It’s not uncommon for us to see nervous eighth graders sprinting from one class to the next for fear of tardiness on testing days or languid Upper Schoolers snoozing on red couches, weary from standardized testing and the Common App, all in pursuit of admission to selective colleges. Thankfully, with the new schedule, this year the School has found an antidote: office hours.
The administration decided this year to allocate a period in the academic rotation that would serve as a free time for the entire School and ensure that students have time to meet with teachers, since this year’s new schedule reduces the total number of classes in a rotation and thus limits students’ free periods to a certain extent.
We at the UV think that office hours are invaluable. During these periods, we can get a head start on homework, which inevitably helps us avoid unneeded stress down the road. In other words, dedicating a scheduled time to completing our work thwarts the demon that is procrastination. Also, since policy states that all faculty must be available during office hours, teachers are quite willing to meet. However, multiple students sometimes request meetings, which can make it hard to get personal student-teacher time.
Besides offering us a chance to catch up on our studies, office hours grant us the gift of leisure. We believe that it’s essential for our development (and sanity) that we devote a moment of our day to relaxation, and office hours presents the perfect opportunity to do so.
Equally important is the fact that office hours are scheduled before lunch, allowing us to grab a bite without having to endure the long lines at Café M. Furthermore, juniors and seniors can have longer off-campus lunches and venture away from Larchmont to explore other local restaurants.
That being said, we are a bit disappointed by the irregularity of office hours and the lack of communication over when exactly these periods occur. Often, we are left to our own discretion to predict whether that mysterious “A” period marked on our planners is a class meeting, All-School Meeting or office hours. This leads to much confusion and puts students at a disadvantage when they are trying to plan ahead. Just imagine the relief you would experience knowing you had an extra hour to study for that AP Euro test or complete your Honors Research paper, which is already pushing deadline!
In conclusion, we greatly appreciate the administration’s push for more free time and less stress around campus, but we also recognize the imperfections of office hours and school-wide free periods.