How do students feel about summer break?

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Finishing another school year is always bitter sweet. Of course we all look forward to summer break, which normally ten weeks for our school, but is it really what is best for our students? You would think they would have no problem with the break; however, when asked how they feel their answers were surprising. I decided to give my students a voice in the matter. My high school students were told they were able to design the school year, meeting the required hours in the classroom, and observe the same holidays as the current school calendar; as well as include state mandated testing during the required times. In groups students created a new school year in which they felt would encourage high achievement levels and discourage burn out. The results were impressive. Not one group included a break longer than 4 weeks, many kept the longest break at 3 weeks. Having a break longer was viewed as too much time students stated they begin to forget information if they are off school longer. It was also shared that long during long breaks students get bored and these are times they get in trouble. They like having a routine in place. Most groups started the school day at 9 or later, allowed students to leave for a lunch break, and finish the day later. This brings me to the point, of why don't students have a voice in how the school year and school day? The ideas they came up with were well researched and included what would be the best situation for them to achieve, when they can tell us how they learn best why don't we listen? Of course change is difficult and administrators would have to be up for a big change, but if the students would achieve more, wouldn't it be worth it? So, as I am ready to enjoy my summer break, I would give it up- just as the students would.

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