Teachers’ Perspectives on Block Schedules

Samantha Booher, Reporter

Recently Chamblee’s staff has been surveyed to find out if block scheduling would be a benefit to the Chamblee community. Currently, Chamblee has seven class periods a day. A block schedule would reduce this number to four class periods per day that last longer than the current periods. This block schedule would also add another class period to the schedule resulting in a total of eight classes a year. There would be four classes each semester that would be twice as long, which would be required to cover the material for the whole year. 

“It’s not that you’re only taking a semester, you’re taking a year in a semester. So yes, it’s only four classes, but they’re going to be a more intense class,” said Kimberly Landers.

Landers is an art teacher at Chamblee who is also on the Principal’s Advisory Committee. The Principal’s Advisory Committee is a group of Chamblee staff members, teachers, parents, and other community members that represent the school.

“I was asked to survey the faculty to find out what, if any, interest we had in switching to some kind of block schedule,” said Landers.

Some teachers have experience teaching in a block schedule and shared their opinions.

“I love block scheduling and I think Chamblee would really benefit from having a block schedule. The students not having as many classes each day would minimize the amount of homework and give students a couple of days to do their work,” said Leila Warren. “I like for science having extra time to finish labs. I know there’s some teachers that don’t like it, and I totally understand that. I’ve taught on a block schedule before and clearly people can do it, even if you don’t like it. It can be done. I hope that we go that way.”

COVID-19 affected everything at Chamblee including the schedule. Last year, there was one form of a block schedule when classes were online.

“I think that Chamblee, after COVID, we are at a time where we need to change something and jar students back into getting into the habit of school and getting their work done. Maybe going into a block schedule or having fewer classes a day could help students stay caught up with their work and stay up with their assignments,” said Sally Stanhope.

One advantage to having a block schedule is the decreased course load for both staff and students. 

“I have taught on an AB block schedule where we did have eight classes. It felt less hectic to me than teaching seven classes in a day, as I taught three classes each day,” said Landers.

At the moment, this idea is still up in the air. There are many more opinions to be heard.  

“If we’re gonna make a change, we want to make a change that will be good for everybody,” said Landers.