same day along with homework to complete. Even though we were to expect 30 minutes of homework from each of our classes, I’ve had up to three hours of homework per class. I hope that perhaps testing schedules can be adjusted in the future to present burn out and that there could be the addition of some type of “homework schedule” where like testing schedules, only homework for specific classes (or perhaps just the ones that tend to give out a lot of homework) is due on a certain day. I’ve also overheard the idea of making most assignments voluntary instead of mandatory.
I was curious as to what my fellow classmates thought, so I asked for a few of their opinions. Tatyana Cruz (Class of 2022), says, “It’s not impossible but very overwhelming. It takes a lot of your life but once you get into the groove of things, it’s manageable.” Tatyana is one of those few people that has strived from the beginning of the school year and she’s very open to helping others with their schoolwork and time management. I hope she keeps it up!
Another one of my classmates other has something to say about the amount of schoolwork given. Liam S. Aguirre (Class of 2022), says, “The workload at Tech is something that we must abide by unwillingly and it is disrespectful to us to make us sacrifice the little free time we already have, most of which is used by extracurricular activities for the school itself. I believe the workload is unfair and the rules set by the school to limit homework to 30 minutes each is sometimes looked past by teachers who do not respect us and whose sole purpose is to overload us with work that may not even aid us for our future careers. The limit of 30 minutes can also be disrespected by loopholes such as the even-day odd-day loophole where if you only have a teacher on odd days, they have the right to give you homework that will allegedly take 1 hour but may take more depending on the student’s aptitude and stamina/learning capabilities.” You can tell that his opinion on this issue is very different from Tatyana’s. Liam is a person I have known for years and I’ve never really seen him struggle with keeping up with schoolwork until now, but I can say the same for many of us.
To conclude, I believe that BTHS should decrease the amount of schoolwork given to students in an effort to preserve their health and to keep their minds more active. Also, lowering expectations for freshman will help them have a much smoother adjustment to Tech life and will help them set manageable goals. So, will the BTHS workload change?