Teachers should provide students with work prior to trips

Students who attended the trip wished their teachers had given them homework prior to leaving.

Courtesy of World Atlas

Students who attended the trip wished their teachers had given them homework prior to leaving.

On Saturday, December 15, three local synagogues took 40 of the congregations teen members for what should’ve been a stress-free, educational trip to Israel. The group remained in the country for two weeks. The trip lasted from December 15 to December 30.

As the trip approached, students anxiously requested teachers to assign them the work they would have missed in order to avoid falling behind in their classes. However, although these students sought assistance in obtaining the work they will have missed, most teachers failed to meet their requests.

Prior to the trip, Rachel Cassway (‘21) said, “A bunch of teachers did not give me work to do ahead of time which made me not prepared for the week I missed. When I come back I will be behind in almost all of my classes, which I am really scared for.”

While teachers are naturally bombarded with many different student requests, the teachers of the students who attended the trip were notified a month in advance. Furthermore, East students have been consistently participating in this trip for several years. As a result, teachers should have been more prepared for the trip to help their students out.

Students should have been able to experience the culture and enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity without risk to their grade by falling behind in their classes.

Jeffrey Kaminer (‘21), another attendee, said before the trip that “Israel was very hard to go to because a bunch of teachers were not prepared with the work I needed, thus I have to wait until I return to catch up on all of my missed work.”

The work missed is not nominal; a significant number of lessons, practice, and homework are assigned throughout one week. But all of it is prepared ahead of time, leading to the obvious question, “Why couldn’t teachers have provided the missing assignments?”

“I am going on to Israel for the culmination of my final year of Jewish Hebrew High and for my confirmation,” said Cassway. The trip to Israel will allow students to dig deeper into their Jewish culture. Due to the significance of this journey, students should not be punished or deprived of their school work because of this decision.