The Double is Trouble

“Double Double Toil and Trouble!” is spoken by Elizabethan witches in Macbeth, but it also has been spoken by today’s students! The double period in a typical St. Luke’s high schooler’s day can either be a blessing or a curse, “depending on the class,” says Porter Bowman ’17. In a world where every second counts, one wonders whether this time could be better spent. The Sentinel sat down with Mr. Yavenditti, an administrator at St. Luke’s, to learn the logic behind the double.

With 90-minute classes, we would assume that this allows for the teacher to be able to form interesting and in depth lectures. “It is used in various ways for various teachers, science teachers in particular, who need that time to set up labs, perform the lab, and clean up a lab,” said Mr. Yavenditti. The 90 minute period can be used as a luxury in classes such as science or English as ways to get deeper into the material. One would assume that with double the time to work, double the work would get done. However, long lecture periods could result in the class not being engaged or not absorbing the material because of the prolonged lecture time.


Double dose of Macbeth (Photo: Mary Zech)

It is no secret that teens aren’t getting the amount of sleep they need, and perhaps the time used in doubles could be set aside to move up the time when schools starts. An article published by Mrs. Demarco-Havens, our health and wellness instructor, zeros in on the growing issue of sleep deprivation in teens. In this article, Dr. Ron Raymond wrote, “A recent study by the National Sleep Foundation confirmed that over half of teens, 15-17 years old, get seven hours of sleep or less. Many other surveys put that estimate at closer to 90% of that half getting six hours or less. According to research literature, teenagers need “eight to nine hours of sleep per night.” This article also reported the finding of Wolfson and Carskadon in the Journal of Children Development when they wrote, “The findings showed that academically struggling students (those obtaining C’s, D’s or F’s) reported on school nights an average of at least 40 to 60 minutes less sleep than the A or B students.” If school starts later, then teens will be able to get more sleep, which could result in a successful and more worthwhile education.

The double classes at St. Luke’s can be useful for labs and special projects that would else not be as in depth, but not every double can be used productively. Mr. Flachsbart, an English teacher, said, “Sometimes they are great for doing special projects or showing films, but often they come at the wrong time and it almost seems a burden to fill the time.” This insight encourages the theory that perhaps this time would be more useful if it was used to push back the time of the first class, but that the double can also be handy. “The big question to me is not why we have them,” began Mr. Yavenditti, “but how they are used.”

Mary Zech, Just 4 Fun Editor 

Posted by on November 12, 2014. Filed under School News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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