Monday, June 11, 2012
Seeing is Believing
As a teacher, I didn't pay much attention to the number of school days, though. Instead, I was stressed about the hours of each subject I taught. In the planning book, there is a section which you fill in the number of hours you plan for a week. Some administrators check teachers (mostly young new ones) planning book weekly so these hours were well spent. Luckily, I had only one of these for only one torturing year. The Elementary School schedule is blocked as one 45 minutes session at a time. Monday through Friday, usually there are 5 or 6 sessions a day depending on the grade level. Under the government guideline, throughout a school year, 1st grade must have; literacy 272 blocks, math 114 blocks, social studies/science 102 blocks, music 68 blocks, arts and craft 28 blocks, P.E. 90 blocks, moral education 34 blocks, special activities 34 blocks, and tallied 782 blocks in all. What you have to do is simply divided these numbers by 49 weeks so you can see how many blocks you have to plan in each week. Isn't it "WOW!"? I see this system useful and I wish some administrator would be interested in. One block = 45 minutes. Make a schedule just like building a block tower.
It is easier for teachers to be accountable for teaching time. Students, too, would appreciate it because they know what exact time each class ends besides lunch time and recesses. Someone argued about its difficulties because of lunch schedule, specialist's time, and other factors. But I really wish I could try in my school for a month. I am also frustrated that I cannot explain this system well enough to my staff because it is a kind of a thing that you would have to fully understand when you experience it. Changing is a challenge even if you already know what it is. If it is something you haven't done, it is hard to jump in. But here is one thing I would like to mention. Adopting the schedule is not as hard as adopting the whole curriculum from the different country because it doesn't have too much connection to the culture or the life styles. Thus, its tweaking is minor and adoptable. If you are the administrator and interested in the block schedule, I would love to help you scheduling in your school. I would not want to go to school for 243 days, but I would love to try unique schedule that might impact students' learning.