Disclaimer: I taught school for three years, and I have many friends who are wonderful schoolteachers. I really do understand the unfair, beyond-no-fun burden that kiddos’ absences place on teachers. Make-up work is a butt. But I still think there are some really good, even if unexcused, reasons for skipping school.
I stumbled upon a Boston Globe article (2.14.14) the other day: “Dispute Rages Over Unexcused School Absences for Travel.” As someone who has pulled her girlies out of school many (many) times to go gallivanting off to one locale or another, I grinned and read on.
The article quoted several parents who felt they were justified in taking their kids out of school, and one person who was understandably frustrated by it: the assistant superintendent for Boston City Schools.
“We’re not educating kids the same way as when I went to school,” she said. “It’s much more rigorous, and there’s a lot of pressure to perform. So any time a student is out — even one day — it’s a major loss, and puts a child behind.”
She feels that a single unnecessary day is too much. “We’re teaching critical thinking, problem solving, understanding and applying concepts. Parents may think that their kids are young, they’ll catch up, they’re not missing that much, but indeed they are.”
Parents disagreed. I kind of love this mom who said: “If kids are only taught that learning occurs in a classroom, behind a desk with a teacher at the front telling them what to do, it can ultimately limit what they consider learning. We shouldn’t be learning for school, we should be learning for life.’’
What do you think? And what kinds of things would you/have you taken your kids out of school for?
(My answer’s in the comments. 300-word limit, you know.)