Do You Think a Longer School Calendar is a Good Idea?
School districts in the United States of America are contemplating whether they should lengthen the school calendar or stick with the current one. Many educationists, teachers, parents and teachers think that it's a good idea. They say that it will keep the students engaged. This means no time for them to get into unnecessary problems. With longer school calendars, students can do better in tests and competitive exams. They will be more focused on their academic achievements and goals. Plus, it will create the interest and passion to work hard. Through longer school calendars, students can easily catch up with the syllabus and teachers don't have to rush through it. Moreover, teachers can give more attention to the students. They can better organize, plan and manage their time. Keeping this in mind, many public and charter schools are now opting for longer school calendars. Government schools or state funded institutions are also taking up longer school calendar. Teachers don't have to find more time to help students. They can do it within the school hours itself. And students don't have to panic when it comes to exams as they have plenty of time to go through the syllabus and prepare. The key to longer school calendar is proper time management.
Educationists and economists see a lot of benefits in this. There are advantages for the students and teachers as well as the school as a whole. Outlined here are some advantages:
- Longer school calendar means teachers can engage students in quality learning
- More students will achieve
- Better grades
- Teachers don't need to rush through the syllabus and curriculum
- Students get to develop and enhance their skills
- Teachers give students more attention
- More instructional time
- Better organization
- Less homework and assignments for students
- Economic growth (both parents can go to office)
Schools become the second home and second family for students. Teachers need to keep this mind. They need to make it easy, fun and learning in a comprehensive manner. With longer school calendar, the teachers' responsibilities increases, so does the school. They need to work out an appropriate plan to keep the students engaged. Schools can plan out field trips and outings as part of the learning process. Students won't get bored and they will retain the information. In fact, they will be interested to learn more and more.
Everything has a good side and a bad side. Longer school calendar also has its share of drawbacks. Outlined here are some disadvantages:
- Teachers' salaries remain the same. Longer school calendar doesn't mean salary increment
- Students will get bored
- Students will lose focus and interest
- Its stressful
- Increased costs. School management will need to expand their budget to make way for upgrading school canteens and staff development
- Teachers get stressed. Longer school calendar means more working hours.
- Make space for extra-curricular activities. Schools need to think of ideas to involve and engage students. For extra-curricular activities, they need to hire professionals
As far as achievements and better grades are concerned, experts argue that there are not enough studies or research to support it. Thus, one cannot say that extended school year or longer school calendar means better grades. Child psychologists say that students will not be able to tolerate longer school calendar. It leads to fatigue. Students get mentally exhausted to concentrate. Longer school calendar means longer periods. In short school calendars, the periods were usually for thirty minutes maximum, but in longer school calendars, the periods can go up to forty-five minutes to an hour.
Education is a very important tool for developing the nation and its economy. It's also a key to better jobs and high standards of living. A good education means better job opportunities and salary increment. Education, schools is a highly competitive place for students to show that they are the best. They do so through tests and competitive standardized exams. The students compete within themselves in schools as well as with neighbouring schools. Good grades means, they get promoted to higher classes and it good grades also means that they will get a college of their choice. For this, they need to work hard with sincerity. Parents, school management and the stakeholders also need to work together. They can only achieve the best by working in collaboration with each other. Moreover, students and teachers should be given time to work things out. They can better understand each other to make learning fun and interesting.