Shannon Falls, August 2012

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Longer School Year?

While there may be many positive benefits to US students spending more time each day and/or more time each year in school, I would just like to say, Mr. Obama, try walking in the shoes of a teacher first. There is no way I could manage another 3 hours every day of school; no way. I'm there almost 10 a day as it is. Then there is still work that needs to be brought home in order to be finished. I recognize that other careers probably require even more work (though I'd be the first to argue that teaching is one of the most demanding jobs available).

I've known many parents to complain about having to deal with their children at home (Hello! They're your kids!), but try dealing with 80, or 160, daily. I bust my butt to provide the best teaching I can to my students. Yes, I'm still learning better methods and better presentation, but it's a never-ending process. If we're in school longer each day, when am I supposed to be a mom or rest or do anything else? What about a longer school year? By the time it's all said and done, yes, we might get roughly 2 months off in the summer. But talk to nearly any educator, and you'll find they've spent that time furthering their own education, working on lesson plans, or completing professional development. Maybe I'm abnormal in that I spend my summer/holidays working on work. But with my schedule now, the only time I'll have to devote to my Master's is in the summer. Take that away, and how do you expect me to become even more qualified to do my job? Nope, Mr. President. Nope. Test scores. That's all it ever seems to be about.

13 comments:

wcrowder said...

When you send this letter to the White House, you may sign my name on it as well. :)
Thanks for saying what we're all thinking!
And I hope you're having a good Monday morning... :)

Emily Beitz said...

I'm not even a teacher and I can't agree more!! Please send that to the White House!

Jamie Ainsworth said...

The article I read on the internet was so biased. No teacher (well, maybe a few) only puts in 40 hours a week. So am I supposed to tutor at 6 PM after I've taught from 6:15 to 5:00 PM? Yeah, right. I can almost guarantee this administration really has no idea what it's like to be an educator. I spent my weekend making my 9 wks test because I don't have enough time at school. Anyway, I could rattle on, but I'm just so frustrated. My students are getting word of a year-round school year or classes 6 days a week. I'm honestly somewhat concerned too, but I had to pretend to keep them calm. BTW--I'd probably be one of the first to strike if they tried to pass this. There's just no way. None.

Jamie Ainsworth said...

Other thoughts about testing: let's just turn out mindless drones who can regurgitate massive amounts of information but cannot think for themselves.

Also, I have asked around: I, among others, would be happy to work longer days/hours/whatever. Adjust our pay accordingly. Oh, you're not planning on that? Oh, that's right, you can't pay teachers as it is right now. Okay, well, then nm. I'll keep my current schedule. Thanks anyways.

Claire said...

I agree with you...and have argument to add! First of all, Mr. Obama seems to be unaware that, though many of other nations are in school more DAYS than we are, their school days are SHORTER. So, their children actually have LESS hands on attention by teachers. What is the main difference? I venture to guess that it is the parental involvement and care. Either you can only have one child (China) or there is a family legacy to uphold, so success is important (Japan, India). We have lost that here.

Additionally, children don't have enough time to be kids now as it is. They have homework, activities, and family time...THEN they don't get enough sleep already. Longer days...nope! Bad for teachers AND bad for kids!

Claire said...

You're right about the thinking comment as well! My dad has noticed this since before I graduated high school and that's been ALMOST 10 years ago! People get to college and don't know how to think.

Jamie Ainsworth said...

Thanks for the comments, guys! Maybe we should draft a corporate letter!

tpillstrom said...

I have to admit, it was really fun watching all of my students who sport their love of Obama on their clothes daily, "dis" him immediatly when I wrote this info as their bell work! Most of them (you know...the nation's minority, yet my school's majority) actually said we should impeach him because he wants them to go to school longer! They also said they would quit school if he did. Oh...wait...aren't these low income children the ones he's fighting for with this and his healthcare crap? And daily I still laugh to think these are the ones who wear his face on a belt! What the crap! A belt? Oh...the best part of the day was when one student decided to change the focus and blame this all on Bush. HARDY HAR HAR HAR! I know! That was a fun day! BTW...I totally agree with your blog. Plus...I'm not worried about it because they won't raise pay because the Dems don't raise taxes, remember?

Jamie Ainsworth said...

Oh, Tobie, I just love you! You always make me laugh. I watch my future welfare mommies sport their Obama shoes, and then there're the jackets and shirts and...well, you know what it's like. They have NO clue. Someone made a good point---many Asian cultures have better test scores, yet are actually in school less. Could it possibly be our instructional methods? Hmmm? Could it be we're so focused on test scores because we have to compete that we can't just teach? Have y'all implemented Thinking Maps? I like them, but it's just another mechanism to raise scores. How about we teach our kids how to reason, how to think for themselves, and how to critically think?

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