• ‘These halcyon days’
    August 06,2013

    ‘These halcyon days’

    Poor Elijah, I am sorry you feel your “halcyon days” are threatened. My summer seems rather idyllic, happy and peaceful. Even when I run into my students working at the grocery store or hardware store or mowing lawns. They all seem to be working pretty darn hard, which is often the case when we meet up in the classroom, so when you suggest young folks “don’t know what sweat and study feel like,” I become confused.

    It seems you and I are having two totally different experiences in our interactions with young people. I witness hard work in and outside of school while you’re watching students perfunctorily turn “all the pages.” I wonder why two similar jobs differ so greatly.

    I must admit, I am also confused when you say, “We’d have more time for learning if we spent less time tolerating disruptive students.” Not sure why you would use the pronoun “we,” seems a tad presumptuous to think that all teachers “tolerate” disruptions. In fact, I am not sure I’ve worked with anyone who feels the need to tolerate misbehavior. Again, I wonder why my time with young people feels so much different than how you describe it. I also wonder if it is realistic to think our time with young people will be increased as school budgets either decrease, remain the same while costs rise, or increase incrementally and somewhat unsubstantially.

    Maybe I am naive, but the elimination of summer vacation is far less concerning than recent arguments about school budgets, arguments that create tremendous angst in communities across the country. If our time with students is inextricably linked to money then the question becomes — if I didn’t know any better — who’s gonna pay to simply have students turn textbook pages 41 percent of the day during the summer (a figure you used from a 19-year-old report)? Curious.

    How many “halcyon days” have you been able to experience since that “threatening” report?

    Steve Rand


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