Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shorter breaks...longer school days (I'm a LITTLE ticked!!!!)

So President Obama has laid out his idea for education reform in this country. Longer school days, shorter breaks. As an educator I felt the need to sound off about this one! Let's tackle the first thing...shorter breaks.

I agree that shorter breaks in this country would be an absolutely WONDERFUL idea! Do our kids really need to be off for 3 months in the summer? Probably not! They spend the majority of the summer rotting their brains in front of the TV, computer games, etc and little, if no, time doing anything educational. As a result, teachers spend the first month or so of school trying to beat into their brains again the stuff that they learned the year before that turned to mush over the summer! I am a big proponant of the 6 weeks on, 1 week off idea. 6 weeks in class, followed by a one week break. It allows for the kids to get time off so that they don't burn out completely. Other school systems that go year round do 12 weeks, with 2 weeks off. That works too, just as long as the kids do get some break, because they do need it! (And so do the teachers!!!!)

Now, about the longer school days! I think this is a HORRIBLE idea! I have my reasons and they are as follows:

1) Children right now (at least in our area) spend about 6 1/2 hours every day in school. Some of them will also spend 1 1/2 hours EACH way on the school bus going to and from school, adding another 3 hours to their day. So if we extend the school day from 7:30 am to 7 pm as I saw in one suggestion that would mean that our children would have to be up at 5 am, to be on the bus by 6 am, to be at school by 7:30 am. They would be in school for almost 12 hours, to then get back on the bus and be home by 8:30 pm. I'm hoping that homework would be outlawed, but let's say it's not and they still have homework to do before bed. Let's say 2 hours worth. That means they wouldn't be finished until 10:30, immediately to baths and bed. Here's my problem: WHERE DOES FAMILY TIME FIT INTO THIS EQUATION!?!??!?! Are you kidding me????Most of us don't even WORK that long in one day! Why would we ask our CHILDREN to!?!?!?!?!? We want stronger families in this country...so naturally here's the solution...not allow families to be together AT ALL!!!!! Yeah...that'll work!!!! It's absurd...not to mention kind of sounds like child labor to me!!!!!

2) Is congress going to pass some sort of resolution mandating that teacher's get paid more?!?!? Because we all know that teacher's get paid CRAP! And we will be expecting them to work more hours each day, and every other Saturday (as one article I read suggested), and take away the breaks that they also enjoy, but still pay them the same amount of money. Not going to happen! You'll have pissed off teachers, who are overworked, underpaid (oh, wait! They're already overworked and underpaid!!!!) So they'll be MORE overworked, and MORE underpaid and then what happens!??! They will HATE their jobs, their attitude will translate into substandard teaching and our kids will learn NOTHING!
3) It doesn't matter how long the school year, or the school day, is...if you have inadequate teachers, you are going to have substandard resullts. Period.

So here's the deal, Mr. President...you try to enforce this in our country, and see how many parents will pull their kids out of the school systems and homeschool them instead! Somewhere along the way we decided that childhood was defined by school. Where is the time for our children to just be children? To run, and play, and use their imaginations, and dream about the day that they will go grow up to the President, or an astronaut, or a doctor, or a teacher! We're so worried about competing with the rest of the world, that we are willing to SACRIFICE childhood in order to be the best! Well, guess what? I won't play the game! I will homeschool my children, and focus on the things that are really important, like family, and our beliefs, and not wether or not my kids would win a math contest against some kid from Korea! So thanks for playing the "Let's Reform Education in This Country" game, President Obama! Try again!

5 comments:

Newton 5 said...

I totally agree! Think of extending the day and where will extracurricular activities come into play? Even LESS time for the family. I would actually like to enjoy my kids when they grow up...but then again, I can pull him out here and there and help him make it up :) Obama=scary times.

Lynn said...

Kari, that is one of the best commentaries I have ever read. I completely agree with you. I hadn't heard about this preposterous proposal, so I was shocked. Along with everything you said...what about my kids who are going through a rough time and just need extra attention from Mommy? Totally isolate them and make them stay in school all day with no chance to be reminded they are loved? No way! I would find a way to homeschool them! I don't care how much time, money, effort it would take. They are my kids and they deserve more than a life ruled by school!

Lynn said...

Kari, that is one of the best commentaries I have ever read. I completely agree with you. I hadn't heard about this preposterous proposal, so I was shocked. Along with everything you said...what about my kids who are going through a rough time and just need extra attention from Mommy? Totally isolate them and make them stay in school all day with no chance to be reminded they are loved? No way! I would find a way to homeschool them! I don't care how much time, money, effort it would take. They are my kids and they deserve more than a life ruled by school!

Anna said...

I swear attacking homeschooling families will be next or maybe not...maybe I should get back on that band wagon before the laws change and tell me i have to have a masters before i can teach my own child. our district is still considering closing our co-op. If our co-op closes I am moving my family to Guam or Lourdes, France. I swear to God I will.

Anonymous said...

If I was a devastatingly paranoid person...oh wait, I am...than I would think our beautiful government is trying to become a socialist nation slowly so that at some point our kids will be told what to study in school and be told what to become as adults so that they can be used as economy builders...Will our name be changed to the USSA and will President be changed to Facilitator Obama? Or czar? Or ugh...