Today, I took a half a sick day because I had to take my daughter to the orthodontist. Now, to the five of you who read this blog, that may not seem like a huge ordeal, and to be quite honest it wasn’t. However, how we did this appointment just got me wondering about how we do our scheduling, period.
We’ve had five, yes five, snow days since Christmas, and because of that, my wife, who is a professional development specialist for HeadStart, her own training schedule has been trashed to the point where she wasn’t able to get away. Not a big problem, but the appointment was at 11:20, just an awkward time as it’s too early for a half a day in the afternoon, too late for a morning half day. So, I just asked if I could do a 10:00 – 2:00 half day. Our secretary said she’d call, and sure enough, she found someone to take that on. The sub arrived at 10:00, so I had an hour of time before my daughter and I had to leave, so I used it going through math curriculum, something I rarely have time to do. We went to the appointment, and took our time, went out for lunch, and came back. I had about an hour after that, so I was able to look at the online component of the math curriculum, again, something I rarely have time to do. Then, I went back and finished the day out.
Let me tell you, if I can swing this again, I will in a heartbeat! I feel this type of situation worked so well for me, starting the day out with my students, passing the baton off, then getting it back towards the end of the day to finish things out. My students were comfortable because they knew I was there and knew I’d be back so behavior issues weren’t a problem, and I’m here to get them off towards home in a manner that I find most beneficial to them. My family benefits, my students benefit, my school benefits because they aren’t having to get a full day sub, it just worked out so well it was startling! 🙂
Why can’t we start to look at our school schedule like this? We do the 8 – 3:30 thing again and again when sometimes students need that break. Could we start earlier for some kids, later for other, run a duel schedule for certain days or weeks? I’ve always thought that year round school would fit perfectly into a mindset like this, one that is entirely outside of the box, one that in fact is best for kids!
It’s funny those times where that moment of clarity comes. For me, it was eating lunch with my daughter, talking about what her schedule looks like next year thinking, “this works well for me to be able to be there for my daughter, and be there for my students.” Why can’t more of us have those moment of clarity so our lives aren’t dictated by those who’s clarity comes not from what’s best for students, but for what’s best for investors, the bottom line, the party line, or the company of the week who will “save” education?