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How long should the school year be?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by SFG75, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    It appears that America's new head education honcho is in favor of a longer school year. For those unfamiliar with the American system, school begins for most schools the latterp art of August and runs until May or early June. Students then have the summer off. So is this a good thing? Where I work, I have the option to teach summer school. The girls I work with have been able to accomplish a lot and I can definitely see the benefit for them. On the flipside, it is nice to have time off to travel and just plain take it easy.:lol:
     
  2. joderu95

    joderu95 New Member

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    I'd be in favor of it. But it'll co$t us.
     
  3. Bob Magness

    Bob Magness Member

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    Yeah, but the current way is costing us more in the long run. Every year we are falling further and further behind other nations in education. There are several reasons for this but one of the reasons is we don't spend as much time in school as they do.

    I am all for increasing the school year. But it won't be easy. The long summer vacation is ingrained into our culture. I hope I am wrong but I fear such a change will run into opposition from the Teachers' Union.
     
  4. nomadic myth

    nomadic myth New Member

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    Korea, where I teach, has a long school year, and I don't think it's any good. They might be good at math, but the students are definitely over-worked. I think it ruins their success as adults.

    Oh yeah, and their school day is long as well. The students usually have private lessons most evenings at institutes outside public school. We're talking middle school students that sleep 4-6 hours per night.

    Mostly the students learn to work less efficiently because they are just too tired. If they work really hard their parents still insist on logged hours for studying, so they won't get rest. Work hard play hard is my motto.
     
  5. Zolipara

    Zolipara New Member

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    Thats not really true. Some of the top nations in education spend less hours in school than you. Increasing the school year might not have any effect at all.
     
  6. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    Some interesting perspectives here. I have heard of cases of "cram schools" and overly stressed students in nations like Japan. I can't remember where I've read it, but those kids who knock out the SAT aren't necessarily those who can use critical thinking skills, or be able to wrap their heads around something that requires more thought.

    I would like to see youth sports relegated to city run leagues or private leagues. I don't believe that they should be conneted with the school system at all. Too much time is taken away from the regular day in order to bus kids to out of town athletic events. Since teachers are coaches for the most part, those who are left behind at the school building are left with a substitute.
     
  7. Sleepy

    Sleepy Member

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    That changes every other day
    I'm absolutely not familiar with the American system but I'd rather see better qualified teachers. I met a few and my first thought was no way is this person a teacher.
    How many holidays are there ? I believe the summer vacation must be 2 months, right ?
     
  8. Revised

    Revised New Member

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    When our kids were growing up, I really liked the 9 month school year and so did our kids. Our kids worked really hard during the school year so the summer was play time and full of fun activities that they couldn't do during the school year.
     
  9. Zolipara

    Zolipara New Member

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    I cant really understand why any school system would use standardized tests like the SAT. It makes even less sense to make it as important as the SAT.
     
  10. Fantasy Moon

    Fantasy Moon kickbox

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    I don't think that the problem is that the students aren't going to school long enough, but the curriculum itself. And everything is being geared toward these standardized tests in the classroom instead of authentic learning.
     
  11. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    It really depends on the school district. You typically get two weeks between christmas and new years. I usually get the 21st of December off and then report back on the 2nd, depending on the day. A district might also give you a friday and following monday off for "spring break." Some have 180 day contracts, others go to 188. It also varies in regards to starting in late August or early September and ending the year in mid-May or the first week in June.
     
  12. Bob Magness

    Bob Magness Member

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    Good point, as I said it is just one of the problems. I don't even have so much of a concern with the amount of time off as I do with how it is all bunched together in the summer. Perhaps spread that time off throughout the year.

    But if the Secretary is really concerned about improving our students' performance this should not be where the focus is placed. The focus should be placed on recruiting and keeping good teachers and overhauling the curriculum (particularly in science).
     
  13. Robert

    Robert Active Member

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    I'd favor year around school providing there are breaks long enought for vacations. Closing schools was fine when they didn't have a/c. If the kids are going to be off, then perhaps it should be during the winter so they don't have worry about winter weather. I don't know the way schools operate everywhere, but schools close in Virginia at the very mention of snow in the forecast.
     
  14. joderu95

    joderu95 New Member

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    Probably true, but would they really be out of line asking for greater compensation for working more hours?
     
  15. Bob Magness

    Bob Magness Member

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    They would absolutely be entitled to greater compensation. I'm just saying that I think one of the big selling points of the teaching profession is the amount of time off one has available.
     
  16. Zolipara

    Zolipara New Member

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    I cant speak for all nations but over here teachers dont really have much time off. They are expected to work longer in a normal week to make up for the extra time they get for the long summervacation. So the long vacations is really a myth.

    Generally i'd say Teachers are an incredibly undervalued profession that is often looked down upon for various reasons. Its hard to understand when their job is so important for society as a whole.
     
  17. Bob Magness

    Bob Magness Member

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    I only know about teachers in the US for the most part. I have educators in my family. And while it isn't the primary reason they went in to teaching, the longer summer breaks and winter holiday are some big perks that they enjoy. Yes, they do put in some extended hours when they are working but it is a trade off they see as preferable. But I am only going off of what a couple teachers have told me.

    And I agree 100% that teachers are undervalued. In my opinion it is one of the more noble professions.
     
  18. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    Both of you have salient points regarding teacher time off. Yes, it is true that teachers look forward to their summer vacations. Quite frankly, you need some time to prevent "burn out," the average turn over rate in the profession is 4 years. A lot of that is due to the fact that you take the job home with you. If you have six or seven course, you might have two stacks of papers to grade for each class. Don't forget the extra hours of tutoring, fielding phone calls, parent-teacher meetings, curriculum meetings, as well as training and night classes that are thrown in periodically. Throw into the mix the extra-curricular events that you are expected to help out at, and you have a full schedule. At the same time, Zolipara is correct as well. The summer time is when a lot of teachers will have second jobs to supplement their income. I've known teachers who were painters or who had other jobs during that time.
     
  19. Zolipara

    Zolipara New Member

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    I could do the same if I really wanted to, but I prefer to spread it out more. I got much more freedom in when to take a vacation and have same amount of vacation time. So really outside of the old myth about the long vacation I really dont see why it should be considered anything special.

    If that is true you got a good place to start if you want to improve the school system.
     
  20. Libra

    Libra New Member

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    I also know that when teachers leave school for the day,their job is still not done.Come correction and grade time,they are overwoking.


    Here in Canada,teachers get paid through the summer months.From what I have heard lately though,they are trying to change that.
     

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