The end-of-school-year messages posted by many of the teacher-bloggers around the web have been great reading, but they also serve as a reminder that around here we still have two weeks until everything’s done. I’ve been in a small number of our many, many schools over the past couple of weeks and it’s interesting to see the different atmospheres.
For the most part the high schools seem to be in complete chaos or lock-down worthy of HBO’s Oz – and that’s in the same building. But it’s all pretty much the way I remember it from when I was in the classroom. I wonder if the Seniors are even still attending classes.
In the elementary schools, on the other hand, the mood seems to be a feeling of freedom. The best I can figure is that the spring standardized tests are over and the teachers are able to pull out all those lessons and projects that are interesting, stimulating, and fun but took too much time away from preparing for the multiple-choice-a-thons.
However, I’ve never taught at the elementary level, which means I’m hardly one to judge the activity I saw being played out in the halls of one school yesterday. I’m curious as to the instructional value of having one student lie on his back on a sheet of paper while another draws his outline. Is this a new vocational program for future crime scene investigators? May I join in? :-)
Observing all this also serves as reminder of just what a wasteful process is the closing of schools for the year (and reopening them in the fall). One more great reason for changing the calendar and never "closing" school.