Friday, September 11, 2009

and how are you?

Today marks the end of our second week back at school. Well, not for The Boy, since his preschool starts this coming Monday.



I've been trying to stay in my "summer" frame of mind, and have been reasonably successful. "Don't let it get to you this year," I have been telling myself. "You feel much happier in the summer. Stay happy and just let the school-year frustrations roll off your back."


Eight days of school, and I've got to get this off my chest:

Fourth graders should not be bringing home every book and notebook in their desks every night. This teacher is insane. Hello? Got a clue? Requiring each child to purchase $150 in school supplies (including a 2-inch AND a 3-inch 3-ring binder) takes balls, I'll give you that. AND THEN, on top of that, sending the 3-inch binder home every night, saying "it's too big for your backpacks, so put your books in your backpack and carry your binder" takes - well, it takes a complete detachment from reality. Because, what has now happened, ON TOP OF ALL THE SCHOOL SUPPLIES, is that parents have been going out and spending MORE MONEY on rolling backpacks for these kids. And that just does not sit well with me.

As a teacher, I happen to think that teachers should plan out their class so that the kids use their textbooks at school and their workbooks (or worksheets) at home for further practice (also known as homework). Sure, maybe in grade 7 or so they'll start needing to bring textbooks back and forth. Yes, I expect teachers to think about what they are requiring of nine-year-old kids. It seems to me that if you stop and think about a classroom full of nine-year-olds carrying full backpacks AS WELL AS a THREE-INCH binder, anyone in their right mind would say, "that's just wrong."

An example of one night's homework this week:
- Using the Literature textbook, answer four questions in the workbook about the story we read during class today (took Big Girl 3 minutes)
- Do these 6 problems from the math textbook (5 minutes, if that)
- Do these 6 problems from the math workbook (5 minutes, if that)
- Start studying for the test on Chapter One in the Religion book (and be sure to bring this book back and forth between home and school every day this week)

FIVE BOOKS (plus that god damn binder filled with spiral notebooks - can't do 6 math problems on a loose piece of binder paper and then file it in the binder later, can we?) for 15 (maybe 20) minutes of homework???? Are you kidding me???

Summer frame of mind, where did you go?


Cafe Pasadena said...

Thanks for asking, Barbra. But, don't ask. Too much work this week!

Jen on the Edge said...

My 5th grader's backpack weighs at least 20 pounds, which is far more than the recommended weight for her age, height, and weight. Even worse, the students carry their backpacks with them all day -- they don't go back to their homeroom after the beginning of the day and they are not given lockers.

smalltownmom said...

I'm so thankful our school provides a "home" set of books for the middle schoolers.

We're waiting to see what instrument Ernest is assigned for band...please don't let it be the euphonium! (On the rare occasions they have a tuba player, that lucky kid is assigned a "home" tuba so s/he doesn't have to carry it back and forth!)

JCK said...

Oh, Barbra, I completely agree with you. That is craziness.

I hope you are doing well...otherwise.

Margaret said...

It is a sad day -- one I know well -- when the mom is the most depressed about the coming of the schooll year.

Barbra said...

Jen- that's awful. They really need lockers!