Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I am so frustrated, and there isn’t a darn thing I can do about it.
You see, I mentioned here that our kids attend public schools. Personally, I think very highly of our school system. It’s not perfect, and I don’t expect it to be, but they are responsive to concerns, and have the education and well-being of our kids as their priority. And they’re working on improvement constantly.
*I* can see that.
Unfortunately, a number of others in our community can’t see it. Or choose not to. Or something.
We had some substantial changes to our school day schedules this year, both in the primary and secondary grade levels. I’m going to just talk in terms of elementary schools, because it’s what I know, but, understand that there were changes system-wide.
You see, for the last umpteen forevers, our school day ran from 9:00am-3:15pm. We had the shortest school day allowable under our state law. It was that way 25 years ago when I was a student in this system, and continued that way until this year.
This year, it’s different. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, we start at 8:35 am, and end the day at 3:50. On Wednesday, classes begin at 9:35, still ending at 3:50.
Why the changes? There are lots of reasons, and they are good, solid reasons. First, we’ve lengthened the instructional day, allowing for more uninterrupted learning time for the kids. Additionally, we were building in to the school day a period of time to allow for intervention for kids struggling with a concept, and enrichment for kids with a firm grasp of a concept. The idea behind this period of time was to make sure that each child was able to learn the skills they needed while not missing out on new instruction. It’s smart. It’s part of a process we’re going through as a corporation wherein each child has more opportunity and individual support in learning. You know, basically, the teachers want the kids to learn, and are finding great ways to make it happen.
Second, the late start on Wednesdays? That part is so that the teachers are guaranteed a period of time to meet with each other to review each student’s progress in different areas, and make sure they get the support they need. By building the meeting time into the week, it’s SET. That is the time where, by contract, the teachers are at work and working together to help our kids.
I think it’s great, and I support it whole-heartedly.
The problem is, a lot of others don’t. And frankly, their whining is getting on my nerves. It’s been years of “We don’t like what you’re doing or how you’re doing it.” from people, but when changes are made, no one likes that either!
I had seen this particular quote before, but it was used in the educator’s conference I attended  last week:
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.                                                         -Albert Einstein
Folks, if you weren’t happy with the results you were seeing, why on EARTH do you want us to keep educating the kids the same way!?
I’m a parent. Somewhere, I believe, in the definition/job description of being a parent, there is a phrase that goes something like “must be flexible and adaptable to situations never before imagined.”
Forgive me if I feel like this is one of those situations. And if all I want to do is scream “SHUT UP AND LET THEM TRY! THEY JUST WANT WHAT’S BEST FOR OUR KIDS, CAN WE GIVE IT A FAIR SHOT HERE!?”
And I’m not even gonna get into the example they’re setting for their kids – the attitudes we portray about education as parents will permeate how the kids view it.
So there.

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