When a teacher addresses their homework policy for the year, their expectations aren't usually met with smiling faces. But Mrs. Brandy Young isn't most teachers, and her new, nontraditional rule regarding schoolwork outside the classroom is getting both kids and their parents excited about the year ahead.
The progressive second grade teacher at Godley Elementary School in Godley, TX, sent out a letter to parents explaining that her students will not be given specific assignments to complete at home — homework will only consist of what students did not finish during the school day.
"Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance," Young explained in the note. "Rather, I ask that you spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get your child to bed early."
According to studies, as well as an article from the Washington Post, there hasn't been any research that's found any benefit to assigning homework of any kind — or of any amount — to elementary school students. "I'm just trying to be innovative — I really want to be a leader of my classroom. As a mom and as a teacher, [I found that] a lot of homework just wasn't necessary, and it wasn't the right thing for my students," Young told POPSUGAR. "Lower elementary school students are here all day with us, so I think it's our job to educate them here and when they go home they have other things they need to learn there."
As a mom of four children, Samantha Gallagher is all too familiar with late nights filled with homework, so she was extremely happy when she saw Mrs. Young's unexpected note. "We moved from Florida where she had homework beginning in preschool," Gallagher said. "I'm really happy that at the end of a long school day, [Brooke will] have time just to come home and be a kid, play outside, and make new friends. I believe it will enable us to spend more time in the evening together!"
If this is something you would like your child's school district to consider, Young says that teacher communication is key and recommends that you speak up. "Share your values and your concerns with your teacher if you feel like your child is doing too much homework, and ask the purpose of it. Meaningful assignments are great outside of school but there needs to be a meaning," Young said. "Teachers need the freedom to be in charge of their classrooms and that's something that my district has given me that not a lot of teachers have."