Blog #5- Year-round schooling

November 9, 2013

If I were offered a job in a year-round school, I would most likely accept the position. To be fair, at this point I might accept any teaching position because I’m very excited to start teaching on my own full-time. But in all seriousness, I would accept the position if I were still able to work ~190 days throughout the year.

My biggest concern about taking a teaching job is that I would work in a system that has multi-tracking. In such a school, students go to school year-round and are staggered in order to utilize the school to teach more students in a year. This worries me because, I feel like it would be easy for administrators to ask teachers to work an extra shift instead of having the 15 days off with their students. This would be problematic because it might cause me to burnout if I had to work completely year-round without having time to plan and take professional development courses. I am the type of person that would agree to work those extra days and then burnout midway through the year.

Another concern might be that teachers would have to revise lessons to make sure that they all fit into 45-day blocks. It would be really hard to teach a half of a unit then have the students go on break. They would forget some information this would cause the teacher to have to reteach. It might be helpful for projects; teachers could send projects home for students to complete during their break. I wonder if this is a typical practice or if it is something that is frowned upon because school districts want students to have a break without homework. I guess it would depend on the school setting.

With that being said, I think a year-round teaching position is good for many reasons. I think it would help teachers develop deeper lessons and have more time to reflect on struggles they may be having in classes. During a typical school year, teachers don’t have much time to reflect on their teaching strategies. Teachers see the students almost 4 months before they have time to catch a breather and analyze what’s going on in their classrooms. Given 15 days to recharge might allow them time to understand how a particular class perceives the information. For example, the teacher may be used to lecturing with notes on the board for the first 30 minutes of class then giving students a worksheet. However, the classes that they have in different year might prefer or need a more hands on classroom or technologically driven classroom. The teacher could potentially revamp her lessons in 15 days to add hands on lessons.

Another benefit would be that students have less time in between school years to forget information. Students would come into a new grade with only a month of time before one grade and the next. This might provide more accountability between teachers and promote more grade-to-grade communication between teachers.

Year-round schooling might be beneficial in the accountability testing structure too (not that I agree with over testing of students). Schools could schedule SOLs for a time period right before schools lets out for a break then when the scores are received they could review with that class the information that was missed. Then, perhaps, testing could be used as more of a teaching tool. Students could go over the results with the teacher that actually taught them the information. Of course, this would mean that schooling would have to be scheduled around testing in a way that students would be able to take tests before a break and stay with that teacher afterwards for another period of time. I’m not actually sure if this would work because then the content may be squished into a shorter period of time.

There might be some kinks in both the year-round schooling and typical schooling, but I believe that both have positive attributes as well. Also, I think it would be really nice to have 15 days vacation to look forward to every 45 days or so.

Categories: EDCI 506.

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