Back at it!

So yesterday I had my first sub job with the public schools (yay!). It was at one of the few grade 7/8 schools around here--most schools are K-8. I don't really agree with the K-8 model for a lot of reasons, including that I think it results in a much poorer education for kids in those intermediate grades. By that point they should be starting to do "serious" academic work, which requires teachers who are specialized. Instead, most kids here have the same teacher for lots of subjects, and don't learn things in any real depth until high school. From what I have seen, the average Ontario kid in grade 8 has learned a lot less than the average kid in NC, even in the non-gifted programs. And don't get me started on the state of gifted education here, I think it's a joke.

However, one thing I do like about the Ontario model is it does recognize that 7/8 students are still kids. While I think they're kids capable of an academic challenge, they should still get some "play time" so that their lives aren't all stress. The kids yesterday had 1 hour for lunch, and after about 20 minutes of time to eat, they go outside to play for the remaining 40 minutes. They can burn off extra energy, socialize, etc., and come back for their afternoon classes more focused. I remember how short our lunches were at NC middle schools, and how when we actually found excuses to take the kids outside, they loved it so much. I think we did put a lot of pressure on kids to perform well and learn a lot, which still seems right, but we should have compensated for it with some free time to burn off steam. Can't we have a happy medium somewhere??

On a happy note, I have a job interview tomorrow for a permanent job, and I have work lined up for Friday already. And I have finished some more knitting, so pictures coming soon of that! :-) I just wish the sun would come out--I haven't seen it (for more than about 10 minutes, anyway) in at least 10 days. We got our lawn half mowed the last day it was sunny, and had to stop halfway through. We haven't been able to finish the other half, since it's been soaking wet outside ever since! Looks a little funny. ;-)

Comments

Steve Ligett said…
Hi Lindsey - I work at Crossroads Academy (www.crossroadsacademy.org), a K-8 school in Lyme, NH. Grades 6-8 are a "middle school", and the kids have individual math, latin, french, english, composition, history, science, PE, technology (me!), art, and music teachers. Is that different from what you think of as a K-8 school?

The math, french, science, and history teachers also teach in some of the lower grades. (There's music, art, and PE for all.) The middle-school kids get a morning break, and during lunch, they can and do!, leave after (at least) ten minutes to play.