Start School. Stop School. Start School. Stop School.

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School is about to start.

It just ended.

But now it’s beginning again.

And soon, it will be over (time flies as I age at an unnatural pace).

The longer I’m in this business the more I realize this is a waste.

The amount of hours and effort we put towards opening and closing school borders on insane (crazy like Glenn Beck or Keith Olbermann).

This may come as a shock, but I’m a big fan of summer vacation.

Big fan.



Maybe the biggest.

I’ve been this way, since… forever.

As a kid, who doesn’t love summertime?

No homework.  No structure. 

As a teacher, my love grew even stronger.

No homework.  No structure. 

As an administrator, I hate to admit it but I’ve had a falling out with sweet sweet summer.

No homework.  No structure.

I can no longer convince myself students need a long summer vacation (did I just type that?).

I could be talked into convincing myself I need a summer vacation.

But just this once, it’s not about me.

It’s about the kids.

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4 Responses to “Start School. Stop School. Start School. Stop School.”

  1. Dheeraj
    on Aug 14th, 2011
    @ 11:44 pm

    Michael …. everybody lovesssssss …..summer vacations
    but only you have the courage to admit it as an administrator.
    Moreover, I am a big fan of your ” Speaking Your Heart Out
    Theory ” and then getting on with your daily chores without any
    exuse…… ;-)

  2. Ryan
    on Aug 15th, 2011
    @ 6:13 am

    Don’t American schools have relatively short school years? There probably is a case to be made for shortening the summer, though it sounds to me like you’re proposing to shorten it by about a month.

    One reason to keep summer break, in my opinion, is that it allows students to get summer jobs, learn about work, and make/ manage money. I’ve heard that colleges like to see work experience, though I’ll admit that it may just be a rumor. Would you be able to make a second argument around the idea that a childhood should not be entirely spent in school?

    Practically, it seems to me that few budgets would be able to pay teachers to work for an additional two months/ year. So enjoy your vacation?

  3. Ben K.
    on Aug 15th, 2011
    @ 7:04 am

    I agree with this post. I think that summer break is not needed. This model was devised for a farming culture. Young people had the summer off to work on the family farm in the fields. This is not our culture anymore.

    I purpose almost year round school. School years would end on July 31st. Everyone would have August off and the next year would start in September. After every quarter there would be a two week break. Basically, shorter breaks more often.

    Then there is the whole concept of grade levels…

    And grades….

    Michael Smith Reply:

    @Ben K., You are preaching to the choir…

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