Here’s a bit of background information about where I work.
My school is blessed with all the technology resources a teacher, student, or parent could want. We are a 1:1 Macbook school, and students know that if they don’t arrive in each class with a charged laptop they are unprepared to learn. The Middle School has Smartboards installed in almost every classroom, as well as a projector, visualizer, and some type of wireless devices to control the computer while it is displaying to students.
My school is a hardworking one. All members of the community take learning seriously. Most teachers have a post-graduate degree of some kind and regularly attend top-notch professional development conferences and courses. Students do their homework, study hard for assessments, and advocate with teachers when they don’t understand (or don’t agree with) their grades. And the parent community is very involved, from an active PFO to a near 100% attendance rate at semester parent conferences.
But can a school have too many resources? Can students work too hard? Of course the answer to these questions is yes. Having abundant resources and a high work ethic do not shield students from negative consequences. In fact, as both common sense and research shows, being affluent does not insulate children from psychological problems (Zick, 2010).
Balance and sleep are massive issues for a classroom teacher to tackle, so I will start small. In addition to teaching four classes of Social Studies, I have one class of ten seventh-grade students in my Pastoral Care Group, or PCG, that I meet with every morning. PCG is a time for typical homeroom activities such as attendance and collecting or passing out forms. But this is also time designated for our pastoral curriculum, when we work in coordination with the school counselors teaching units such as “Perspective Taking” or “Conflict Resolution”. I will use my PCG course to teach a unit on balance and sleep.