The pendulum effect. For whatever reason, it is in our nature as human beings to generate change by responding to a given situation with the maximum amount of polar energy we can muster. This aspect of our psyche continually leaks into the lives of those not trained to beware of it. You promise to never do something and yet you do it again. You develop a fear in adolescence and it engulfs you in later life. Or, you are an administrator whose unthoughtful decisions come at the cost of thousands of high school students. In my view, the administration thought it was a good idea to whip kids into discipline by taking dramatic leaps in class intermission time, taking it from 10 minutes to less than half, 4. It is a law of power to never reform too much at once, or else the populous will be displeased. What the decision-makers failed to cognize was how this affects GPAs, student health, low attendance resulting in a lower budget resulting in general damage to the overall system. In my ignorance, the lack of cognition with the changes in schedule made has done far more damage than good. There are many reasons as to why giving 4 minutes of time for 2000 students to go to class and reprimanding with strict discipline if received more than three tardies is a terrible idea.
Firstly, I would like to provide the clarity that taking a few minutes away from class to add to an intermission will not take from grades, but will actually boost them significantly and drastically reduce tardies. There are dozens of articles and hundreds of studies on the internet. If students have the breathing room to go to the bathroom, their locker, talk with da homies, or simply relieve some stress they will be far happier, and that strongly correlates with better grades. Students in Europe with a fifteen-minute intermission have been proven to perform better and to be generally happier. Students in our very school who remember the 10-minute system are a testament to that. Happy students feel no need to protest the system which they had been given. Principal, do you not want happier students?
And as an insult to injury for the students, they will have to run these errands with great stress after the bell rang and ask the teacher for permission, interfering with class time, perhaps a test. Is this not insanity? Or is this just common sense?
Secondly, if we wish to be a school that is prosperous, we must be mindful of all ends. If a student is stressed because he could not use the bathroom and now has to in the midst of a test, how does this help anyone, even the intention of a four-minute bell? If the student was late to math, let’s do some simple arithmetic. 2000 kids, clogged hallways, two floors and hundreds of classrooms, and seven periods plus a flex. 2+2= likely that you need to speedwalk just to reach class as the bell rings. I am sure I am not the only student who can relate to this. And imagine the collective stress this generates. I keep mentioning grades. What about life? What if an excellent and lovely student is late after running late to class. They must spend a weekend in a building which they are supposed to enjoy coming to? Then they go home and are grumpy, get in an argument with their parents. Now the butterfly effect is in place and a decision by the administration has resulted in family arguments, dozens of them. It sounds ridiculous to correlate the two, but if you followed my text it makes sense.
And finally, whatever the intended purpose of cutting an intermission time in half, we can be sure by analysis and logic that it is not a good idea to do so. Human beings do not like change. Entire monarchies and governments have been overthrown in an attempt to repel such rapid change. We have gone from a lazy comfortable schedule to one where if you don’t hustle, you’re in trouble. If an individual has enough power to generate such changes, they should be mindful of the consequences. I have already listed those, and what I request is a closer examinator. Hallelujah