When I was in the classroom, just a few years ago, I always looked forward to Thanksgiving. Sure, it represents the first significant (and well-deserved) holiday break from school, but that wasn’t the only reason. For me, Thanksgiving represented the psychological half-way point of the school year. Once Thanksgiving passes, it seemed to me, the year starts to really fly by and before I knew it, Spring was upon me. I realize, of course, that Thanksgiving is a fair bit shy of the actual, chronological midpoint, but it always seemed like half the year was over upon its colorful and self-indulgent arrival.
But it occurs to me that this feeling could change in the event that the resurgent talk of year-round schooling becomes a reality. What gets me about all this talk is that the proponents of year-round schooling – most often people not in education – act as though extending the school year will, by itself, increase student learning and improve sagging student achievement.
I’ve read the recent NAEP report and I know we’re not doing so well, overall, as a nation in an increasingly flat world. But more of a bad thing is not a good thing. It’s just…well….more of a bad thing. That’s like going to a really bad restaurant which serves really bad food and somehow feeling good about the experience because the portions were really large.
I would like to know from my readers what you think about year-round schooling. And while you’re responding, tell me: Does Thanksgiving feel like the psychological half-way point to you? dven.