May 27, 2012

Just a Sunday

I am envious of all that are enjoying a holiday weekend.  I remember those glorious days when Memorial Day Weekend was not only a day to remember those who died for our country, but also the gateway to summer.  School was out, pools opened, seemingly endless lazy days lay ahead.

My kids still have three (half-days) of school left.  Graduation is next Saturday.  Then three weeks (of half-days) of summer school for Bang who is taking speech this summer to free up an extra class slot next year. 

Looking back over the calendar, I wonder when 'teacher work days' became the norm.  I don't recall any of these days when I was in school.  We had the normal holiday breaks, but none of this half day and 'teacher in-service' crap. 

I would guess that unions had something to do with it.  And government intervention.  On our school calendar, most of those days when teachers are at school but kids aren't, are filled with continuing education sorts of seminars, days to calculate and input grades, and parent conference times.  Once upon a time, teachers could manage grading, reporting and conferences mostly within normal school hours.  I hope that all of the extra time needed now is because of increased reporting requirements.  Not that I support extra government mandates, but I don't want to think about a generation of educators that need more time to do what those before them managed with less.

Have I mentioned how much I hate the half-day of school?  That is purely a government creation.  In Texas, the schools must set a specific time of day at which the official attendance number for the day is recorded and the schools have to be in session for 180 days.  At our school it is 10:30 am.  Everyone at school at that time equals money in the school coffers.  For the past month it has meant a line at the computer each day at 10:30 as seniors without an exam that day sign out to leave campus.  This week the seniors are meeting in the office each day at 10:30, to check in, and out, before embarking on planned activities or going home and back to bed.   

What a waste.  Three kids at the same school, but with three different schedules.  One that just needs to check in for two minutes, one that has class for no reason as she has already brought home her report card for the year and one that actually has finals this week.  Forget the three R's - what are we teaching kids about effective time and resource management?    

1 comment:

InsomniacSeeker said...

My hometown just had HS graduation this past Friday. It's the latest I can ever remember graduation at my alma mater. When I was growing up on the farm and when I went back to help out, we never had a vacation because wheat harvest was beginning and there are no days off until it rains. This year, they may just have Memorial weekend off, because they started 2 - 3 weeks early this year. I can never remember actually cutting wheat before Memorial Day holiday.