Here’s a random thought because it’s Wednesday!
Last year, during our first COVID school year, our district decided they were going to give an early release every Wednesday for the entire school for teacher training and improvement. Obviously it was successful enough that they decided to do it again this year. So every Wednesday, my kids get out two hours early. I don’t mind this at all…but I had to wonder, why Wednesday? Why not Friday??
I don’t typically ask these questions to be annoying – I really want to know how things work. Why is it being done a certain way – and can it be done any better.
So during curriculum night the teacher brought up our Wednesday early release and I couldn’t help but ask the question: Why not Friday? She was quick to respond, “Well, that wouldn’t be fair to the teachers if the kids got off early on Fridays and teachers didn’t.” Her response caught me off guard for a minute because it wasn’t what I was expecting to hear – I made eye contact with another parent across the room who was equally surprised. It came across as a very selfish statement and I know she didn’t mean it as such.
But the reality is the teachers are working a full week regardless of what day the early release is on because they are supposed to be on campus for the duration of the “improvement” time. It’s not teacher vs student making sure their time in the classroom is equal. Oddly enough, I asked another teacher about the same subject and she made a somewhat similar observation that the teachers would want to be off early on Friday as well. Interesting.
I have no say in a decision such as this at the school, but it doesn’t change the fact that I tend to analyze policies and procedures in trying to understand the why (because it’s much easier to support and not question when you understand the why).
I’ve come to realize, I don’t think it has anything to do with trying to keep it fair for teachers (despite both teachers telling me this was the case) – I think it has everything to do with keeping kids in school on Fridays. My guess is, if it was an early out every Friday, parents would be much more likely to pull their kids from school for the 1/2 day to enjoy a longer weekend. Right? That would be a struggle every Friday – I know I would be tempted by it! But Wednesday?! Who’s pulling their kid from school for a full Wednesday off?
To be clear, I have no idea what the reason is, and it sounds like the teachers aren’t quite sure either. But if I was sitting on a committee discussing this (and I am on different committees for the school where we discuss improvements), that would be the conclusion I would come to. And then I would make sure everyone knows the why. Because I can’t count how many parents I’ve discussed this very topic with and every one has been left wondering, why Wednesday?