5 Minutes of What?


8:40. Yes! Class has ended! Just enough time to go grab some food, use the restroom- wait, she’s still teaching? Those five precious minutes are slowly ticking down as your English teacher continues to passionately analyze that Shakespearean couplet. You might contemplate leaving to get water anyway, but if you don’t get back in time and you’re the only one left in the meet? No, no, no. Too mortifying. Let’s just wait for her to end class… any time now… Yes! Finally she stopped! As you press that little red circle, you smile with glee. Finally, you can ge- oh, it’s 8:44. 

Sounds familiar, huh? Albeit a bit less dramatic, we have all had similar issues of transitioning. Even when teachers do dismiss on time, those five minutes are too short to do much of anything and after a draining hour-long class. There needs to be time to reset and prepare. 

In a video posted not long ago, Enloe students and teachers showed off what they really do during transition and there were a broad variety of activities conducted. Some students used the break to prepare for the next class, getting out materials and pulling up relevant tabs. Other students used the break truly as a break from academics, spending it on TikTok or playing video games. Of course, there were also students that engaged a bit more unique activities, such as frying an egg, taking a quick power nap, or sitting in the bathtub and crying.  While students and teachers spent their precious minutes in a multitude of ways, the time is simply so short that one can only pick between a limited amount of tasks. No one spends their break both on Instagram and organizing their materials for their next class. Mia Sabin, a junior, stated, “If I need to clean up my breakfast from my work space or use the bathroom, I can’t be prepared for class in five minutes.” There is simply not enough time to complete everything. When asked about changing the schedule, Scott Lei, who plays bullet chess during the break, stated, “I would like it to be a tiny bit longer, so we can maybe eat something between classes.” Even teachers have trouble with the transition. Mr. Ogren, an Environmental Science teacher, claimed that “five minutes is so limited where [he] may be talking to a student still in the last class then just pulling up windows or files for the next different class, using the bathroom, and then welcoming students into the next class.” Ms. Chappell, an English teacher, compared herself to the Looney Tunes roadrunner.  

There are also some good parts of the schedule that should be mentioned. Office hours are being praised by many students to be a helpful resource. At a simple click of a button, teachers are available to answer quick questions or clarify something said in class. As Scott puts it, “I can talk to a teacher about my poor grades and see if I can get them up.” Not having any classes after lunch is also a great feeling. School ends directly at noon and anytime after that can be spent in any matter one decides. This being said, the short five minute break still creates unnecessary stress early in the morning from students and teachers not knowing if they even have enough time to use the bathroom.

 When a schedule doesn’t work for many people, there should be change. By adding five extra minutes to our transition time, students could both have a break from virtual learning and be able to prepare for their next class. This would mean ending school at 11:55, but is ending fifteen minutes later truly that bad? Adding five minutes would result in a less hectic, less bleak transition where there is enough time to clean up from last class, have a little break, and be prepared for the next class.