The Case For Year-Round Teaching

Discussion in 'General Education' started by tootgravytrain, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. tootgravytrain

    tootgravytrain Comrade

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    Aug 14, 2012

    I'm not an advocate of year-round school. In fact, I think we already have too much, but that's another story for another time.

    On the other hand, reading on here that most of you will be "heading back" to work/school soon, if not already, I really like the fact that I teach year-round.

    Let me qualify that and ask a question.

    As I've put on here before, we get two weeks off after every quarter, which means we get two weeks OUT of the prison in September, December (Christmas-New Year time), March and June. In other words, two weeks off every season of the year, total of 8 weeks, holidays and 4 personal days.

    While this volume of time off isn't as great as when I had summers off like you all do, I much PREFER it over summers off!

    For one, that's just too much time away. For two, I literally HATE hot weather. It would be OK if I lived by an ocean or in a more moderate climate (Ohio's summers suck)! There's many other reasons I prefer this to over summers off.

    I guess I ask would you like this or prefer your summers off?
     
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  3. Cateacher2b

    Cateacher2b Companion

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    I guess it would be okay...unless your own child wasn't at a year round school. Then you would have day care issues etc..no family vacation time, etc.. I think I prefer having the summer off. After 2 weeks off, I'm settled into the summer routine--I like that time to recharge--and would hate to have to get back in school mode so soon.
     
  4. tootgravytrain

    tootgravytrain Comrade

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    I understand that. Depends on your situation (age of your kids, etc). As for me, I know how hard it is to go back after two weeks off, but I remember it being 10 times as hard after the summer off.

    I think the kicker for me is that I hate hot weather, so I actually enjoy teaching in the summer in an air-conditioned room! haha And my inmate-students like it too because their cell pods are so gawdawful hot! hahahahahaa

    Now, if I could have September, October and November off, I'd take THAT in a heartbeat!
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Aug 14, 2012

    I like my summers off. I enjoy have a long break and look forward to all of the neat projects I can get done because of the time off.
     
  6. tootgravytrain

    tootgravytrain Comrade

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    I'm big on outside projects and that's why I hate summer - it's so miserable working in the heat. How do you deal with that heat in NC? I have a brother and sister down there. Or do you live on the coast?
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 14, 2012

    My son went to school for a year on a modified 'year round' calendar when we lived in Florida. It was done due to overcrowding. I didn't teach at the time, but it was an issue for families who had kids in different schools...one traditional, one year round.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I prefer a traditional 9-month school schedule. I am so burned out by April/May that I just need a break--a BIG break. Two weeks here and there wouldn't do it for me.
     
  9. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I taught three months on, one month off for five years. Loved it. The only problem was it was four-track year round which made the running of the school a logistical nightmare and there was one track that had no break during summer. That meant that kids on that track basically could not go to camp without missing school.

    Now, if you had a modified year round schedule that gave kids at lease a month off during the summer that would be great.

    Then there was this idea.
     
  10. tootgravytrain

    tootgravytrain Comrade

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    I could roll with that Sarge!
     
  11. TerriInCa

    TerriInCa Companion

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    I wouldn't mind year round school if my kids were on that same schedule too. While I was in my last position (Director of a preschool) we were year round. I had to find child care & camps for my kids during the summer. And all that is expensive. I am looking forward to having the summer off with them next summer so we can do fun stuff together. And I only have to send them to camp 1-2 weeks out of the summer.
     
  12. msufan

    msufan Comrade

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    Aug 14, 2012

    I would LOVE a more balanced year-round schedule or, as another poster said, just give me September through November off instead of summer.
     
  13. tootgravytrain

    tootgravytrain Comrade

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    Oh you know it! That was me and THAT would be the sweetest!

    Our next two week break starts a month from today and man do I need it already.
     
  14. paperlabs

    paperlabs Rookie

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    Are there any schools that have year-round 4-day weeks?
    Are there any districts with various schedules?
    I think it'd be cool if families could choose from a variety of school and work (other industry) schedules.
     
  15. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Aug 14, 2012

    I used to live in NC and I agree- the heat is unbearable. Not as bad as SC, but that's besides the point...

    I enjoy long summers. I was just thinking today that if I had a job that had no "end" and no "beginning" I'd have no idea what to do with myself. To just be in a constant state of "work" sounds absolutely abysmal to me. I get excited about the end of the year, and excited about starting back. Plus then I can take longer trips to other countries!!

    Also, the school where I currently work has so many other extra days off. I feel like I never work! The past 3 of 4 weeks we've had at least one day off. It's sweet!:haha:
     
  16. tootgravytrain

    tootgravytrain Comrade

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    I taught a day and a half last week although I was there all week. It's a prison, and things get messed up sometimes and the pull our officer and we can't have school. So we call those our "snow days" because we don't get those.

    Na, I love what I got.
     
  17. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I wouldn't want to give up my summers off.

    But after seeing how much my inner city students regress over the summers I can definitely see the push for year-round teaching and it has nothing to do with whether nor not teachers like their summers off. Year round school doesn't have to be the only answer, but something needs to be going on for these kids over the summer in order to keep them prepared for the upcoming school year.
     
