Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I Support Year-Round Schooling

My decade spent as a 2nd/3rd grade teacher leaves me with the memories of how much learning students needlessly 'lose' when the momentum for structured learning goes on hiatus for too many days. Of course, the first few weeks of a new grade is primarily refresher for the previous year; but just imagine if the end of one year meant a two-week break and the start of the next school year. The children would stay energized for learning, and classroom discipline issues that were quelled by year's end would not have a summer to snap back to square one.
It is said, "Once a teacher, always a teacher." On some level this is most def true; however, teaching is a special art that requires the ability to be many people to many little people. To fail them on any level, risks their failure on many levels of life. That's simply to say, if you don't absolutely love children and the hard work required to help them succeed, bow out gracefully. Teacher burnout is more about the paperwork more than the teaching. The teacher dropout rate has more to deal with lack of student discipline support techniques, than the skill of teaching.
It's a tragedy for teachers who spend years dreaming of becoming a teacher only to realize that in too many instances, year after year, one or two actors turn the dream into a nightmare. However, there are some real diehards out there. You know who you are. You get stronger with each 'challenge' you meet. By year's end you win the hearts of children who aren't even on your class roster. Kudos to you, and many blessings, too!
I'll never forget my first year in the classroom how many children had absent parents for one reason or other. This becomes more apparent around holidays and end-of-year when everything shuts down for a time. In this first year one little one lingered longer than the rest and before long we both stood in tears in the hallway as unexpectedly she begged to go home with me for the Christmas break. I was in my 30s with two little ones of my own, and I'm ashamed to say, told her it wouldn't be a good idea to not spend the holiday with her family. For whatever reason, her mother lived in another state, leaving a dad and grandmother to parent. Some things you never forget. Teaching is not for the faint of heart; but, the joys that come with watching students learn is priceless!
Have a good year teachers. Know that for most, 165 days, and you're back on the dreaded rest, which makes starting over more difficult than it should be. That's another reason year-round schooling should be considered the national standard.
Thanks for reading. I am in the process of finishing the 'redesign' of the print version of this book. I'll keep you posted when it's ready for purchase. Hopefully, you'll find it in your classroom budget to purchase a copy. As a professional teacher, I am certain the kids will enjoy reading this over and over again, increasing their math counting skills.
By the way, send me an email, especially if you're a new teacher and want tips on how to make the most of your teaching day. Having everything ready and in order is an essential key. If you give learners air time, they will take it. After all, they're only human.
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