Flex Day presents benefits, drawbacks

by Eric Morales/Staff Writer

How efficient are Flex Days?

The answer lies within teacher and student feedback. Do people just like you believe that Flex Day is efficient?

First of all, what is Flex Day? “Flex Day is a day when students are allowed time to work on assignments from the comfort of their own home,” said Ben Grimes, 9.

Flex Day is when you stay home and do most of your work from home,” said Estelle Smith, 9.

Flex Days give students an opportunity to work at their own pace independently. For some it’s good, but for others it might be a struggle.

Based on questions to students and staff comments, whether or not many students completed their Flex Day assignment during that day seemed to be in question. On the previous Flex Day some students did their work on the weekend. Some teachers don’t even like to make their Flex Day assignments public until it is officially Flex Day.

Mr. Gary Cerqua, business teacher and technology specialist, collected data to show how the efficiency in Flex Day compares to a normal classroom setting. “The vast majority of high school and junior high teachers said that the work completion percentage was very similar to that of a typical class day,” he says. “The vast majority of high school and junior high teachers also said that the quality of work very closely mirrored that of a typical class day.”

Mr. John Rihm, a science teacher at GC, talked about whether students should do their work on that day, or if it mattered. He said that he doesn’t care if students do their work before, just not after. “What difference does it make,” Rihm stated. “The work is getting done, right?”

This may be somewhat inefficient, but that doesn’t mean that Flex Day is ineffective. It just means people procrastinate. Many teachers did have students who didn’t do their work until the last minute. This fact helps present some of the hiccups of Flex Day.

Jayden Cave, 11, said he didn’t do the Flex Day work on the actual day. “It’s like a President’s Day, really. I don’t do any of my work.”

Bailie Puckett, 11, had a different perspective. “I do all of my work. I definitely like to be home, though,” she said.

Although Flex Days can have inconveniences, it is believed to be necessary. “I think Flex Days are necessary once in a while because it shows if kids can do work without the help or supervision of a teacher,” said Smith.

Some said it gives the student more independence and shows his or her dedication and independence.

Maddy McDaniel, 11, said she knew what to do during Flex Day for her assignments. “I understood the assignments because the teacher explained it the day before,” she said.

Charles Thomas, 11, says, “Flex days do have their inconveniences, but it’s great to relax at home and do your work there.”

Some students think the reason students might procrastinate is the amount of work given.

Makayla Sexton, 11, said, “I think teachers assign too much Flex Day work. It’s long assignments, not short.”

Cave agreed. “There is a lot of work. I had an hour and a half of work per class. Sometimes I feel like teachers don’t know we have another life outside of school.”

Cave said another drawback was that you can’t ask questions, although he said you could email or call your teacher.

Sexton said, “If you have computer problems at home, no one can fix it, unless you are a tech cadet.”

A simple solution to ensure students do the work suggested by Smith was a way for teachers to check student progress. “Maybe one suggestion to improve Flex Day is maybe the teachers can monitor whether or not the students do their work,” Smith said.

Flex Day currently is experimental. There are ways to fix and make Flex Day more efficient, so fewer people are pushing their assignment to the last minute. 

The benefits and drawbacks of Flex Day depend on the person’s perspective. “I think Flex Days are efficient depending on the person and if they use their time wisely,” Smith says.

“No, Flex Day is inefficient because doesn’t give students access to teachers directly and it just slows learning,” Grimes said.

Others like the pace of Flex Day.

“I like that you can do it on your own time,” Sexton said.

“You do your work on your own time at your own speed,” Puckett said.

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