Monday, November 14, 2011

No more kids, please.

In this next enstallment of what appears to be a series of rants about the education system here in Victoria, I'm going to get angry about the day before the Melbourne Cup.

We spend Cup Eve (first Monday of every November) babysitting because less than half the students show up. Those that haven't shown up are usually away on family holidays in anticipation of Cup Eve, but some students have parents who insist that they come to school.

You see, the parents send them to school because it's a school day. And it's a school day because parents send their kids to school. Or something.

But the bottom line is that, on this day every year, we have had to keep our massively reduced classes occupied from 9am until 3:30pm. We can't continue lessons as normal because our grouping systems are disrupted and we'd have to re-do anything we taught that day in the next lesson anyway. We can't book science pracs, plan tests, or anything of the sort. We can't even invent new groupings specifically for that day because we have no idea which students will be there and which won't.

So instead of being able to do something useful, like marking or planning or report-writing, we're sitting there keeping kids well-behaved and on task, whether that task is a worksheet or a video or a game. Instead of doing Professional Development (a requirement of teacher registration) or catching up on things we need to get done, we are looking after students who don't want to be there any more than we want them to be there.

I have, thankfully, had it confirmed by my local MP that this will be changing next year and going back to school councils deciding when the pupil-free days will be. What I'm left wondering is why, given that teachers were against having three of the four in term 1 to begin with, did they not just listen to us in the first place?

Still, at least it's been fixed.

1 comment:

  1. You should tell the Vic government to do what the Chinese government does, and move the entire weekend whenever you have a public holiday that falls on a Tuesday-Thursday. You could turn the Saturday into a working/school day across the state, and then everyone could have Sunday to Tuesday off.