Northwest Horizons

Teachers reconsider summer reading

Three+summer+reading+books%2C+including+the+highly-contested+Sherman+Alexie+book%2C+are+laying+on+a+desk.+Students+have+to+read+assigned+books+during+the+summer+every+year.
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Teachers reconsider summer reading

Three summer reading books, including the highly-contested Sherman Alexie book, are laying on a desk. Students have to read assigned books during the summer every year.

Three summer reading books, including the highly-contested Sherman Alexie book, are laying on a desk. Students have to read assigned books during the summer every year.

Three summer reading books, including the highly-contested Sherman Alexie book, are laying on a desk. Students have to read assigned books during the summer every year.

Three summer reading books, including the highly-contested Sherman Alexie book, are laying on a desk. Students have to read assigned books during the summer every year.

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Summer is viewed by students as a time to relax and take a break from the school. They go to the beach, swim in the pool, and go on vacation. But that does not mean that they are taking a break from learning.

Every summer, students are assigned summer reading and associated work. That does not mean that every student does it, however.

“I didn’t do the summer reading,” freshmen Kenzie Mrissett said. “It seems useless.”

Mrisset is not alone in her dislike of summer reading.

“I know why we have to do it,” senior Brooke Bobetitch said. “But it’s a hassle because summer is our time to relax from school and summer reading kind of stresses us out again.”

However, after recent complaints from the community, including a gripe in the Northwest Observer’s Grins and Gripes section, Northwest is reconsidering the work that teachers assign students during the summer.

“As an English teacher, my job isn’t to overwhelm students or lose [them],” English teacher Alex Wertz said. “Summer reading is for English teachers to assess early on in the year to make sure their students are at the right level.”

Summer reading and work is not just a requirement of English. Most advanced placement classes also require summer work, and so does the language department.

“The language department suggested that without summer reading, students would forget too much of the language they had learned,” Wertz said.

The staff of Northwest has yet to come to a decision about altering or reducing their work, but there is one rule: it has to be consistent across the school.

“We have a few options,” Wertz said. “We can have some [summer work] on every level, we can have it restricted to just AP, or do away with it altogether.”

However, some students do see the benefits. Bobetitch even found a book she loved.

“My favorite [summer reading assignment] was A Long Way Gone,” Bobetitch said. “It was so sad.”

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Teachers reconsider summer reading