Balanced Calendar or Traditional Calendar?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Honest_Teacher, Jan 21, 2014.

?

Your Preference as a Teacher

  1. Traditional Calendar

    63.0%
  2. Balanced Calendar

    37.0%
  1. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Jan 21, 2014

    Which calendar do you think most sense when taking into account phenomena like "the summer brain drain" (which affects impoverished students even more significantly than their peers) and practical issues of parents coming up with childcare for fall, spring, and winter breaks that are three weeks in length as opposed to shorter breaks in the traditional calendar?

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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 21, 2014

    I like a traditional calendar better.
     
  4. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jan 21, 2014

    I wayyyy more prefer the balanced calendar. I need a good 3 weeks off and then I'm bored. Summer makes me crazy by the end. This stretch from Jan-April with almost no days off makes me want to die even more.
     
  5. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Jan 21, 2014

    I prefer the balanced, but I can understand why parents prefer a traditional. I like traditional for being able to work in the summer.
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jan 21, 2014

    We don't do either.

    We run four 9-week sessions per school year. We get a week off after the first 9 weeks, two weeks off after the second nine weeks, a week off after the third nine weeks, and then 8-10 weeks in the summer, depending on how many days we have to make up for snow.

    I really like having that little bit of a break during the school year, and our students (high-poverty) don't have as much knowledge loss over the summer.
     
  7. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    That's close to what our schedule looks like in Indiana. It's some sort of hybrid balanced/traditional schedule.
     
  8. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Jan 21, 2014

    I prefer Balanced. I feel like Traditional's summer vacation is too long.
     
  9. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jan 21, 2014

    We don't have either of those schedules, but ours is closer to traditional. I would not like a balanced schedule, because it would not give me time to do my summer job, which keeps me fueled and energized for the coming school year. Also, from the perspective of band, choir, sports, etc. in high schools, we rely on the summers to prepare the freshmen. Because of recruiting policies and other rules, we would not be able to have freshmen start practice before the end of the previous school year. Also, if you look, the middle of the school year would come after Christmas, pushing high school exams then.
     
  10. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Jan 21, 2014

    The middle of the school year would still come before winter break in a balanced schedule. You must be looking at the traditional schedule?

    Balanced schedule:

    45 days (first 9 weeks) before fall break.
    30 days before Thanksgiving break (3 days off).
    15 days between Thanksgiving break and winter break.

    90 days (first semester) done before winter break.
     
  11. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Yeah, I just can't add.
     
  12. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Jan 21, 2014

    Traditional. I need two months (at least) to recuperate and recover.

    Also, I'm not a fan of teaching in hot months with our shady AC systems district-wide.
     
  13. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Jan 21, 2014

    Here, the middle of the school year is always after Christmas Break because school starts the last week in August and we run a traditional calendar.
     
  14. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    We try not to do that because then kids have so much work over break. We start a bit earlier in August.
     
  15. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I'm not a fan of giving students work over a break unless Admin demands (and then checks) that I do.
     
  16. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    Jan 21, 2014

    I would love a balanced calendar. There's a year round school not too far from me that operates on a similar schedule.
     
  17. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    I wonder how much of some people's preference for the traditional calendar is due to the "tradition" logical fallacy in which many people believe that "it's the way we've always done it" is sufficient reason to keep doing it. There are certainly other, more valid reasons to prefer the traditional calendar.

    While obviously what teachers personally prefer for their own well-being is important, I'm curious about whether people believe one is better for the students in particular.
     
  18. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Jan 21, 2014

    Believe it or not, it is possible for people to disagree with you and still be neither closed-minded nor selfish.
     
  19. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I prefer the traditional calendar because I can make a good chunk of extra money teaching extended school year in the summer. I typically can make an additional 2,000-3,000, which I really count on. I don't know what I would do without that extra money. As a student, I also would prefer the traditional calendar because I almost always had big projects or at least homework over spring break and winter break. Summer was the only time that was truly a "break" for me. It would also be a problem for high school students that want to work in the summer, and places that rely on primarily students as their summer workforce. I used to work as a lifeguard in high school. I don't know what they would have done if school was in session during the summer, since every employee was a student. Not to mention the business that they would lose if families couldn't go out and do stuff like go to the local pool during the day.
     
  20. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    Jan 21, 2014

    I need the long summer, but I believe the kids do as well. I think they need enough time off in the summer to be kids that they are unable to see the end. As an adult, I'm counting every day of the summer, seeing that last day as a deadline for everything I need to have prepared, but I remember as a kid feeling like the summer was never going to end. Kids need that feeling of freedom. I don't want hem always thinking about school. I've said this many times at school and on these boards: I worry that in our "race to the top," we are stealing the students' right to be kids. I think we're shooting ourselves in the foot by limiting recess etc. and piling on more instructional time. I realize that the math works out to be pretty much the same number of instructional days either way, but I don't think I would have felt that way as a child.
     
  21. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    As a parent and an adult, I'd prefer to stick with the traditional method, by far.

    As a professional, I'd prefer a year-round calendar.

    I voted traditional. Family comes first... and honestly, I don't think I could stay in the teaching profession if I couldn't supplement my income during the summer months.
     
  22. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Jan 21, 2014

    That balanced calendar would play hell with the sports seasons and activities in general. The kids wouldn't show up for practices when school is closed (I know ours wouldn't), parents would go berserk over the lack of vacation time, the summer camp industry would collapse, and if you're a kid - forget about getting hired for a summer job (especially at the Jersey Shore.). Combine all of those factors and there goes every opportunity for them to develop any social skills. :mellow:
     
  23. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jan 21, 2014

    I taught at a year round school, and while I liked it, it was almost impossible to go to professional development. If I only had three weeks off, spending one week at a training institute was not something I wanted to do.

    I like the traditional schedule.
     
  24. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Jan 21, 2014

    That's a really good point.

    I voted balanced. I taught on a year round calendar last year which ran about 9-10 weeks on and then about 4 weeks off. I felt like the students lost more information than they do over a summer. The breaks were just too long. Every time we came back on track, it seemed to take at least 2 weeks of playing catch up and reminding them of things to really get back into the groove.

    I don't mind traditional calendar - I definitely prefer it to the year round schedule I had last year - but it is exhausting. And for the students, I do think the break is VERY long. (Although this pie chart seems to suggest 12 weeks - I don't know of any districts with summers that are THAT long anymore.) I work in a low income community, so there is not a lot of summer enrichment going on. Most of our kids are sitting in front of video games/TV for their breaks. They lose a lot of knowledge and skills during that time.

    Also, from a purely selfish standpoint, I would love to be able to take vacations during off season. We took a trip to Disney World last May when I was off track, and it was a perfect time to go.

    Edit: I realized the breaks on the balanced calendar are 15 days...I'm not so sure. 3 weeks is a LONG time. We really struggled to get the kids back up to speed after our 4 week breaks, and that's not much longer. Sometimes they were 3.5 weeks. I have seen something called a modified year round calendar that I like better. 3 weeks for Christmas, 2 for spring break, 1 for fall, 1 for Thanksgiving, and a shorter summer (not as short as the example, but still shorter). Oh, and maybe a week in February for "President's Week." I think if I had to pick, I would choose that kind of set up.
     

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