Thursday, January 17, 2008


(2008: whittier, ca. 5am, in my class . . . woo hoo! no, btw, i'm not hiding food in my cheeks. they really ARE that big.)

i read an article on msn yesterday about teacher absenteeism . . . long story short: for every day that a teacher is out, a student is set back nearly twice as many, and sometimes three times as many days because when the teacher does get back she has to reestablish order, reteach, etc. what they were really driving at though, i think, had more to do with long-term substitution (i.e. when students do not have a credentialed teacher for extended periods of time). i get it: watching movies day in and day out is fun, but not great for expanding one's vocabulary. agreed.

but here's the thing. if we're going to have a discussion about teacher absenteeism, let us also discuss student absenteeism. i may or may not take my allotted ten sick days a year. and i concur that if i do, my students will likely suffer some sort of setback. and i'm sorry. however, it's been my experience that my students are absent FAR MORE than any teacher i know. i've had students out for as many as twenty to FORTY (and in some instances, MORE) days a year!

i hate to go into "when i was that age" stories, but seriously, my mother MADE ME go to school with ebola, the bubonic plague, avian flu, you name it. i could've been dying and dying or not, i had to go to school. end of story.

at my catholic high school, we were allowed to miss ten days and ten days ONLY. if we missed eleven days, we were forced to repeat the entire grade regardless of grades. to my mind, that's brilliant. seriously now, too, this wasn't during the dark ages either. i'm thirty (OUCH!) and so i'm talking about 1992-1996!

i mean, my dad died when i was ten and i only got to miss four days of school. and yes, my parents were still married . . .

anyhow, i don't know if people realize that the responsibility of a child's education rests as much with the parents as with the teachers, but i'm here to say that it does.

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