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The new FIT system is frustrating and hard to use
December 14, 2022
Flexible Instructional Time is a 26-minute period following the day’s first period in which students can decide to attend any classroom available to catch up or seek extra help. FIT’s concept initially seems to be productive, where students have time during school hours to seek additional assistance in classes they struggle with and get a chance to catch up when things in their classes are moving quickly. However, FIT does have a few problems.
Students can sign up for a class of their choosing on a website called Enriching Students. Enriching Students allows for teachers to regulate their FIT classrooms. Some teachers open their FIT sessions to all, while others only allow students currently enrolled in one of their class periods. Teachers can also manage the number of students that can enter their FIT.
The problem with this system is that students signing up for a FIT class that they don’t necessarily need help with, take seats from students who do. Though students should be responsible for signing up for a class in a timely manner, there isn’t much else they can do to create a productive academic environment.
Regardless if a class has enough seats for all the students who need extra help in that class, the majority of remaining seats, logically, are taken by students who merely need a place to go during the 26 minutes. Students who need flexible intervention time to focus might get distracted by others who aren’t using it responsibly.
Because students who don’t need extra assistance use FIT to relax, listen to music, or be on their phones, it appears as if it’s not doing much for the student body. FIT becomes less of an intervention time and more of a break from schoolwork and productivity.
On the other hand, many students need the flexibility of FIT and the opportunity to get extra assistance in any class they need. Students may be unable to attend before or after-school tutoring. FIT allows students to get the help that they need on a daily basis.
But with the current structure, it does not seem to be working this way. Though some of these students are utilizing their time responsibly, it can be harder for others. According to the U.S. Department of Education in a 2017 brief on academic tutoring, about 32 percent of high school students required tutoring, and only eight percent of these students actually attended the required tutoring.
Students neglecting the opportunities FIT offers oftentimes feel uncomfortable seeking help in classes they struggle with. This prevents students from getting what they need during FIT. Though teachers can manually assign any student to attend their FIT, they may not be aware of students that need assistance. These students could continue to ignore the help they need and waste those 26 minutes given to them. If teachers in each subject designate their FIT for either tutoring and re-takes or study hall it could prevent students from getting distracted Students who need to work will face fewer distractions and have access to more guidance.
With more specifications, FIT can be much more effective. If a student needs a quiet study hall, needs to retake a test, or has nothing to do and needs a break, being able to easily find the right place to go can improve FIT for the whole student body. With more organization, FIT can give students exactly what they need to be successful.
Though some flexibility is helpful, the current unorganized structure is preventing productivity. Many students struggle to properly utilize the 26 minutes given to them and oftentimes end up in a learning environment unhelpful to their needs. If a student doesn’t know how to get what they need from FIT, they can neglect the opportunity, and start to form unproductive academic habits. And so, in order for Bowie students to get the most out of FIT sessions they need a stricter and more organized structure.
FIT is not beneficial to the student body
Flexible Instruction Time, otherwise known as FIT, is a 26 minute period where students sign up to go to any classes they may be struggling in for extra help. However, the majority of students do not use FIT in the way as intended, and rather use it as a social period. This time would be better spent redistributed into class time or cutting it out of the day completely.
FIT is a waste of time that could be spent learning does not benefit students in any way other than socialization. Friends meet in classrooms to catch up with each other, instead of working together on homework. It is a challenge to find FIT classrooms that are actually quiet working environments, but instead filled with groups of kids gossiping.
However, some may argue that they use FIT as a learning tool on a daily basis, whether it be to catch up on classwork or consult with a teacher. They may use it to finish homework assignments or read chapters for English.
While it may be beneficial to a select few on those grounds, most of the student body does not use it as such. Students plan which FIT to go to with friends, and go to classrooms with relaxed teachers who don’t mind that the students are not using the time as intended.
This is wasting both the students’ time and the teachers’ time. Teachers are focused on wrangling the students into order and being quiet, and the students are just falling further behind in their education and in their teachers’ eyes.
Nonetheless, those students who do use FIT could instead attend before or after school tutoring, instead of putting the entire school behind. They could also ask questions in class, rather than a 26 minute time period when they may only have a couple queries.
Many students could get more out of FIT if it was extended to a longer period of time. 26 minutes is far too short to make any sort of progress on classwork or ask questions, especially with 20+ students in a classroom with questions they need to ask the teacher too. In addition to this, having a longer time period would allow for friends to catch up and also complete missing work, rather than having to choose one or the other.
All in all, FIT is a waste of time that is really only used as a social time. Whether it be extended or trashed, both would be more beneficial to students than the 26 minutes currently allocated to this period.