The Need For Time
All teachers need a 3 day weekend (so we can have 2 with our family and one to work) and a bit of time during the day throughout the day. Our bodies weren’t made to wait all day before going to the bathroom, or needing a few moments to refresh or reflect on an incident that happened that day. But, it’s part of the job we all know.
I began this post a couple of days ago because it had been one of those days where I had no time to take a breath–I was busy ALL day! Then today I saw an article in EdWeek about some systems going to 4 day school weeks. The article spoke to a system in Iowa that is using Fridays for professional development, enrichment and some remediation. Every other Monday, all teachers are available to support students, either with enrichment or remediation. I think that would be an awesome set up. Some Mondays you have time to learn, plan with your team, develop materials around new curricula and explore and be exposed to new ideas and some Mondays you actually have time, without a slew of other students in there, to work with individuals and small groups to increase understanding and retention of knowledge. I wish our school could pilot that! (she says, as she sits at her desk yawning!)
So what are the pros and cons of making a four day week? This system in Iowa did it by adding on an hour each day , T-F. Some will see that as a pro, others a con…The need for a babysitter an additional day a week…again, both a pro and con, depending on the viewpoint. I suspect you could make any argument into both a pro and con.
Obviously a 3 day weekend would be kind of cool, for anyone–but there are other ways of giving teachers time. This Iowa system figured out how to provide extra time for both kids and adults for learning. You can always add days to the beginning or end of the school year, but that’s not when we need the time. We need it on a regular basis, every week. Our system has gotten creative with scheduling, using specials (P.E., Music, Art, etc.) to provide planning time for elementary teachers during the school day, and our secondary teachers don’t need something like that–their breaks are scheduled into the day, since they don’t need coverage for their homeroom kids. So, beginning of the year, end of the year, breaks built into the schedule and calendar…. how else could more time be found for teachers to learn together, to extend kids’ learning and to plan and work together?