Do We Really Need PLT?

Kaylea Hetzer

Results from a survey on a group of SPASH students asking if PLT is necessary; 80% said yes, while the 20% said no.

As SPASH students, most of us already know that Personal Learning Time is PLT. But is it really helpful? Is it something students need to be successful? PLT is a set time at the end of the day every Wednesday that allows students to meet with their teachers and get caught up on work. Students have had different ideas on if PLT is really worth taking out of class time for. With having a late start, and having advisory and PLT on the same day, is PLT useful to students? 

According to the SPASH homepage, the purpose of PLT is, “to increase students’ ownership of their learning and provide students with access to any of their teachers for academic support, intervention, and enrichment.” This can be helpful because not all students or teachers are able to set aside time to meet with each other and it allows students to have responsibility over their learning. 

Both teachers and students can have a hard time communicating. Being able to go into a teacher’s classroom when they’re free and talking to them can help eliminate that communication issue. Students’ lives are very busy and often they can forget to talk to teachers during class or they simply won’t have enough time, PLT also allows students to have a good time to stop and ask their teachers those questions. One SPASH student said that “kids can get help from their teachers instead of just emailing them because some people have a hard time communicating through email and can’t always get their point across.” With PLT, we allow students who are behind or struggling in a class to get an understanding on what they need to do to get caught up. 

Teachers have to be in their classrooms during PLT. This makes it so students know where they can find them. A lot of teachers move around throughout the day and that can make it hard for students to find them. The SPASH homepage states, “ALL teachers will be in a designated location during PLT. This will be communicated to students and staff.” Because of PLT teachers are required to be in a specific place, this assures that students will know where to find the person they need to meet with. 

Another student gave their opinions on PLT, and some very interesting results were given. This student said that PLT has helped them get work done that they wouldn’t have been able to get done at home because, “sometimes home is a distracting place; school on the other hand, is a controlled place where I can focus and get things done.” School is a controlled environment that allows us to do the work we need to get done. Home can be very distracting and hard to get work done because there are often a lot of distractions like our families, phones and just things in the place we’re working. PLT offers a controlled environment with extra time and help to get done the work students might not have done otherwise.

There is no real consensus among students on the amount of time we’re given for PLT. A few students were given a survey and asked if they feel that the time we’re given during PLT is long enough. 40% of the students said that they wish that PLT was longer and that they don’t feel that 20 minutes is long enough to get much done. On the other hand, 60% said that they think PLT is long enough and shouldn’t be made longer. When asked if PLT has helped the students in their classes, they said that they haven’t had to use it much for their classes, but when they did need it, it was helpful to get their work done. 100% of the students said that we should keep PLT and that it isn’t taking too much time out of our normal classes. 

PLT can be very helpful to students, even if it’s just some extra time to get work done. Some students may need that time to meet with their teachers if they don’t have the time during school to do so. Even if it’s only 20 minutes it allows students the extra time they may need.