The first semester of the 2019-2020 school year presented several new challenges for McIntosh: shorter classes, an extra class period, and the complete reorganization of the building. Now, as the semester comes to a close, teachers and students are faced with yet another obstacle: Thanksgiving Break. Although this break is typically regarded as a welcome vacation before final exams, this year it is accompanied by stress and panic. Thanksgiving always falls on the fourth Thursday of November, but it seems impossibly late this year. Because the month begins on a Friday, the holiday feast is not until the 28. This unusual timing, in conjunction with other changes this semester, has had serious ramifications for students.
Although students and teachers have been aware of the changes to class durations with the seven-period day, it is only now that the true impact of the adjustment is being recognized. The disparity between where classes were at this time last year and where they are now is becoming painfully clear. Most teachers have made efforts to cut busy-work, shorten lesson plans, and reduce homework in order to cover the entire curriculum. However, there is simply a set amount of content that must be covered. At this point in the year, there is a pervasive feeling that without a bit of rushing, it won’t.
Unfortunately, this disparity is further exacerbated by the untimely holiday. Rather than the typical three-week frenzy until semester exams, McIntosh is faced with an even more condensed, and therefore more stressful, two week period.
As exam preparations begin, students are undeniably overwhelmed. Faced with tests, quizzes, and end-of-semester projects, the student body of McIntosh is destined for a stressful three weeks and a not-so-relaxing Thanksgiving break.
Unsurprisingly, there is no easy fix for this issue. Teachers are already doing their best to adjust, students are scrambling to meet expectations, and returning to a six-period day seems out of the question. There seems to be no straightforward solution to the Pre-Thanksgiving Panic.