Sunday, June 29, 2008


N is for Nap

Perhaps I should allow my middle school students a brief “nap time” during class. As preposterous as that may sound, it would seem to make perfect sense, when I remember that we spend roughly one-third of the twenty-four hours of each day sleeping. Nature has made it clear that we need that much rest on a regular basis. In order to function as proficient human beings, our bodies and minds need to turn off, or at least way down, for about eight hours each day. During that time, we escape from demands and deadlines in order to rejuvenate and restore ourselves. From 8:30 to 3:00, my students work with a fair amount of industry in each class, including mine, and it seems reasonable that they should take time out now and then to rest and recuperate. Just as they sleep about one-third of each day, perhaps they should be allowed to rest for a period of time in my class. And just as we often awaken in the morning with new-found energy, perhaps my students would awaken from their brief rest with a burst of zeal for English work. It seems sensible: We couldn’t go a full twenty-four hours without a good rest, and my students perhaps can’t be expected to go a full forty-eight minutes in English class without a relaxing break. Hmmm...What would my principal think if he walked into my classroom and found my students serenely napping?

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