Longer School Hours & Semesters and Higher Teacher Salaries

Yesterday was my first day of class. I accepted a teaching position with one of the local colleges. It is an English as a Second Language (ESL) class. I would like to make mention of my observation. This ESL class is a six hour class, on a Saturday, for the next four months. The ESL classes are free, at least for the college that I am working with. The students are quite grateful for these Free classes. The students are Motivated. They Want to Learn. They have jobs, they have families, but they remain Motivated and Dedicated to learning to speak English – better.

Last semester, there was one student in particular that is indelibly etched in my mind. This student, a Hispanic male, started his day, six days a week, leaving Houston at approximately 4:30am, driving to Southeast Texas, specifically, Port Arthur, Texas to work construction. Stay with me! He then returned to Houston, specifically, Tomball all the way from Port Arthur, Texas for my ESL class. The class, then, was three days a week, 6pm-9pm. He did this – consistently for Four months.

I am once again, convinced that if we put our minds to something, we can do it. I don’t care what it is. There is an argument against extending the school day, the school semester and raising Teacher salaries. Is there anything wrong with this idea? My humble answer is Nothing! As an educator, I am going to tell you the truth behind this crazy argument about Not extending the school day or school semester for our kids and/or providing a fair salary to our teachers. America is falling quickly behind other countries in terms of graduate rates and academic achievement. This is a most urgent matter. I applaud President Obama for his ideas about extending the school day and/or the semester or both. I applaud Oprah for having a genuine love for teachers and understanding the need for higher salaries for our teachers. If you have Not heard, Dropout Rates in our country are Epidemic. We continue to fall behind our foreign competitors. I deal with American students, adult students, who are reading at a 5th and 6th grade level and some are lower. Yet, there are foreign students who have come to America and read and speak English – Better than many Americans. This should be a concern for all Americans.  Nevertheless, there are those who do Not want longer school days nor semesters nor higher salaries for our teachers. My response – We need longer days, longer semesters, and higher pay for Teachers. Period! Case-Closed!



3 thoughts on “Longer School Hours & Semesters and Higher Teacher Salaries”

  1. I applaud teachers and some day desire to become an educator also. I agree that teachers should receive higher wages for a job well done; however, if we can get away from this TAKS testing the teachers will be able to teach and the children may stay. There is a lot of pressure applied on students and teachers today unlike when I went to school. The system complains about obesity in children yet PE is removed from instruction so that more concentration can be applied to TAKS testing. Schools are so focused on trying to get exemplary status and passing TAKS grades that all the childs hard work for a year is not considered if they don’t pass a test that is biased simply on geography.Teachers are doing great jobs and should not be totally blamed for the miseducation of our children ; yet if the child doesn’t past, the teachers is blamed and her lousy 1 percent raise is revoked. My son has been commended on every TAKS since third grade ,but ask me about his social level and I will give you no reply. So while our president whom I voted for, talks rhetoric about extended school days and even Saturday school I hope he considers what impact this will have on the already dysfunctional family an how this will cause an even greater drop out rate, for which they are fining and or jailing parents behind. Regulate the class room, uniform the instruction, use same books from district to district, even the playing field and let teachers simply teach. If Saturday school is only going to continue to focus on TAKS as it does today, I am completely against it. Oh by the way this commended kid of mine is in middle school and can’t write cursive, he still prints his name because that was taken out of the curriculumn. So much for signing your checks just as long as you pass the test.

    1. Bravo! Bravo! Rosalind! Especially the part regarding the TAKS testing. There’s so many more obstacles and NONE of which are helping. Our students continue to drop of out school at alarming rates. And then that piece about PE (Physical Education) and obesity…you speak truth! And thanks a million for sharing your own experience regarding your son. See these are the types of issues that we should be up in arms about – NOT – the other issues that divide. Great comment – Period, Case-Closed!

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