This is admittedly a departure from the point of the article, but as a full-time
high school teacher for the past six years, I'm baffled by the statement that
"it's really hard to teach kids when you have a four-day week."That might be one of the most ridiculous things I've heard an
administrator say, and we've all heard some gems. In fact, I have fewer qualms
returning to school on a federal holiday than I do with that statement. I would
love to hear the reasoning behind it, especially as explained by an
administrator. Here's a story I'd like to read: "How many combined years of
teaching can you find in a school district's offices?" Or, "How many
combined years of teaching can you find in a high school's administration
offices?" I think the next time someone needs to be told why a
4-day week is unacceptable, I'd prefer something a bit more truthful, like,
"It's really hard to teach kids when you're an administrator." Or
even, "It's really hard to teach kids when you're a lousy teacher."
I agree with right_here. If one is going to make a statement like that, one
should back it up with statistics or some report. "According to _________,
students who miss one day a week are liable to __________." On the other
hand,I can now see the reasoning behind giving an entire week of vacation before
Christmas.Given that, I think everyone understands that scheduling
is very difficult and it's impossible to please everyone. I always dreaded long
vacation breaks around Christmas because it was like pulling teeth to get kids
back in a learning mode during the next week. I think Jordan district did it
Jordan and Canyons did the right thing starting school on Monday. I felt the
article didn't even need to be written as this was a rather trivial choice.
Canyons School District will be missing my 3 kids on Monday. They didn't seem
to worry much about the integrity of their teaching time the week before
Christmas. The high school my son attends in their HONORS Spanish class watched
Kung Fu Panda. And the elementary schools could have shut down on December 1st
for all intents and purposes.We'll be celebrating New Year's Day as
a family on Monday. Join us...just don't go to the same places we're going!!
"It's really hard to teach kids when you have a four-day week." If
that is the case then why do you have so many four day weeks in the school year?
Your statement just tells me that the school administrator seems to be a bit out
of touch with reality. The School year is short enough as it is. Federal Holiday
or not; it's not going to hurt anyone to go back to school.
@Steven Jarvis:Jordan School District, according to the calendar on
their website, starts again on Tuesday, Jan. 3. We were in school through Friday
As a kid I grew up loving to watch the Rose Bowl (and even the parade) and all
the football games etc. etc. I mean it is pretty easy to build a 180-day
teaching schedule and NOT have to work January 2 like about everyone else on
planet USA.These are the dumb decisions those in education need to
stop making. It's a state and federal holiday. Maybe sing that Sesame Street
song, "one thing is not like the other..." and go from there. Common
sense needs to exist, even in education, and this isn't it.
Alpine was out Friday December 16 and in school Tuesday Jan. 3. Maybe their
District Administrators are just smarter than the ones at Canyon I guess...
Rather than holding school on a Federal holiday, how about focusing on things
that will really improve student outcomes? A few ideas:1) Don't
employe so many young, inexperienced teachers, particularly in math and science.
Pay highly skilled core subject matter teachers sufficiently so they don't jump
to administrative roles or leave teaching just so they can support their
families.2) Increase focus and attention on 21st century skills
such as core science, math, statistics, writing and reading. Utah is now BELOW
AVERAGE in these key areas when demographics are taken into consideration.3) Get rid of Utah's ridiculous "go it alone common core" for
math. There are no materials available, classroom experiences are likely to
range from mediocre to poor given the lack of materials and training,
transferring into or out of the state will be a nightmare, out-of-state colleges
will have no idea what to do with this curriculem, etc.These are
just a few things to try if you really want to improve education! All the focus
on calendars and especially holding class on the New Year holiday is
particularly unhelpful in comparison.