PRO: Let’s Do It
While Summer Reading assignments may seem like a busy-work burden to students, the teachers here at JC do this for a reason.”There are a lot of studies about turning the brain off during the summer, but we want to keep it active,” said senior English teacher Mrs. Howe. Turning the brain off during the summer is a disservice to yourself.
Why not take advantage of all the extra time to relax and actually enjoy the book? During school we have to maintain a certain pace while reading in order to meet assignment deadlines, take reading checks, and even outline essays. Turn on the audio book, sit back on the beach and read the book. This gives you extra time at the end of the summer, expelling your need to use aids like Schmoop and SparkNotes.
For some English classes this year, students got the chance to choose which book to read for the senior year term paper due later this year.
The purpose of this change was so that students could choose a book from the list that they liked and have ample time to read and comprehend it. If you started one book and found that you didn’t like it, then you had the time to switch to another, a luxury that would not have been available during the school year.
“John Carroll asks a lot from its students, but that’s part of going here,” said Ms. Howe. In other words, the teachers know this is a lot to ask, but they do this in order to make the best use of our time and tuition. Rather than starting a book the first week of school, classes are able to dive right into discussions and value each class meeting with meaning material.
The books assigned by teachers are not normally books high-schoolers would pull off the shelves themselves. These assignments expose students to a variety of different literature that they might even like without knowing it to begin with.
All in all, summer reading is an assignment with a purpose of keeping the brain active during the summer while also allowing class time to cover more material.
CON: Let’s End It
Students are spending the last few weeks of summer worrying about due dates, grades, and schoolwork during a time when they are supposed to have a break from the stresses of school. This creates an understandable bitterness among students towards the summer reading assignments.