Teaching is the answer. I’m now into my second year at Ingraham High School in Seattle Public Schools. As Head of Business Department I’m teaching Marketing, IB Business Management, Graphic Design, and Yearbook. After decades of working for corporate clients, non-profits, artists and myself this has been a huge transition. Which is why I have not posted to this site for way too long.
All the work around shifting to later start times is proving to be a truly great win for students and teachers, although some disagree with me. There is push back, and some are eyeing a shift back to earlier start times. Arguments are around costs and sports. However, research is being completed, and I hope it will convince most people that there is NO EXCUSE to shift back to early start times that will once again force students to struggle with chronic sleep deprivation.
The research on the negative impacts of too little sleep cannot be disputed. On the other hand, sports schedules can and still should be adjusted later in the afternoon so that students don’t need to miss last period classes. This has yet to be completed. The cost issues are as always, around transportation. We must find ways to resolve these without depriving teens of the sleep they need to function well.
As a classroom teacher ,I have to say that teaching is all about motivation. Motivated students can accomplish anything they set their sights on. I see this in every class, every day. Teachers constantly work hard to engage and motivate students. The very least we can demand is that students be permitted to get the sleep they need. The adults in the district can and should make adjustments to such things as sports schedules and transportation logistics. We cannot abdicate this and make students pay the price. Sleep deprivation is too high a price.