It’s snowing!

Today is the first snow day of 2nd grade. I loved snow days as a kid. They were awesome! I remember thinking, “Ha, ha, teachers! We don’t have to show up today.” But now that my friends are teachers, I get the picture from their news feeds that they are just as happy to not be there. So everyone is happy to not be at school? That doesn’t feel right.

I counted up the number of days my son is in class — not counting snow days. It equals about six months (not including weekends). That doesn’t feel right either.

I’ve heard some school districts discuss adding hours to the school day. Others have discussed extending the school calendar. I may be the most unpopular mom, but I’m all for extending the time that my son spends in class, whether that is more time each day or a longer school year.

The average elementary teacher salary in my school district is $45,500. To ensure that teachers are treated fairly, perhaps we should evaluate how much they make per school day and increase their pay to reflect the additional teaching time. This is a discussion worth having.

Thoughts?

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4 thoughts on “It’s snowing!

  1. The origin of giving kids the summer off from school dates back to the agrarian age when kids were needed to help out on the farm. I think it’s time to abandon that tradition. It’s antiquated and it gives them 3 months to forget everything they learned during the previous year. Extend the school year.

    Teaching is one of the most important professions in our society and teachers should be compensated accordingly. Meaning a whole lot more than they get now.

    However, I don’t agree with the concept that all a teacher needs to know is how to teach and that allows them to teach any subject given the proper source materials.

    Call me crazy, but I think a science teacher’s primary area of expertise and training should be in the sciences, Physics, chemistry, astronomy, anthropology, How to teach should be a Minor, not a Major. Subject matter should come first, technique should come second.

    I hear a lot about how “teaching to the test” is a bad thing. But let me ask this. If they can’t pass the test, what evidence is there that they actually learned anything? Isn’t that what a test is for?

    If a question on the test is to define the five major components of the scientific process and they can’t answer Observations, Questions, Hypothesis, Experimentation, Conclusions, then they haven’t learned what the scientific process is. Why isn’t that a valid thing?

    OK, this is the last part of my rant…

    We need to restructure the whole school hierarchy thing. It’s cruel.

    We’ll put preschool and Kindergarten aside. That’s all playing with blocks eating graham crackers and taking naps. Which is what I assume I’ll be doing in some when I retire in some Senior Care Center. But I digress.

    In Elementary School you make the long, hard climb up the Social Hierarchy from First Grade to Sixth Grade. Finally…Top Of The Heap!

    Then they tear you back down to the bottom of the Social Hierarchy in Middle School and make you claw your way back up from Seventh Grade to Ninth Grade.

    Then again in High School from Freshman to Senior!

    Then again in College!

    Why can’t we have a single progression from First Grade to College Senior with significant milestones along the way without the constant breaking and rebuilding?

    OK, I’m done. You asked. LOL!

    • I respectfully disagree with a couple of XO’s points.
      1) Many studies have concluded that, rather than least important, early childhood education is MORE important that elementary and secondary educations. The basic skills obtained in preschool are vitally important to a functioning society and the failure to gain these skills not only costs us hundreds of millions as students mature, but they are nearly impossible to teach after the age of 5 or so. Early childhood education should be required and free for every child in the country.

      2) Effective teaching skills are way more important that expertise in a subject matter, especially at the elementary level where students learn elementary material. Teaching someone the basics of electricity doesn’t require an advanced degree in particle physics. But it does require mentoring, communication and coaching skills that are vitally important and should be well-compensated for.

  2. I respectfully disagree with a couple of XO’s points.
    1) Many studies have concluded that, rather than least important, early childhood education is MORE important that elementary and secondary educations. The basic skills obtained in preschool are vitally important to a functioning society and the failure to gain these skills not only costs us hundreds of millions as students mature, but they are nearly impossible to teach after the age of 5 or so. Early childhood education should be required and free for every child in the country.

    2) Effective teaching skills are way more important that expertise in a subject matter, especially at the elementary level where students learn elementary material. Teaching someone the basics of electricity doesn’t require an advanced degree in particle physics. But it does require mentoring, communication and coaching skills that are vitally important and should be well-compensated for.

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