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The Need for a Break

By Brandon Y.
Washington, Age 14

You are working on an assignment in class, but you can’t figure out an answer. You have now been working for thirty minutes and are only on the tenth math problem. Your brain needs a break.
Often, students are in school and are working on assignments, but they can’t think of the answers. Their brains are working hard, but the answers aren’t forming. They need to rest and refocus their brains. “Young students have attention spans of only a few minutes and therefore need to have frequent physical stimulation and exercise as a break” (, 1). “We should understand that kids need that break because the brain needs that break,” Dr. Romina M. Barros says (, 1). I believe that students should have a short break, other than recess.
Because kids can only pay attention to their work for a short amount of time, their brains need time to refocus. I have had personal experience with this. I become distracted by my dirty shoes and I get the urge to clean them. When it is time to do class work, I attempt to multitask, so I clean my shoes and do my work, alternating between the two. Sometimes I draw ninjas to pass the time. I need to try to pay more attention so I can keep my grades up. My brain is constantly changing its thoughts, so I have difficulty in refocusing my extremely active brain. In order to refocus, I need to be away from distractions, such as my ninjas and books. Also, I have ADHD, so I have an even more difficult time with focusing on my schoolwork. But if the class is a computer class, I tend to pay more attention to my work, as my life is that of a computer geek (because I am a computer geek!). Often, when I am at home, I rush through my homework and often don‘t do quality work or complete all of my homework, as I am only thinking about my favorite video games. I need to force myself to stay away from the computer so I can get my work done.
The main problem is that students can’t focus on their work all of the time. Many students have been working for so long that their brains are exhausted. I have a solution. There could be short breaks in class. Every student would have a break at the same time, but they would not be allowed to talk. In elementary schools, the breaks would be every forty-five minutes. Each break would be about five minutes long. The break is still part of class time. There are still consequences, so those disruptive students can still be disciplined. The students would be watched to prevent disruptions and to prevent those naughty students from being inappropriate. Crudeness is not permitted, nor is rudeness. In high school, the students would be separated from their friends, so that they can’t be kept from refocusing their brains. In elementary school, the students would be carefully placed away from their friends, as elementary school students are much more easily distracted by their pals.
If you are tired in school, strive to convince the teachers to allow short breaks. Make sure to ask for help if the teacher denies the possibility of a break, but you can’t complete assignments without a break. Help to make breaks available!