Tuesday, June 12, 2007

CLASSROOM REALITIES LEFT BEHIND


THE END

This is the end. The end of school, my friend. This is the end. Our only friend, the end.

Let’s face it: in America, the school year ends right around Memorial Day weekend. After that time, the kids simply don’t want to do any work and the school environment enables them. With all the field trips, field days—the least said about this pathetic event the better, and other out-of-class events—games, college visits, awards ceremonies—scheduled during the fourth quarter, it also seems as though the teachers and school administrators don’t want to do any work either. Let’s not even talk about how hot the school buildings are. In my building, the walls practically drip with sweat. Of course, if you have the luxury of teaching in a fancy, smancy state of the art, air-conditioned facility, you no longer experience the hell-fire of the end. Above all else, we teachers who teach are forced to go into cruise control by the “end” at the end, and thus many of us aren’t thrilled about our work either. Have you ever actually envisioned shoveling shit against the tide? Get the picture of...the end?

One would hope that the powers that be would just wake up and smell…the end, and thus do something about it. Why must we have a full week off in February? Why can’t we have a long weekend? And what about April break? If we could get out earlier, couldn’t we get rid of or shorten some of these week-long breaks? And furthermore, what are the kids really learning? I can give them the most entertaining learning lesson possible--film included, and all they can think about is, alas, the end.

2 comments:

IC said...

I'm sick and tired of students asking why they're doing so much work the last week or two of school. If anything, this is when I need to get the most done! I had to cover the Cold War in two classes, for Pete's sake.

I'm with you on shortening those breaks!

Connecticut Man 1 said...

More often than not, I spent the last weeks of school skipping classes in high school and only showing up for the exams. The last couple of weeks were always just review anyways. Fortunately for myself, the exams made up about 90% of your marks back then, and I was an excellent test taker. (but a lousy homework doer!)

I became a much better student (homework-wise) when I hit college, but only because I had to. Lazy habits that had to be broken.

And YES! I would have been that smart-ass kid sitting in the back of your class playing cards while you were lecturing too! (If you had been my teacher... heh:) But I always knew all of the answers.