Tag Archives: calendar

So bring it on, 2011

 

I’m sure everyone out there in blogging land is commenting about the end of the year in some way or other. I’m not usually one to celebrate the end or beginning of the year,it just happens and I keep going. When I was teaching, the beginning of a new year started in August, on the first day of school. I never did think much of the January 1 thing as it was usually close to my return for the next round of teaching. Now that I’m not in the classroom, the start of a new year seems to be more relevant.

2010 was a very good year. I had many “lasts,” but also some firsts. I certainly had lots of joy in the second half of the year and would like that to continue into 2011. I would like to have a job, a new purpose, a mission, a reason to get up in the morning and get out the door. I’m hoping 2011 will bring that. I know I would make someone an excellent employee with my skills, my smarts, and my great enthusiasm. So, 2011, let’s get started.

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Hot time in the city

It was 80 degrees in San Francisco today. Tied a record for high temperature. It’s already November. Time for frosts, rains, and wind. There was wind today. A warm, tropical breeze that gently rustled the leaves on Market Street as I walked downtown.

I didn’t get as far as I had planned as it was too warm at 11 a.m. and I was hot and sweaty. For you see, dear Reader, my hot weather clothes are all hanging in the closet in Fresno, the place for high temperatures. Here in San Francisco I have sweaters and jackets and heavy trousers to keep the chill away as I walk those streets like Market. My collection of scarves hangs here, to wrap around my neck and shoulders on cold mornings and even chillier afternoons when the sun has dipped below the tops of the tall buildings and the sidewalks are all in shade. What do I wear on such a warm day?

Getting home just before lunch, I changed into my capri jeans and a light tshirt. Perfect for around the apartment, with the window open, blowing a warm, soft breeze in from the bay. The only person I had to look good for was the maintenance man who was scheduled to fix my dishwasher. The warm weather must have done the trick on it for by the time he showed up, the water was willing to pump into the machine.

Although it gets dark too early, one would think it was still summer. I hold off turning on the lights until I am sitting in complete dark. I leave the window open until the breeze gets chilly and I am getting too many cooking odors from all the restaurants that are below me. I am enjoying these lingering warm days, so reminiscent of summer.

It’s not Easter break yet?

Just did a quick look at last year’s posts for this time.  It was Easter break!  This year we still have four more weeks before Easter break.  Aaack.  

My calendar is filled every day with things to do for those next four weeks.   This week alone I have a dinner party at my house, entrepreneurship class at Fresno State, a parent conference, and a field trip.  On Friday I will have to prepare for a sub for the following Monday.  Then I will start all over.  I have a hunch that all of you dear Readers in education are facing the same maddening schedule.

What’s on your calendar? and, how did it get there?

Different school districts have different ways of determining their yearly calendar.  Now, those of you who read this and have nothing to do with education, please understand that the school calendar rules the world and so it is a big huge deal in the districts.  You may have thought we all had the same calendar, HAH.  You are wrong.  Some districts decide the calendar by committee; some by management; and there are a few who have a combination of sorts, even allowing all employees to vote.  How do I know this?  I am on the calendar committee for my district and was told these facts at last week’s meeting.

How did I get to be on the calendar committee?  Someone at my school (secondary) was chosen by the principal but could not go, and since I had served on the committee a number of years back, I volunteered to do it again, especially since I thought the last few calendars were pretty poorly done.  There is a variety of people on this committee–elementary, secondary, cafeteria, classified, transportation, a few principals, fiscal services, parents, students.  

On my first time, the committee was small enough to meet around a conference table.  Last year, the meetings were held in the board room.  It had grown to a huge number, maybe 50, and it was very unwieldy.  We met about 5 times and the consensus was to recommend a calendar with a mid-August start date, end the first semester at Christmas break, take a week for Thanksgiving and three weeks for Christmas, ending the school year on June 11.  I was happy for ending the semester at Christmas break (a concession to the secondary teachers), but I didn’t like the three weeks for Christmas ( concession to our parents who take their kids to Mexico for holiday).  I thought it was too long for kids to be away from school.

Last week’s meeting changed my mind.  It was the first week of school after that long break and I heard from elementary and middle school teachers, principals, and parents who said their kids came back to school energized, excited, and well behaved.  They wanted to return to school.  Made me think about the behavior of our students for two and half hours on the field while the bomb squad dismantled what was thought to be a bomb in the boy’s restroom.  Because they had been away from the drama of school and their friends for so long, there were no problems with fighting or attempting to jump the fence.  Just like the younger kids, the high school kids were ready to be back too.  So, I voted for three weeks at Christmas.

The school board will now take our recommendations and vote for the calendar for the next two years.