What I think might be the problem
how can you learn when you keep falling asleep in class?
Last post I went into my detail about the six things I think one needs to do to be healthy. This week I have been thinking a lot about #2 Sleep Deeply.
Four out of my 11 students in my ESL course keep falling asleep in class. These are the students who just arrived from other countries and barely speak English. I have eleven students from El Salvador, Guatemala, Iran, and Israel. They are my babies. I have them for two periods a day, that’s 10 hours a week that we are together. These students take the bus to and from school. These students work ‘til 2am five nights a week at a local Italian restaurant. These students’ parents are still in their home country. They often fall asleep in class, and I can’t blame them. I let them sleep.
How are they supposed to learn when they are not getting enough sleep?
This isn’t just a problem for my ESL students, this is a problem for all my students. That’s why next year our school is changing the start of school from 8am to 8:30am. This has been absolutely controversial at our school!
In 2019, Governor Newsom signed Bill No. 328 stating that no high school could start before 8:30am. Next year, we must change our start time or else!
The intention behind the change is that kids need more sleep. According to the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center, teens need more sleep than adults. While adults need 7 to 9 hours, teens need 9 to 10 hours. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC both supported the bill.
But will changing the start time of school actually help kids sleep more?
When we talked to our students about it, they shared how they stay up late because of the quantity of homework, extracurriculars, and jobs they have after school, as well as having to take public transportation to school because their parents work.
These two tap into big issues in America: productivity culture and our obsession with cars.
Personally, I’m happy we are starting later. Right now, I wake up at 6am every morning. I have meetings that start at 8pm when I want to start going to bed at 9:30pm!
I need my sleep and don’t let anybody mess with it. I honestly ended things with someone because they prevented me from getting my beauty sleep and doing my sleep ritual aka brush teeth, do yoga, journal, read and say things I’m grateful for.
Love you lots,
Questions for reflection and discussion:
What do you think about sleep?
Do you have a sleep ritual?
Why do you think teens don’t get that much sleep?
Do you think that changing the start time of school will help kids get more sleep
How much sleep did you get as a teen?