Thursday, March 08, 2018

A Choppy Year Continues: March 2018

This has been a choppy year of teaching. There have been a number of days off due to weather, and some personal days due to unexpected as well as expected events. Students' have been ill more often than usual too this year which means that there were several weeks where many students missed days of school. This choppiness has made it difficult to have the flow we're used to, and it also means that the school year will be longer.

I'm sure it's just not schools that have experienced this choppiness as local businesses, organizations, and government offices have been affected too. Just recently my jury duty was cancelled which is evidence that the weather and other factors have created disruption there.

There will be years like this, but I can say there are not too many years like this. In my career of over 30 years, this is only the second school year that I remember to be like this. In most years, there is some disruption, but not this much.

The choppiness will likely affect learning somewhat since our regularity is off--we simply haven't had as many days of good teaching and learning as we typically have by this time--the average student is probably about five - ten days short, days short due to weather, illness, and other factors. And we know that we are all learning all the time, so when students were missing a school lesson for one reason or another, they were likely gaining other learning via play, reading, online games, and more.

As teachers we'll push forward in the next five weeks to cover core instruction related to the state MCAS tests. After that students will focus on the fifth grade play, the Global Changemakers biography project, the Global Cardboard Challenge, Field Day, and a number of special end-of-year celebrations. Onward.