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What Do Students Want? More Sleep

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with audiences through the Newspaper Series (and youngwritersproject.org) and the Schools Project (ywpschools.net). YWP is supported by this newspaper and foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to donate to YWP, go to youngwritersproject.org/support.

This week, we publish writing in response to the prompt Makeover: Redesign your school. Next prompt, Monologue. Write a monologue of a person who is troubled or conflicted about something. Reach a resolution. Alternate: Fantastic. Begin a story or poem with this line: I stepped out of the door into a bright, fantastic, new world … Due April 11.

Prompt: Makeover

For just about everyone at some point in their school career, school is stressful. I’m not really at that point right now, but there are some things about my school that stress me out. I don’t think my school should do much to change, but I do think that it could change its schedule a bit. Having to wake up at quarter of six in the morning so I will be at my school by 7:30 is something that really annoys me. After all, teenagers need more sleep than most age groups, so schools could help us out by starting a bit later… Being the son of a teacher, I have to leave the house at 6:50; not relaxing.

My school should start at least at 8:30 because this gives teenagers the chance to get a good amount of sleep. Also, having more time to get ready for school lets us wake up more peacefully, which is good for our body. So everyone at my school will benefit from a later school start, including teachers, because what they will be teaching will make more sense to kids when they are fully awake.

My school should also make weekends more than two days. Weekends should be three days long because it would give students a chance to recover from the demanding school week. I think my school should make the summers shorter and have three-day weekends. That way, it will be harder to forget information over the summer.

Also, Thanksgiving should be a weeklong vacation so we can spend more time giving thanks to what’s important. My school should seriously change its weekend and vacation schedule so students can ultimately learn more …

(Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.org/node/91485.)

Prompt: General writing

I feel out of place, but I’m not. Everyone is nervous; people turning their heads, tapping their feet, drumming the desks with their pencils. My math teacher, the one who causes all the distress in our days, all the anxiety, claps his hands together like someone about to murder his worst enemy.

People have been talking about it all day. “What the heck is that formula again?” “How do I factor this quadratic?!” Everyone is freaked. But in the moment I try to stay sane … The period before, I had jammed every possible ounce of information into my brain. But there is only so much I can remember … I actually question how I even got into algebra, but it happened, so I guess it’s legit.

The math teacher walks around the room smiling evilly at the frightened students. Who knew some people’s worst fear would be math? Anyway, he goes to the front of the room and grabs the test papers. He slowly and dramatically hands them out.

I get mine, and realize something bad. All I know is my name and the date.