Mamacita says: Guess what.
Not every student is ‘more alert’ in the mornings. Believe it or not, many students are nearly comatose early in the morning and their brains spring into action later in the day. This is not always a result of staying up late playing video games, etc. Some people are just wired for night. I’ve often wondered how different standardized test scores would be, if our students were allowed to take them at night instead of so early in the morning. Dawn. You know, when a lot of old people administrators are awake.
I’ve read that while younger children are still usually early risers, the average high school student would greatly benefit from school from noon till six. (This article says that even 8:30 a.m. would be a step in the right direction, but that wouldn’t have helped me much.)
But noon? That would have been so wonderful for a kid like me. Even better, for a kid like me, would have been high school from 3 till 9. P.M. I would have been wide awake and alert and ready to learn.
Sadly, such scheduling would not be possible for a variety of reasons, most of them stupid, such as some old principal saying “We’ve never done anything like that before.” Or some old coach saying, “When would we practice?” Like I care about that. (You can play games in the morning. From 7:30 till noon. You know, when you’re more alert.)
The most insidious reason of all, the reason many schools can’t have after-school programs, the reason many schools can’t have field trips during the day, the reason many schools can’t have after-school detention, and the reason many kids can’t stay after school for ANY reason, good or bad. . . .
. . . is because of the bus schedules. They are carved in stone.
I am not putting down bus drivers in any way. Many of them are working two jobs, and can only drive a bus during certain hours of the day. I am, however, totally putting down the mentality that can’t seem to separate convenience of scheduling from welfare of student population. Hire more drivers. Split up the routes. We all have to make adjustments in our jobs when circumstances force us to; heaven knows I did. When are we going to make adjustments in our school day?
Another issue, of course, is the sad fact that many families rely on older kids to take care of the younger ones after school. Sigh. A different schedule would knock that into a cocked hat.
Employers would have to make a few changes, too. But what’s the difference, really, between a fast-food shift of 5-9 and 6:30-10? Some adult would get an extra hour and a half’s pay?
And, of course, many administrators are getting up there, age-wise. And old people keep early hours. Again, so what?
Teachers with young children? That’s a hard one, because I used to be one of those. But I adjusted for various schedules and so can anyone else. In this town, anyway, there are lots of daycare and sitters who are happy to work later in the evening. Not everyone shuts down at three!!!!!
But again. Adjustments for the sake of our kids. Why are they so hard to make?
Honestly. Sometimes I agree with Plutarch.
“Being about to pitch his camp in a likely place, and hearing there was no hay to be had for the cattle, ‘What a life,’ said he, ‘is ours, since we must live according to the convenience of asses!’ ”
What brought all of this up? My students today were talking about how wonderful it would have been to go to high school and be alert. It’s not that they didn’t try to be alert. It’s just that for some people, 7:30 in the morning is NO time to be talking about algebra.
I am one of those people.
My name is Mamacita, and I am a night owl.
There are many like me, and we have no rights.
Call the ACLU immediately.
(I have a hard enough time talking about grammar at nine thirty. But my night classes? My 2:00 classes? I’m on top of those, and I even remember what we’ve done in them.)
Equal rights for vampires! Support the ERV!
And how about putting our kids first, for a change?