I’ve often said that the world is ready for a major shakeup in education. We’ve tried year-round school and a dozen minor scheduling changes. I think it’s time to go for broke and try the four-day week!! Yep! Add an hour to the school day and a few days to the total year, and give up Fridays.
I think that under the new plan attendance on Mondays would immediately improve because families could use the three-day weekend for that trip to grandma’s house, or whatever they are doing now that brings them back on Tuesdays like clockwork.
Perhaps some of our students wouldn’t be breathlessly almost late every single morning because their parents could schedule errands for Fridays instead of rushing around before school to drop off dry cleaning and such.
Students could all go to the doctor/dentist/hair stylist on Fridays, instead of Wednesday morning during math.
Daycare situations might actually improve because after school care would be minimal. On Fridays kids could just stay home with older siblings and other family members, or wander around the neighborhood like they do on Saturdays.
The fifth day of school is currently not as productive as the rest anyway. Many teachers let their students do “free choice” work, watch movies, have snacks, and relax on Friday afternoons. (I’m mean- don’t have a television in my room, don’t change my schedule, and work my poor students until the last moment of class. They have Saturday to goof off!)
All holiday parties are scheduled on Fridays. Many field trips are taken on the fifth day. Some parents take their students out at noon on Friday for long trips. So technically we are already using the 4 ½ day schedule. Why not give up the morning and just relax at home?
Teachers would moan and groan a bit about working a longer day, but many of us have worked in other fields and we know our current schedule is pretty good compared to the rest of the world. Some of the paperwork we drag home to do at the kitchen table each evening could be done on Fridays while we are still in our pajamas!
I’m not saying the transition would be easy, but I just read this in the Caddo Herald from 1942: “Caddo schools will begin at 10 a.m. each morning beginning Monday, Feb. 9 and close at 5p.m. under the new day light saving time…” The article ends with “In a few days we will get used to the new time and all will be OK.” I think that would be true of a four-day, 8a.m. to 4p.m. schedule. We would get used to it and all would be OK!
Something to think about.
Have a great day! It’s the Friday before Christmas break so we will be exchanging gifts, making paper chains, painting pictures, listening to music, and eating lots of goodies. I’m mean, but not a Grinch!
Yes, this is all of us singing in the choir. Gary had to work.