Daily Archives: August 17, 2008

Back to school

And I’ll admit it. I’m a little nervous. This will be the first time I’m expected to be UP all day. Since the accident I’ve always been able to stop as necessary and put my foot up so it would stop swelling. It’s teacher work week with lots of in-service and some decent work in the classroom time, and I’ve got tons to do. I should’ve been working on some of it the last few weeks, but I didn’t. Instead I read a ton of books, and MOST of them were amazing.
DD says she’s heard they added an extra period to the day. We begged for that last year, but the school board promptly shut us down because a few uninformed teachers staged a parent complaint campaign that ended with the district on the front page of the paper again. If we have the extra class period, I’ll be one happy camper. It sounds strange I know, but the expectations on today’s students are impossible to accomplish in the same old schedule we’ve been using since the 60s. I’m not sure why that’s hard to understand. I mean, it’s in black and white. Today’s kids are expected to take 4 years of math (the last is expected to be Pre-Cal or better), 4 sciences (including Physics and Chem), 4 social studies and 4 English. Plus 2-3 years of foreign language, communications, PE, Fine Arts and fit in a couple electives. Many students enroll in AP classes for the higher GPA credit and because they have Ivy dreams. Involved students take choir and band or newspaper and football and they serve on student council, United Way and Spanish Club. When I was in school, I had one real class senior year: Civics. Everything else was elective. I wasted a lot of time. Over the years I’ve watched all the wasted time whittled out of the schedule. My students are constantly stressed and they never have time. If they’re in the Val / Sal race, they’re faced with giving up editor’s positions in order to pick up an extra AP elective. It’s crazy. IF they’re the other type of student, the one who struggles, today’s administrators and teachers have been told ALL students will learn, and we’re expected to make sure that happens. Now, I know a lot of people say that’s an impossibility. And I understand. ALL students will never take and pass the TAKS test, but ALL students CAN learn if teachers and students are given the time to put research based intervention strategies in place.
So yeah, if they added an extra period, I’ll be thrilled for my kids.
Speaking of kids, they won’t be there until next Monday. Bummer.