Block scheduling consideration worth the time

Change in class period length effective


Tobias Khabie

Far too often I have found my class periods ending with a teacher being interrupted by the bell. In the midst of the chaos of students packing up their materials and heading to the next class, teachers are forced to forgo important instruction or curriculum due to time constraints. This situation is frustrating, but also avoidable if block scheduling was put in place.

On the days when block scheduling was implemented for testing, I enjoyed the extended class time to go in-depth on complex subjects with my teachers and ask any question I had without worrying about a limited amount of time. I found that my productivity in these classes skyrocketed and I was also able to complete work that would otherwise have to be done outside of class. Furthermore, with only three to four classes a day, the burnout elicited by consecutive high-level classes that I normally experience was eliminated.

While I was only able to enjoy two days of block scheduling, the small sample size was enough to prove block scheduling should be seriously considered as a replacement for the current seven-period day. As previously mentioned, for many students, an ambitious course load implemented in the current scheduling can be exhausting. The constant lectures, note-taking and critical thinking can wear down on students and leave them unable to function at high levels as the day goes on. However, block scheduling would eliminate this, as it did for me. With a longer amount of time, teachers aren’t forced to condense material into shorter periods and allow for students to have more flexibility with their time in class. It can also allow for extensive discussions about complex topics and ample time for questions.

Block scheduling also provides teachers with more flexibility in lesson planning. In 45-minute periods, further condensed by transition time, questions and other interruptions, the variety of activities a teacher can plan for is limited. Adding more time to classes will allow for more creative lessons, which will also benefit students who will see more variety between their classes.

Furthermore, research has shown block scheduling increases overall student performance. According to the American Association of School Administrators, block scheduling can boost student grade point averages, and schools with block schedules have seen an increase in students on honor rolls after implementation of this system. 

While there is valid concern surrounding the process of switching from a seven-period day to block scheduling, the temporary stress is worth the long term benefits. While the change may be hard to get used to in the short run, block scheduling will pay major dividends in the long run.