SCHOOL CHANGES FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR STUDENTS
Last night the CBC Cross Border Check up asked the listeners for their views on homework, Most of the calls came from parents who thought it was mandatory that their children must have some homework starting in Grade one. The time frame of the kids hitting the books started with a few minutes a day for the little ones all the way to 120 minutes for students in grade twelve.
I called in and voiced my views that I did not advocate any homework for elementary school children. The youngsters at River Heightís, JK to grade three, Northland Central both start school at 8.55 and are dismissed at 3.25 with breaks throughout the day.
Five and one half hours is surely enough time for the students to learn their ABCís in the classroom with help from their competent teachers without the need for the kids to spend more time at home with momís help. For the most part homework studies is under the direction of the mother who often times does the work herself.
There is lots of time for the teachers to offer up remedial work for students who are in need of help in the elementary school classrooms. For high school students they could be involved with projects where they Google assigned relevant interesting topics for them to discover to add to the conversations in the classroom.
Perhaps setting aside a study period each day for secondary students to get help from there teachers would be of help.
For the life of me I do not know why our students need ten weeks off in the summer taken away from their studies to vegetate . A couple of weeks off in the summer should suffice for both students and their teachers.
Two weeks off at Christmas and one week for March Break sure breaks up the school year. Our public elementary and secondary teachers are paid very well with those at max earning $94,000 to provide year long classes for our children.
The last time I checked out the teenagers in Tyner Estates in Dorchester they were not priming( picking) tobacco in the fields behind our farm. The Mustos family have not had any tobacco crops to harvest for the past thirty years. Too much time is wasted time for the boys to watch video games/TV or the girls to text another hundred Face Book contacts when they should be learning.
While I am swinging from the fences why not throw in amalgamating the Catholic and Thames Valley School boards to have one Board of Education for all where the emphasis is on the studentís learning. We do not have to incur the costs of two directors, two boards of education offices and too many superintendents who I fondly refer to as the "three piece suits" who do not teach/interact with you or your children. It is not fair that faith based schools that are Christian/Jewish/Moslem are not funded at the public expense if we have separate school funding for publicly funded Catholic school education.
To instill learning, the secondary school semester system is not in the best interest of our students. No matter what the administrators tell you that: "it doesnít matter" when your son or daughter has eight months off when they take grade nine math in semester one, no math semester two and no math in the summer and no math semester one in grade 10 math we have no math for one full year in-between classes it matters: it is not in the best interest for our children. The teachers bless their souls like the semester system because they only have to teach a max of 90 students a day in three classes for four months while the two day teachers teach 180 students over two days for the whole school year.
Check out London Central Collegiate that has the two day cycle that has the highest Ontario Test Scores in Math and English in the area. No, the London Central students are not all gifted; they have the two day cycle that helps them to achieve. If a student has a problem with day ones curriculum the teachers are available on day two to help remediate the problem.
I wager that many teachers and administrators will not enjoy/agree with my column. After teaching/counseling for the Thames Valley Board and private practice for many years, I have seen too many parents and students who have been short changed by the present education system. It is time that we look at positive change to benefit our children.