The deadline makes a difference: 8:10 a.m. versus 11:59 p.m.


Google, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Teachers change the Google Classroom deadline from the beginning of class to 11:59 p.m.

Isa Burkhart, News Editor

The classwork for Monday: one in-class essay, an AP literature and composition Apology reading, an AP french test and essay back to back, notes due at 11:59 p.m., physics lab practical due at 11:59 p.m., an article to publish due last Friday but is now late, pre-calculus work due at 11:59. Students struggle with the Google Classroom deadline change. 

Google Classroom acts as a hotspot for teachers and students alike. Daunting due dates for six classes are scattered throughout the page. No longer due by class time, homework must be completed by 11:59 p.m.

The problem, which on the surface does not seem like it would make much difference, is  time. 8 hours and 10 minutes from midnight to the start of class time, time where students should be asleep, ends up being very significant in getting the workload of the week done. 

The average teenager needs eight to 10 hours of sleep every night. With the amount of homework plus the new deadline of 11:59 p.m., this makes it almost impossible to obtain both the deadline and an adequate amount of sleep. The student must choose between the two. 

Junior Caroline Corcoran, with over a 4.0 GPA, shared her experience with the workload of honors classes. “I probably have about 4 challenging multi-day assignments and 10 easier assignments each week. I do my homework after school, after practices and sometimes in the morning before school,” she said. “Anytime I’m not at school, work or cheer I do my best to be studying or doing homework. I prefer the 8:10 a.m. deadline or the ‘It’s due at the start of class,’ response from my teachers. The workload is very overwhelming at times.”

National Merit semifinalist Bea Sears, who has a 4.65 GPA, described her regular school week. “Approximately I have 4 to 5 assignments per day and about 22 per week. A lot of my work is done at midnight so 8:10 a.m. deadlines are better,” she said. “I usually start my homework around 6 because that is when I get home from cross country and I finish it around 12 to 1 a.m. Sometimes it’s even later. Because of this I usually go to bed around 1 to 1:30 a.m.”

With two excellent students struggling with the balance of their extracurricular activities and the workload of pushing to be the absolute best, it is clear that the American school systems put a tremendous amount of stress on their students. Affecting their mental and physical health, students on the standard and honors tracks deserve to have the help they need to perform at their best. 

“Homework has a bad effect on my mental health because I become obsessive about it and am always working and studying even when I don’t need to,” Sears continued. It’s kind of a love-hate relationship because I love learning but I don’t know how to balance school work and normal life.”

Although it is impossible to completely eliminate homework altogether, it is more than clear that the effects on students’ mental and physical health are largely negative. Google Classroom does not seem to be a huge problem on the surface, but the little change between 11:59 p.m. and 8:10 a.m. makes all the difference. 

Students deserve to be able to put forward their best. Without the time to do it, everyone is limited, regardless of the level of classes they take. The deadline makes a difference.