I work at a school where we believe in celebrating and honoring diversity. As part of “walking our talk” we have built a school calendar that acknowledges Muslim, Christian and Jewish holidays. This means that we need to lengthen our school year in order to take all the holidays off and still get in the necessary 180 school days. This also means that the fall season is a constant start and stop with holidays. We have already had 5 different holiday breaks and it is only October…. we have yet another one in exactly 15 days. You would think this is great, but – truth be told – I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!
I am not alone, the teachers feel the same way – and so do many of the parents. Many people think we would adore the myriad of holidays that give us breaks in the fall semester, but the reality is that we do not enjoy them. We want routine. We are tired of disruption. We want to have full weeks with our students that we can truly devote to learning. We are worn down, we have had to fit full weeks worth of material and learning into 4 day weeks – attempting to squeeze in more learning wherever we can.
The students feel it too – they are so turned around they struggle to know what day it is – they cannot remember if it is a swimming day or their after school debate club. They also want the routine afforded by full weeks of school attendance – over a significant period of time.
We humans are funny that way – we are creatures of habit – and we like our habits and normalcy. Change can literally or figuratively freak people out. We all (adults and children) are comforted by routine.
Today, 134 days ’til 40, I look forward to getting back to a routine soon!