The best we can do is to do our best, then accept what happens. Educators spoke up via surveys, letters, and attendance at school committee meetings to voice their concern about changing start times. We worry about the impact a later start and end to the school day will have on our young students, their academic efforts, and other programming such as field trips, extra help, family conferences, childcare, and extracurricular activities. Now the decision lies in the hands of the community--what will they choose?
Many of us gave up several hours last night to attend the school committee meeting, time that we typically spend preparing for school the next day and taking care of our families. This week it was also time we would have used to prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. The issue meant enough to us to give up that time. We voiced our concerns and hopes for a win-win solution, a solution that would positively impact middle school and high school students as well as young students, their families, and the teachers who work with them.
What more can we do? We can continue to speak up when possible. We can share our concerns via writing. Then we'll accept the decision that is made, and do our best to continue to meet the many expectations presented with a somewhat less positive schedule. We have to remember that we are not superhuman, and similar to the students we're considering with regard to a school start change, good rest, health, and scheduling is important to each of us too. That helps us to do the work we've chosen and desire to do. We have a fairly good contract, and those are the guidelines by which we are expected to work--guidelines that frame our teaching/learning efforts. Attention to those guidelines will help us to do a good job with reasonable expectations. That's important.