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Fifteen years old and working seems to be becoming a norm and in fact
there are many teenagers younger than fifteen who are already working at paying
jobs. Some of these students are as young as 12 years old.
More than half of the secondary school students have paying jobs. This
number grows each grade level the student goes up. The number of hours also
rises along with the grade level. The kind of job varies depending on the sex
of the child. Boys tend to deliver newspapers and girls tend to babysit. As
the teens grow older the job interest change with teenage girls turning to
restaurants and retail outlets, while the boys will work in the family business
, restaurants and other food related businesses. The hours that the kids have
to chose from are usually form 6a.m. to 8a.m delivering newspapers and 8p.m to
6a.m. for babysitting. Most other jobs are scheduled 3pm till 10pm during the
week while weekend jobs tend to have schedules of 7 to 8 hours per day.
The Higher Education Board says that working more than 15 hours a week
is bad for the academic career . As the work hours increase the study time
decreases. Current research finds that a work schedule of 10 hours or less
seems to be the best and for most teenagers a schedule of 10 hours does not
effect their academic performance, in negative ways but in fact seems to help
them do better in school shown by improved grades. Those teens working 10 to
15 hours per week are in a toss up situation with some doing well while others
struggle. It is at the 15 hour level that things change and the work starts to
effect the teens performance. Although there seems to be no direct relationship
between the hour spent working and the hours spent studying and how this effects
the grades, there does seem to be a relationship between the number of hours
worked and the absentee rate. Those students working weekend jobs and spending
most of the weekend time at say a fast food restaurant tend to miss more scho ol.
It has also been found that working more than 15 hours has not been
proven to be a cause of dropping out of high school. Failure at school is the
biggest reason for dropping out and the effect of failure at school can be but
is not always caused by a student working. Most often the student who drops out
does so for a variety of reasons the desire to earn money maybe part of the
picture but there are many parts to that picture.
A survey done by Nicole Champagne says that 85% of secondary and high
school students work for the purpose of buying consumer goods. The primary
reason for working among 16 year olds is to by a car. Among this 85% 40% of
them work more than 15 hours a week.
For 20% working has a completely different purpose and that is to help
their families in a time of need. This group is usually made up of juniors and
Ms. champagne also found that 76.8% of the students that were working
were doing so because they wanted the job market experience. Of these students
69.7% said they would continue to work even if their parents gave them the money
they were earning at their jobs.
As the number of teens working continues to grow there are some
concerns that this work environment is causing the teens to miss out on other
more important activities including the full educational experience.
It is ironic that as more and more teens work that the school systems
seem to make fewer and less demands of the students. The school systems also
seem to cut into the student activities and by doing so help the student to lose
interest in what is going on at school. This also gives the teen reason to look
for other amusements, including work.
A typical day of the working teenager would start with a 5 :30 am wake
up call, after having had five hours sleep. In the next hour and a half this
teen must prepare him or her self for school which may include doing some
homework that’s due this very day. After all the preparations are done and our
typical working teen arrives at school the struggles of staying awake begin.
As first period ends the awaking of the working teenager begins. As lunch
begins the turning point of the working teenager day begins, because he or she
both starts to realize the days work ahead.
While the realization of the work ahead sets in, the teenager starts to
plan when to try and do home work and how much time is needed per assignment.
After the school day’s end the typical working teenager has prepared to work for
another 7 to 8 hour and possibly another hour or two doing home work, before
jumping into bed for tonigths 5 hour ration of sleep.
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