Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving, finally, has arrived

Thanksgiving has finally arrived, and not a moment too soon.

Sickness has spread around the school like wildfire. The woman who teaches right next door to me got so badly sick and dehydrated that she was hospitalized on Tuesday. Kids are sick all over the place. And I left during my last-period-planning-period twice in the three days, as I felt pretty crappy myself.

My school was brilliant in making Thanksgiving arrive more quickly. They scheduled a fire drill for 2:55 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, fifteen minutes before our actual dismissal, and then just sent the kids away from that. Worked out perfectly.

I still have no idea why Baltimore City Public Schools feels the need to have us work a full day on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and to keep us in school right up until the last day possible before Christmas. Days of instruction are lost to the pre-vacation flutter (only three-fourths of the kids attend school, if that, and the hall-walking is rampant), and sometimes violence erupts as teachers from out of town take off early. I don't do that; I resign myself to the fact that I simply can't spend Thanksgiving with my family. But I sure wish our schedule would be changed up a little. Sending us to school on Monday, Dec. 22, and Tuesday, Dec. 23, really strikes me as just mean, and not very good for the kids. Ditto the day before Thanksgiving, when nearly every other school in the area has either off or has truncated into a half-day. I'd much prefer to work longer into the school year and have more breaks throughout than jam-packing it all into as few days as possible.

4 comments:

Zeek and I said...

I totally agree! My family and friends in MI start later, get longer vacations, and are finished sooner than us. Most I know in MI get 2 weeks for xmas, a winter break and a spring break. I think it is because we have soo many PD days and they have maybe 2 a year.

Simon said...

One of the benefits of living in the southern hemisphere is tha Christmas and New Year are all part of the 6 week summer break..... Downside is that it often doesn't feel like Chrsitmas... I'm crying out for snow, fog, even a grey murky day curled up with fire blazing and hot cocoa on a long winter night... bliss.

Anonymous said...

My son, who is in the Howard County system, had half days Monday and Tuesday followed by a full day off the day before. Go figure! You forgot to mention the Bus Ticket debacle where the last two periods were complicated further by the PA announcement to "come and get your bus tix" to distribute to your last period class...not that we all have the ability to leave our class unattended to do so, or really want to add to the numbers of kids on walkabout by sending them to get the tickets. It was an absolute mess! If they ever pull this again I am tempted to send an anonymous yet completely truthful letter to the Fire Marshall. Too bad any fines would probably be taken out of funds to provide things like books, classes without leaks or manageable class sizes

-The Chaplain

Anonymous said...

Baltimore City is not alone. Frederick County has to work Dec. 22-23, as well.