I am once again embarking on the adventure that is summer school. Oh the joys of school in the summer...a room full of children who didn't really do much during the last 10 months so their parents decided that 5 weeks of 1/2 days was obviously their best option.
I am very torn on the issue of summer school. On one hand I enjoy the extra money and like a crazy person actually do not really welcome a complete 2 months of nothing. Not only do I think I would be bored within a few weeks, our bank account would take a severe hit as I tried to entertain myself. As it is, summer school is only 4 hours a day and they gave me all the lesson plans...so really, it's not so bad.
On the other hand I really question whether the students "learn" or get anything out of it. I have heard all the arguments like "well if they are here, they are off the streets"- which is true. Or "with us or despite of us, all children will learn something"- also true. But at the same time, some of these kids did nothing all year because the system is continuing to fail them year after year and they are so despondent at this point I don't blame them for just putting in the time for 10 months of the year. Do they really need 5 more weeks of someone shoving work at them that they can't do, won't get the support do, and ultimately won't do?
I am not saying I am the type of teacher that just hands students a handout and says "go", but there are many students who need help that is beyond my expertise, or they need more help than I can give with all my other students also in the room asking for help too.
Don't these kids deserve some time off just to be kids? And this summer I have Grade 8's- they are only 10 short weeks away from high school. Can't they just relax by the pool, TV, PSP- wherever- for awhile?
I suppose if I really wanted to take a stand against summer school I could choose not to teach it- but I want to paint my guest rooms this summer and the extra money will go a long way at Home Depot!