Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday's Top Ten Plus Ten [What Homework Teaches You]

Melany and I thought this would be an interesting topic coming from a student and a teacher. With the two perspectives I hope students who read this walk away appreciative of what is required of them and why.

1. Practice makes perfect. Doing something over and over and over and over again solidifies it in your brain. In order to truly understand how to do something you must practice. The same goes with reading, writing, math, basketball, football, volleyball, weight lifting, cooking, sewing, dancing, and this list could be endless. Homework teaches you the value of practicing. You may not like dribbling the ball up and down the court 20 times with your left hand, but you do it because you know you'll be better. Same with homework. Teachers do not wake up one day and think to themselves, I wonder what I can assign to make my students miserable? No, they wake up asking themselves if this assignment will help you ace the test. They want to make sure you understand it and sometimes it takes hard work.

2. Time management. There isn't enough hours in the day to accomplish all that's needing to be done in the classroom setting. Many times this requires that in order to continue teaching a subject (we don't want you to forget it) you must take it home. This also requires some time management skills on your part. Trust me, that is a skill you need as an adult.

3. Self discipline. Sometimes I'd rather only dribble the ball down the court 15 times instead of the prescribed 20 and that's cheating myself. Sometimes I'd rather watch a movie than complete my math homework (okay, make that always). But sometimes we need to have the self discipline to sit down and accomplish what we may or may not want to.

4. Practice helps you fully understand a concept. Once something is assigned it becomes a "check point" for teachers to help them determine if you're really getting it. If not, it's time to reteach it. So by skipping homework you're stressing a teacher out in thinking that you do not understand and I need to make sure you do get it. Homework helps you explain that you do, in fact, know what you're talking about. It's your way of proving it.

5. Following directions. This may seem so elementary. But if you can't follow directions, you won't be able to do your taxes, fill out a job application, do what your boss tells you to do, &etc. Following directions is a life skill and homework helps teach you how to do it right the first time.

6. Working through adversity. Homework will frustrate you because it will take you to a new level, perhaps a step further than what was not taught in class. Frustration and adversity are a part of life, the issue isn't the struggle, the issue is how you handle the struggle. Homework teaches you to work through adversity.

7. It's okay to ask for help. You aren't going to get something the first few times of doing it. Sometimes it helps to ask for help from a teacher, parent, or friend (we want you to do that). If you've hit your frustration level max, ask for help. Homework helps you understand that asking for help is not a weakness, it is a strength.

8. Appreciate the feedback. In order to know whether or not you're really getting it, you will get feedback. Sometimes it won't be what you expect. Sometimes the grade won't be what you hope, but use it as an opportunity to better yourself. Homework helps you appreciate the feedback, and that's something needed in life. You won't always get positive feedback for what you do at work or any walk of life for that matter. Instead of letting the feedback destroy you, the feedback should make you stronger.

9. Maturity. Without education (and the homework that comes with it) you find that embarrassing mistakes such as this are made...

Believe it or not, homework helps you reach a level of maturity that do not exist in the above examples (I'm sure you can read countless more examples on Facebook status updates). Had these individuals paid attention in class, did their homework and completed some of the easiest tasks of their life, they may not be wearing the embarrassing shoes their in now.

10. Don't give up! Homework teaches you the ability to persevere. Don't give up. Keep trying. Ask for help. Practice. Practice. Practice. Life will thank you.

So even if you find the assignment pointless and frustrating, find a reason to be thankful for your free education and the opportunities you'll learn through persevering, practice, self discipline, &etc. Homework will not be the last time you'll have to use those skills, and those skills need lots of practice in order to perfect.

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