By Daniella Djiogan
So, there’s this study that says U.S teens start school too early, and it shouldn’t be the case since adolescents are required to sleep longer than adults, as it helps them develop their immune system and academics.
The article claimed that classes shouldn’t start prior to 8:30am because it robbed students of their recommended sleep, thereby putting them at risk of future weight, drug, and other health related issues.
If I hadn’t taught in China for a year, I wouldn’t have found this article somewhat interesting for many reasons. It would have just been another one of many articles that didn’t really make it to my list of “articles to be read”, since it’s been awhile since I have been an adolescent…not that long though.
Most schools in the U.S start before 8:30am, and most Chinese schools do so as well. However, most U.S kids are done with school by 3:45pm (the last time I checked), and you wouldn’t believe your ears when you hear when Chinese students are done with school…10pm (I repeat, 10pm). And most (at least where I was) live in a boarding school during their adolescent school life.
But I’m not here to start a debate on what school system is better because it wouldn’t be exactly fair. I mean, both societies are different in many aspects. However, if you think about it, you will probably…maybe…sort of agree with me that American kids have it good. I mean, they come back from school after 3:45pm, probably play sports or PSP, study, watch a show till 8pm, sleep at 9pm, and wake up at 7am. That’s more than 10 hours of sleep per day.
On the other hand, most Chinese students (I can only speak for the schools I have been to in the Sichuan province of China), don’t have that much time of their hands. It’s always study, study, and study. It’s crazy, it really is.
Again, I am not supporting one system or the other nor making any conclusions. I just wanted to express my thoughts on the issue, and hopefully be informative on what goes-on on the other side of the globe.
Feel free voice your agreement or disagreements with me in the comments below.