  18. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I've taught the traditional school year. I've seen kids lose so much ground that they really can't afford to lose.

    I'm currently teaching in an 11 month school. Today was our first day of school. Years past the kids would come back next week. The state of Michigan has decided that since we have an extended school year, the kids can not have longer then a 6 week summer break. It didn't matter to them that we usually started 2 weeks earlier & ended 2 weeks later then most everyone else. We didn't get any extra breaks through-out the year. Most everyone else would get a week for mid-winter, we only got a 3 day weekend. This year, it's a 4 day weekend. We also get a 4 day weekend for Labor Day & I think Memorial Day. Yeah!

    Yes, it's stressful. In talking to parents today, they said that their kids were ready to come back!
     
  19. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    How many school days do you have?
     
  20. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Aug 14, 2012

    When I taught year round, I had September, January, and May off. Each break was just long enough to recharge but not too long that I got bored.

    Best of all, if I wanted to do any major tweaks mid-year it was easy.

    The only bad part was no summer month off. But that was bad for the kids, not me personally.

    I think the three month summer off is way, way way overrated.
     
  21. tootgravytrain

    tootgravytrain Comrade

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    Aug 14, 2012

    Having seen both and lived both, I certainly agree.
     
  22. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 14, 2012

    This.
     
  23. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 14, 2012

    Here, with the entire school district I'm working for (which includes all alternative school sites, court schools, rehab schools, main juvenile halls, the 2 camps / ranches) it's year round, the teachers have 5-7 weeks off as recess and they can take it whenever they like (as long as the requests don't coincide too much). They are encouraged to take off at least 1 week at a time, but it can be just a few days, etc. If they wanted to, they could take off an entire month in the summer.
    This is in addition to the winter break we get (about 10 school days)

    I actually like this a lot.
     
  24. tootgravytrain

    tootgravytrain Comrade

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    That's a sweet gig! No forced time off.
     
  25. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Aug 14, 2012

    I despise the long summer breaks. I am ok for about two weeks and then I get incredibly bored. I always have some sort of project I could do, but I get lazy.
    My first year we were on modified year round, and were nine weeks on, three weeks off with a five week summer. I loved it.
     
  26. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Aug 14, 2012

    200 days.
     
  27. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Absolutely not- both from a student perspective and a teacher perspective.

    One thing that's the same for me when I was a student and now that I'm a teacher is that I have a summer job. I think the "summer job" is an important learning experience for kids...many are so swamped with activities and classes during the year that they don't work. My mom used to joke that my job was the best education I got because it prepared me for how absurd bureaucracy is and how to just ignore the nonsense and do my best. As a teacher, I couldn't make it without the extra income from working in the summer. Many of our local attractions run on teenagers working there for the summer (theme parks, water parks, etc.) Once someone establishes themselves as a quality employee, they might have an employer that lets them work for just their few week breaks at a time rather than all summer, but I doubt an employer is going to hire someone on the basis that they're only available on sporadic weeks.

    As a student, I always said I would hate it because I felt like teachers never really gave us a true break on "breaks" during the school year. Especially in my AP classes, I always had projects, things to read, or tests to study for over holiday breaks or spring break. You didn't truly get a break from schoolwork until summer rolled around. As a teacher, I'd honestly say it's kind of the same- during my short breaks, I'm usually trying to get ahead for the weeks to come. It's not really a "break" until there is a real and final end to the year. The summer is also where I really reflect and think of changes I want to make for the next year. If there isn't too much time between one school year and the next, I honestly feel I wouldn't be as good of a teacher because I wouldn't have that time to really think about what I wanted to change.

    Also, as far as regression, I agree kids regress over the summer, but I've always seen regression over any kind of school break, even if it's only a week or two. I feel like it would be even worse trying to play catch up from breaks the entire year.

    I don't have kids so this is really just a guess, but I'd have to think it would completely wreak havoc on childcare schedules too.
     
  28. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    Aug 14, 2012

    I teach at a school that has a modified year round schedule. We begin end of July, have two weeks off beginning of October, two weeks over Christmas, two weeks off in March and then end school at the end of May. We end up with 7 weeks off during the summer. This is my first year here, but I am excited for the two week breaks. I'd much rather have a shorter summer and more breaks throughout the year.
     
  29. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    As a parent of an extremely ADD child (now grown), the grandparent of (soon to be) 3 grandchildren, one of whom just entered 1st grade, and a teacher of low income urban children, I wish we WERE on a year-round schedule. I know teachers who scream "but I want my time off!" My reply is that we'd still have the same number of days - just spread more evenly. My first graders don't lose near as much over the 2-week Christmas Break as they do over our summer break. Many of my kiddos have little or no structure over the summer break, and only a few are taken to the library or have web access. There are a couple of year-round schools in our district, and the test scores of those schools (one in a mixed-income area, the other in an area similar to my school) are through the roof.
     
  30. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Aug 14, 2012

    I like the longer summer break, but I could also go for a year round schedule too.
     

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