My son sent me a message during school yesterday via Snapchat. It was a video of students playing cards, talking, and napping. The teacher said it was a free period because it was the last class before the Thanksgiving holiday break. Today, he sent me another message. He begged me to let him leave school because his teacher for his third class of the day told them they had nothing to do. This morning, the teacher for his fourth (and last) class of the day told him they would have free time.
For the last half of the school day, my son walked into classes with nothing to do. He begged to leave. I told him to stay. As an educator, that is the right thing to say. Maybe because the benefits of good attendance have been driven into my brain over the last 30 years!
What are the benefits of spending three hours doing nothing? There are no benefits. Are there negatives? Certainly. This kid already complains of boredom at school. Now I am telling him he must sit through three hours of free time because attendance matters??? He isn't buying it.