Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Teaching Tip #27

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #27

What to do about those dreaded family vacations that take place during the worst possible time of the year?

I used to complain about this all the time.

You know the rant - We have almost two weeks of Christmas vacation, yet they take a ten day vacation in the middle of January?  Or we have three months of summer vacation, yet they take a vacation at the beginning of May?

Yes, it’s inconvenient for the teacher.

But as I’ve grown, I have revised my take on this.

I no longer rant and rave over this.  In fact, it doesn’t even bother me.

Maybe it’s because I’m now a parent.  Maybe it’s because I lost my parents and remember our vacations (some of which occurred during inopportune times during the school year).  I don’t know.

But the bottom line for me is now this: what will kids remember more 15 years after high school: their family vacation to Mexico or Disney World or Hawaii?  Or will they remember MLA format and works cited?

That puts things in perspective for me.

So when a student informs me that they are going on vacation (usually the day before they leave, ha ha), and they ask for their work, I simply say that it does no good for me to give them homework to do on their vacation.

That’s stupid for several reasons.  

First, they won’t do it.  

Second, they shouldn’t do it (I mean unless they want to read on the flight, I would rather have them be present while they’re on the beach in Hawaii rather than reading TKM).  

Third, they should enjoy their vacation for they may never, ever be there again.

So I don’t sweat the family vacations at the worst times anymore.

And if all else fails, since I teach English, I can just have them write a narrative on their vacation or stockpile images into a collage for a make up assignment.


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