Friday, June 15, 2018

once upon a time the end

I'm a fervent proponent of expanded learning time, by which I mean LONGER school days and YEAR-ROUND SCHOOL.  We are no longer the same kind of agrarian culture we were when summer vacation may have made sense, and parents--both of them!--now work year round, making the long summer break a headache of coordination for affluent families and a positive risk for poor families who depend on public school for meals and childcare (never mind that nearly ALL of the Achievement Gap can be attributed to summer learning loss).  More time in school also carries the promise of reduced pressure to COVERTHECURRICULUM, a more relaxed and natural opportunity for balance in the school day as well as the school year.

That said, I am the child of a bygone era and the Last Day of School still throbs with the old glory of relief and release.  And we are now at the moment when every one of the last exactly 180 days is just about past.  The future I imagined in September is HERE.  And Bobbi Katz has the perfect poem to capture my state of mind.

When the Future Arrives | Bobbi Katz

When the future arrives,

it completely 
takes over
the present tense.

from The Poetry Friday Anthology, 2012
eds. Sylvia Vardell & Janet Wong

The Poetry Friday round-up is hosted today by Karen Edmisten.  Dash on over and cross the finish line with lungs full of poetry!


  1. Your balanced calendar looks good to me! (Not sure about longer school days, though.) Our family had an interesting discussion recently about whether the present exists or if we are always in the future. Enjoy your summer! Maybe we can meet for lunch in July or August?

  2. I have had mixed feelings about this over the years of childrearing. I know how well kids thrive on routine, and I've seen the studies about learning retention, etc... but. Some of the best learning happens outside the classroom. (Being a homeschool mom for several years taught me that.) And I cherish so fervently the adventures we've had as a family during summers... wishing you a inspired and restful summer, Heidi! May it include lots of beautiful Heidi-poems! xo

  3. Even as a retired teacher, the ending and the last day means much to me. The poem is "immense" indeed. FYI-my own children attended year round school here in the Cherry Creek Schools of Denver & we loved it. My daughter was never a school lover, so it meant much to her to have a 3-5 week break throughout the year. I'm out of the loop, but only one school is left with that kind of calendar.

  4. I vote for the balanced calendar!! Happy Arrival of Future!

  5. Enjoy and relish your summer. I never had the chance to teach under a balanced calendar, but I do think I would like it. I am always amazed at the agrarian myth behind the traditional calendar--spring planting and fall harvest are much busier times for farming. I wonder how much summer heat (and lack of air conditioning) played into summer breaks. I can remember getting out of school early as a kid because of high temperatures.

  6. Love this short and sweet poem on taking in our future. I hope you enjoy your summer break Heidi–I teach constantly and would love a longer break anytime, but a contracted instructor doesn't have that option–so I'm big on walks and smelling the roses as I stroll by!

  7. I agree with you about the balanced calendar, but it will probably not happen in my time as a teacher. That said, I am really enjoying my summer this year. Spending lots of quality time with my family and some wonderful travel plans. I hope we can share some time together soon.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!