6.17.2011

I don't know why they have summer school

For the last couple years, thanks to budget cuts, summer school has become ONLY for special ed students and only those who are in SDC.  I have always felt that summer school or interesession was a waste of time and nothing more than glorified babysitting.  I have never taught summer school, but I hear stories and it makes me cringe. 

Last night, I happened to answer the phone.  It was my MIl who is an aide for summer school.  She does it every year.  And not because she likes it, but because she is higher up on the seniority list and will be darned if someone with lower seniority gets to do summer school.  Anyway, this is the first year they have had K-12 summer school at one site.  And, it happens to be my site.  Lovely...NOT!  They throw the kids into random classrooms and hope for the best out of those four hours they are there. 

My MIL was saying that the kids in her class are 2nd - 7th grade and are all moderate to severe special ed.  But the teacher, who is a middle school teacher in the regular school year, is only credentialed to teacher mild to moderate and doesn't know what to do with the kids.  She said it's a free for all, and the aides are taking advantage of what's in the room - stuff that doesn't belong to them and belongs to the regular classroom teacher who was kind enough to let her room be used.  That bugs me and makes me worry about what's happening in my room!  Yikes! 

My MIL (who loves to blow things out of proportion and make up her own stories) was telling me that the kids are just let loose to do what they want, as long as they don't hurt anyone too badly.  Really?  Are we helping these kids or just giving them a place to be for 4 hours a day for the next 3 weeks?  It seems like babysitting rather than teaching.  She said most of the kids are not communicative, so there is a lot of screaming, yelling, hitting and biting going on.  I'm glad I am not there and know for sure I could never be a special ed teacher.  They have all earned a special spot in heaven - and they can have it! 

Again, I have always questioned why we have summer school, but now I wonder if summer school is really a good and necessary thing for the children.  It may sound mean, or uncaring, but that's not what I am trying to say.  If the kids are there for 4 hours, go out to recess for over 30 minutes, plus are taken to the bathroom every 30 minutes and then have 30 minutes for lunch, what is the point of being there?  Socialization?  Keeping them in a routine?   Hoping they get something from the 4 weeks they are there?  I don't know.  It just doesn't make sense to me and it seems like the kids are just thrown into the classes randomly and the teacher is supposed to work with what they got, regardless of their credential.

I guess there are only 4 weeks of summer school, but I am now even more worried than before about my room.  I know it's supposed to be a Kinder SDC.  I hope the teacher has more control over the class than the kids that my MIL is working with.  If not, I am worried about all my belongings that aren't locked up and wonder what it will look like come August 1.  I may have to go in on June 15 to see what chaos is in there! 

Well, I can't worry too much.  Nothing I can do about it now!  Time for some cleaning and then I am going to sit down and read today.  Haven't made myself time in the past, so today is the day!   Happy Friday all!

4 comments:

  1. Wow, what a waste of time and money!!

    Our summer programs (at least for elementary) are ONLY for kiddos who are recommended. This year the district looked at test scores from the MAP and the MEAP in the fall and made recommended lists. Then we had to push the families to go. It's a very good program (sped kiddos generally do not participate). We have a program from ELL students and for gen ed kiddos who need a boost.

    I haven't worked it personally but many friends have and say it is REALLY fantastic. Unfortunately though, they do not follow through and check to see if that summer schooling really made a difference the following year.

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  2. I wish ours was like that. Many years ago, we were year round and had 2 week intersessions when we were off for the month. It ended up being babysitting for the parents. I did it one time and I had kids from a PreK reading level to a 1st grader reading jr. high level books. And there were 40 kids in a class. It was a waste of time and nothing was really accomplished, other than keeping them busy for 4 hours. I would never teach summer school, unless they paid me a million bucks. And then I'd have to really think about it! :)

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  3. Yikes! I'd be concerned about my room too - it's like an extension of your house. I'm teaching summer school right now (2 weeks left!) and the students there have all been recommended by their regular teacher to come. I have lots of help ~ a classroom aide, two one-on-one aides for sp-ed kiddos, and three college students ~ so we really make sure those kids are working as well as having fun. I hope other teachers don't see it as babysitting, but I'm sure no one would tell me if they did. BTW I've applied at several schools in CA and we've already found a great place to live down there. I'm going to be so bummed if this doesn't happen!

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  4. @ Rachel- Seems like things might be moving quickly for your move down here. Hopefully the job market is getting better and there will be jobs for you and your hubby! I'm enjoying my time at home and hoping to be able to get away from CA sometime this summer!

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