Educators (and Everyone) Should Give Thanks.

Thanksgiving means several things.

Lots of birds die.

Give a Bird a Break.

Gas prices rise because everyone is driving.

Summer is gone and it’s not coming back.

The local news predicts terrible weather so you will tune in to their station (I think they cross their fingers for the year’s first horrific storm).

Football is on and the Detroit Lions are still bad.

Football is on and stuffing is still bad.  Don’t email me and say it’s great, because if it was, people would make it more than once a year.

Families get together and talk (although they should stay away from the following topics:  politics, race, religion, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, Dancing With the Stars, American Idol’s new judges, TSA, and especially gas prices).

If your family has at least one educator (most have more… and some have a lot more) you shouldn’t speak of the things they aren’t thankful for:  NCLB, testing, lack of funds, more paperwork, high-maintenance parents, not enough technology, underperforming schools, meetings, government’s unrealistic expectations, and school food.

What all of you should talk about is kids.

We should all be thankful for them.

The next generation (and every one after that) has the opportunity to be our best generation (if adults don’t mess them up).

If you haven’t noticed the kids today aren’t terrible malcontents; they are smart.

Really smart.

Way smarter than we were at the same age (and very likely smarter than we are now).

They have the ability to do more (probably with less) than we ever did.

They will change things, which will make us old people nervous, but it will be for the better.

The world is in good hands and whether you are in education or not, you should be thankful for them.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

If you are a turkey, thank a vegetarian.

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4 Day School Week; Discuss.

I've Heard Worse Ideas.As if I didn’t have enough troubles rattling inside my head, I have been presented with a new one; the idea of a shortened school week.

Feel free to talk about this amongst yourselves.

If you have a solution, please post it immediately. As you are probably aware, I need all of the help that I can get.

The problem is as transportation costs continue to rise, should school districts consider going to a four day school week?

Or should I just sit quietly in my office and wait for gas to drop back down to a $1.50? All right, probably not an option.

But that is okay because my schedule is pretty full already as I sit around my office waiting to win the lottery.

By the way, I look forward to the day 25 years from now when I can tell my daughter (most likely still living at home) that I remember when gas was “only $4.00 a gallon”. Sad but true.

School districts are going to have to begin looking at alternatives to keep their finances under control. It is getting harder and harder to stay ahead of the rising costs in gas, electricity, heat, and air conditioning.

Is one possible solution having students attend school Monday through Thursday for 9 hours a day?

The larger question is can I handle students for 9 hours a day?

I must admit the sound of a 3 day weekend does sound good, but would there be actual benefits to our students?

What are the chances that a shorter week would help improve student attendance? Or better yet, improve teacher attendance? Certainly the transportation costs would go down if a district ran the busses one day less each week.

Are there other benefits to this type of schedule? Such as more time for teachers to work with students in the classroom? The opportunity for families to make doctor appointments on Fridays so that students won’t miss class time would be a benefit.

Three day weekends would also give the older students time to work at a part-time job (and make money for gas… thus completing the
cycle). When will kids realize they wouldn’t have to work all of the time if they didn’t own a brand new car?

Or is a 4 day school week a bad thing?

While there has been some talk about more businesses going to a shorter week; most still keep what are considered the “normal” hours of a 5 or 6 day work week.

Would a shortened school week upset parents? Could they afford the extra daycare for younger children?

Is it possible that teachers would feel rushed by the shorter week? And how would they react to the shorter evenings to grade papers, make lesson plans, and prepare for the next day?

Students who miss a couple of days because of illness could be greatly affected as falling behind in their studies would happen rapidly.

Can you imagine the makeup work?

As you can see, I am torn and slightly confused. Like most things in life the 4 day school week has both advantages and disadvantages.

Lucky for me, education doesn’t make changes quickly, so I have time to form a well developed opinion.

My hope is that there is someone out there (possibly an educational genius) in internet land that can provide me wisdom and guidance.

Please put me on the right path in regards to the concept of the 4 day school week, because as of right now, I can only focus on the idea that “every weekend is a 3 day weekend”. That idea is way cool.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.