This week, the school board at Zionsville Schools approved a proposal to have middle and high school students start later in the morning (8:45 am and 8:30 am, respectively). We know the students are probably happy about that, but what does it have to do with our goal of elevating teachers?
As it turns out, a lot. Adolescents’ internal clocks are wired to stay up longer and sleep in later. The sleep deprivation that results from starting school before 8:30 is linked to hyperactivity, depression, weight gain, and heart problems. It can make it harder for them to learn, listen, and concentrate, and make them more prone to forgetting important information. Sleep deprived students may also be more aggressive and behave inappropriately.
When students are more focused and less aggressive, it makes it easier for teachers to do their jobs effectively. If it’s helpful for the students AND the teachers, it might be an important thing to consider!