Look at the leaves!
The dogwood outside our window is turning red – the first of the year, unless you count the black locust trees in front of the building that violently shed all their tiny yellow leaves the first day of September. With the rain and the sudden cold, however, it’s felt more like Alabama winter the past couple days than fall. On any fall afternoon it’s hard to go to work, but the cold and rainy ones make the thought of doing anything other than sipping tea and reading. My students have their off days, too. Lessons can go three ways. 1, Miracle of miracles, the student is engaged and enthusiastic. 2, They’re fidgety and restless from being cooped up in school all day, and they have the attention span of a squirrel. 3, They’re tired from school, football, gymnastics, karate, and baseball.
This makes me wonder what President Obama hopes to accomplish with a longer school day. I don’t know about school nowadays, but when I was a kid the last hour of school was almost unbearable, and I’m sure it was worse for the teacher, having to maintain order in a room of 20-30 small children and somehow manage to teach them something! I’m not going to go into all that I think is wrong with the public school system, but I’m fairly certain that making kids spend ALL DAY in school is NOT going to help. They already spend too much time there, in my opinion. Then they have all 50 extracurricular activities they take part in after school! Kids don’t have the opportunity to have a childhood anymore. No time to run around outside, making mud pies and building forts, too busy to play dress-up or help Mom make cookies. No hours left in the day to lay on the ground and name the clouds in the sky. Too tired at night to learn the big dipper. Too much homework to read Narnia!
I just wish every kid had a childhood as magical as mine, I guess. Childhood is for innocent fun, not hours and hours of structured activity.