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To Extend or Not to Extend?

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Mr. Lawrence from Get Lost, Mr. Chips explains why a longer school day may not be the be-all, end-all solution for producing higher-performing students:

I used to think a longer school day was ideal in improving scores and getting everything done that needs to be done curriculum wise, but now after some time working I've changed my mind. In my highly subjective viewpoint, I feel like the longer the kids are in school the more they 'drift off' - maybe it's just me, but the last class of the day is less attentive and thinking less clearly than classes early on (naturally, this may depend on the student). As for teachers, by the end of the day, most want to just go home and are tired of repeating the same lesson for the umpteenth time.

As I always say, results are results, and if it could work I'm for it. But I have a feeling that the kids I know in the area I work in would probably stage a revolt if they had to stay in school much later, regardless of whether there are "fun activities" like kite flying or book jacket design or watercolor class. They'd still come in late and try to sneak out early. It takes more than pep rallies and vacant diversions to motivate.

Read the article about eight-hour school days in Massachusetts and the nationwide debate that inspired Mr. Lawrence's ruminations.

3 Comments

As a future teacher I believe that that children should not be committed to long hours at school. I believe that the scores of children will not be improved.

If a correlation can be made between longer school days and longer periods, like in the block schedule, I don't think many parents, educators, or administrators would go for it. At my school, we are moving into trimesters,which lengthens students class periods from 60 minutes to 72 minutes are we are already hearing a lot of backlash from students and parents. I know of some schools in Michigan that have gone to longer days for budget reasons. This is where things get tricky. Jobs are at stake and student learning gets put in jeopardy. Changes need to be made and there will need to be periods of adjustment until we can figure out the "best system" for everyone.

no you should not extend the school day. our school is boring enough and no one wants to stay for an extra hour no matter what we do...and just making more fun activities would take up that whole hour!! so whats the point??

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