1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Late Nights and Laziness

Discussion in 'Education news' started by JosieWhitehead, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter


    According to this article, the teenager you are teaching first thing in the morning has a brain which is telling him/her that they should still be tucked up in bed, whereas during the evening and until 1 am their brains are ready for work. (See this article). I used to often teach teenagers from 7 pm until 9 pm in evening classes as I was an FE teacher, and without question they were all alert and working hard. I hadn't heard the word melatonin then, but do you think, perhaps, that afternoon study followed by an evening class might be the answer for teenagers?
  2. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    No. Logistics aside it doesn't seem to be a good idea to have children shifted outside of the social circadian for five years.

    Limiting &or denying children social media & screen time while promoting physical exercise and the importance of timekeeping seems a far better idea.
  3. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    why is timekeeping early in the morning more important than time keeping later in the day? When they enter the workforce, they are almost certainly not going into a 9 to 5 job. Most jobs are moving towards some sort of shift system, with anti social hours, late night opening, and so forth.
    Time for schools to actually read and react to all the evidence collated on how the brain works over recent years. Not just say that this is the way we do it, tough!
    The simple need of a rapidly growing body to sleep for longer needs to be recognised and planned for.
  4. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I am no usher for the economy. I want my students to work to live, not live to work.
    schoolsout4summer likes this.
  5. abacus1982

    abacus1982 Established commenter

    I don't see how you could change the school day this dramatically. Sure some teenagers perform better in the evenings but I would have thought there are plenty who perform better in the mornings. As a teenager I had no problem getting up and getting to school in the morning but found it really hard to get work done in the evenings. I still find this as a teacher now and much prefer getting into work for 7am as by 4:30pm I'm done and become far less productive.
  6. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    it would be quite possible to make lots of changes to any Secondary where the timetable is effectively done by cutting the school in to two halves for starters.
    One of the first could be to get all Maths and English to teach "early" in the day every day (regardless of opening time) with no off time table periods until alter in the day. On the other hand, PE teachers arrive and teach later, finishing later too. Placing some value on the extended after school activities that they have always run, but not always alongside revisions classes and marking!.
    Shifting most "academic" teaching into the morning and most "softer" teaching into the afternoon. So the "harder" thinking is done when youngsters are more awake. Teens can always have the 11 oclock or so slot if we want to continue the chat from above
    Alternatively, as some schools have tried, get the younger pupils in earlier and the older in a bit later.
    Teachers on some form of flexi time with core hours would not be impossible to organise if tohught through carefully.
  7. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

  8. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    I still find this as a teacher now and much prefer getting into work for 7am as by 4:30pm I'm done and become far less productive.
    on the other hand, i have always been an "owl" and enjoyed multi shifts before I became a teacher.

    Do either of our individual preferences form a good basis for future educational policy? (Too much like Gove there!)
    Or should future time tables for schools be based on "what we have always done" or on the fact that schools cannot staff decent breaks without using teachers as "dinner ladies"
  9. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I'd make a suggestion but it would appear as nothing so much as a punctured string of asterisks.
  10. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    one of the academy chains locks teachers out at 5pm and bans them from taking work home. Must take some good management and planning to keep work to that which is important.
    schoolsout4summer likes this.
  11. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    "lock teachers out at 5pm and ban them from taking work home".
    Sounds sensible to me. It would, at a stroke immediately pretty much completely solve most of what I consider to be the toxic aspects of being a primary school teacher in 2016. I honestly think that this is the BEST idea for primary school teachers that I have EVER heard in my 20+ years of teaching. It would save teachers from themselves, from their competitive colleagues and from SMT. Further, it would stop any impossible workloads being dictated by government departments and provide grounds for legal challenges in the justice system.
    This is exactly what our unions should be fighting for.
    Of course, overtime payments would also put an immediate stop to all the the pointless rubbish that we currently have to do.
    cazzmusic1 likes this.
  12. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I'm not sure how it is today, but when I was an FE teacher, you had to teach both in the day and do evening classes - although when you did evening classes, you did get time off in the day. As a young person 18-20 years of age, I had to go to evening classes three evenings a week from 7 - 9 and also 6.30 pm - 9.30 pm some evenings after a full day's work. At one time I left home at 8.45 am to go to work and returned home at 11 pm after evening classes and bus home three evenings a week. They never asked me if I was tired, ha ha (yes I was) - but I did get the qualifications I wanted and did the work I enjoyed, so it was worth it. This experience was well before your time I expect and many of us did this.
  13. xena-warrior2

    xena-warrior2 New commenter

    I don't think I ever grew out of the adolescent need to sleep late.
    JosieWhitehead likes this.

Share This Page