Thursday, February 6, 2014
Today is Snow Day No. 11
Anyhoo.... someone left a comment stating that our state requires 1,050 hours of school each school year. Hmmmm. Last night I went to the school's website and printed a copy of the school calendar and then dug through the kids school papers to find their school handbook. According to the handbook, my kids elementary school day begins at 7:45 and ends at 2:35. Do a little math and that makes the school day 6 hours and 50 minutes long. There are 175 days of school scheduled this year. If you do a little math (175 x 6 hours 50 minutes) my kids are scheduled to be in school for 1,195.8 hours this school year. Do a little more math (1,195.8 - 1,050) and you will see that my kids are at school for 145.8 hours a year that aren't counted toward their education.
Of course, a very helpful person (on FB) pointed out the fallacy of my logic. You see, that additional time above 6 hours a day that our kids are in school is not counted toward "instructional time". Nope, lunch, recess, and any time spent in the halls is not counted toward their school day. I'll have to throw in another WTF here. You'll have a very difficult time convincing me that kids aren't learning something during these, I don't know what to call them, down times? I feel confident saying that kids are being "instructed" to sit down and be quiet while they eat their lunch, and to walk in a line and be quiet while in the hallways, and to act like something besides barbarians while running around on the playground. Instructional time begins the second my kids get out of my car in the morning and ends the second they get back into my car in the evening.
Now, I'm guessing that this additional 50 minutes of each school day is a necessary evil and we are all powerless to have a say in the matter. But, if my child must be present from 7:45-2:35 in order to be counted as "present" for the school day, that entire school day should count toward the total number of time required for the entire school year. Am I crazy for thinking this? I think not. And I'm really curious to hear what the Governor's office will say to the inquiry I sent this morning.
My kids have been in public school for just the past few years, but I find myself continually wishing for the confidence to home school them. Sadly, I never wanted to grow up and become a school teacher. Just the idea of being in a classroom day after day with thirty or so angelic little faces is enough to give me hives! But, I can't shake the thought that school is no longer really about learning, it's just about punching a time card and meeting a quota. And, that just doesn't seem like a good way to do business, if you're business is to educate young minds. Thoughts?
After Thought: I just have to mention that I have a very strong dislike for the use of hand sanitizer over good old fashioned hand washing. In the past, I assumed the argument pro-sanitizer would be that there simply isn't enough time for good old fashioned hand washing. Well, now that I know there's fifty throw away minutes in each and every school day, I must say I think there is plenty of time in the school day for good old fashioned hand washing. Next year, for every bottle of sanitizer I'm asked to send, I will be sending a bottle of hand soap and a roll of paper towels instead.