Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Vacation from Vacation

As I mentioned before my departure, I traveled to exotic climes for spring break this year. And as the vagaries of international travel would have it, I didn't return until quite late Sunday evening, and once I made it through immigration and customs and the taxi stand and what have you, it was after midnight.

Now, I had planned accordingly for this. Lesson plan and materials were already in place for Monday morning before I left, so it wasn't too bad. Although I was tired, I knew I needed to be at school, not just for the sake of saving a day, but to send the message to students that once vacation is over, it's over, and it's time to come back.

However, that message was lost on the one-third of my students who decided to extend their break yesterday, some of whom had also started their breaks early. I have one student who has apparently been in Florida since the last weekend in March and another who has been in Puerto Rico even longer. Don't get me wrong; you'll pry spring break from my cold, dead fingers, and it's important that kids get time to relax and have fun with family and friends, too. But it concerns me how many families seem to decide that they can take multi-week vacations smack dab in the middle of the school year. I especially love it when I'm asked to provide, say, three weeks' worth of work for a student going off to visit relatives abroad in, say, March.

I know, too, it's hard to fault the kids for this when the families explicitly endorse and encourage this behavior. And I'm not talking about a kid with a death in the family or something like that. I'm talking about parents who have told me openly that they're going to visit family and friends and designated break times were simply inconvenient.

Well, bon voyage, my students who I haven't seen since maybe March 30th. Hope you're having fun. But please don't ask for some kind of elaborate explanation as to why you're not passing English.
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