The pandemic has allowed teens to choose their own bedtimes. Not surprisingly, they prefer to go to sleep around midnight and awaken around 8 or so (“How Teens Can Get More Sleep,” The New York Times, May 28). This pattern leads to the debate whether starting school a bit later than at present may result in greater learning.
Although it’s true that brain patterns of teens are different than adults, should schools change their schedules to meet their preferences? If learning is the No. 1 consideration, then the answer is affirmative. I realize that starting school later will necessitate changes in bus schedules and in less free time for those who are already involved in many extra-curricular activities. But that is a small price to pay.
On the other hand, if the goal is to prepare teens for life after high school graduation, then changing the schedule will shortchange them. I say that because the typical work day starts at 9:00, or in some fields at 8:00. How will young people adjust to that reality? Employers are not going to change. Yes, there are some companies that allow their employees to work from home at their own hours, but that is not yet the standard.
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