Waking up was the worst part of the day. I would hit my alarm at least three times before actually getting out of my bed ready to begin another seven hour school day. Like always, the clock read 6:30 a.m- now, even being in college, that time still gives me chills. I’d often throw on a pair of yoga pants and any sweatshirt I could find in my closet. It was never a surprise to my first block teachers that I’d be strolling in a few minutes late after the loud, obnoxious bell that rang promptly at 7:21 in the morning. Every morning felt the same – get up, feel tired, complain, be late, and wait until the school day was over. However, that dreaded routine ended when New Jersey Schools began PARCC testing. PARCC testing allowed students to come in at 9:20 a.m opposed to 7:21 a.m if one did not have testing that day. Being able to start school at 9:20, allowed me to be early and actually be happy to attend class. I started to notice that my attention was more focused in class and I was more engaged in conversation with my teachers and peers. Could starting school later have a positive effect on students ability to learn?
According to Dian Schaffhauser, psychologists Pamela Thatcher and Serge Onyper began an experiment on Glen Falls High School to discover if moving school to a later time would benefit the students. The school changed their starting time approximatly 45 minutes later than previous start time. At first, students explained how the later start and end time allowed them to get about twenty more minutes of sleep. So, the high school began to believe that the experiment was giving positive results and Pamela Thatcher and Serge Onyper thought their experiment was working just fine. However, results changed the second time the researchers returned the school. Students explained that they began to fall back in the same routine and they were getting the same amount of sleep. The school reported that students exams and behavior in school shortly went back to the way it was before the experiment began.
I found the experiment above extremely interesting. It intrigued me how once the students got accustomed to the new schedule it went back to the way it was before the new times were put in force. I believe that since my experience with starting school later was only put in affect for six weeks, it did not change my behavior back to normal. It disappoints me how the experiment panned out because from personal experience I felt like a happier student. Perhaps that was just me!