Letter from teacher over homework posted online by Texas mom going viral
As parents and children throughout North America prepare to head back to school, a letter from a Texas teacher to her students over her homework policy is going viral.
The letter, which was posted on Facebook on August 16 by mom Samantha Gallagher, who says she lives in Fort Worth, Texas is from her daughter’s new elementary school teacher, who signed her letter Mrs. Brandy Young.
The letter says Young did some research over the summer, and had changed her policy on homework and she would try “something new” in the new school year: not assigning extra homework, but saying “Homework will only consist of work that your student did not finish during the school day, there will be no formally assigned homework this year.”
Her letter goes on to say “Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance.” The teacher encourages parents to spend their evenings with their children.
However, a U of A Education Professor who specializes in learning theories said there has not been enough large-scale research on the topic, and said some homework for elementary-aged students can be helpful.
“Maybe half an hour a night, but certainly not much more than that,” Greg Thomas said. “Something they can be relatively successful at, rather than having them do things which they may not necessarily be able to do and lead to high levels of frustration.”
The Alberta Teachers’ Association believes whether or not students are assigned homework, parents should be engaged in their child’s learning.
“Parents getting involved in their child’s learning, asking your child: ‘What did you learn in school today, demonstrate that to me’, or ‘Let’s sit down and read a book together’,” Mark Ramsankar with the Alberta Teachers’ Association said.
It appears that's exactly what Mrs. Young is hoping to achieve.
“Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside and get your child to bed early.”
As of Thursday morning, the post had been shared nearly 73,000 times, with several positive comments from parents calling the letter “amazing” and “awesome”.
With files from Angela Jung