Tuesday, October 04, 2011


No other way to say it; summer’s over.  The air conditioning has been permanently turned to off, as have the sprinklers.  The patio furniture is tucked in the shed and chill of the morning makes for longer showers.  Yep, it looks like Fall is upon us.

That means Homecoming, again.  I tried to be nice about Homecoming this year, I really did!  But last week the half dozen, half asleep students who were working on floats, backdrops, and skits were only a taste of what was to come.  On Monday a full three quarters of my students were exhausted from staying up until three or four in the morning to work on the parade float.  Today that exhaustion was only tempered by a dress up day as pirates and cowboys, except for my fifth period class who was out of it because of the energy expended during the day.  I’m watching grades plummet, and I fully expect some Advanced Placement students to make an exit when Progress Reports come out in two weeks.  It’s unfortunate.  When I asked kids about how they can justify staying out until 3 a.m. on a school night, almost all of them said their parents make Homecoming Week the exception to the rule.  Well, ok.  We’ll see what happens when that exception takes a toll this week, and next week.  Then all the sugar, energy drinks, lack of sleep, and heavy Friday/Saturday partying catch up and you have days of sick kids who get further behind.  Yeah, as usual, this is going to be ugly. 

You’d figure I’d be more accepting of it as I have aged.  But the reverse has been happening, and more and more of my colleague tire of the yearly event that ruins a good two to three weeks.  With all the pressure teachers are under to perform, how can we constantly justify such a massive distraction?  And yes, Homecoming has been pared down in terms of events.  But it hasn’t changed the fact that this school still takes a large vacation from academics in October.  And no matter how fun it is, it makes teaching a whole lot harder.   

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