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What Time Should Students Start Classes?

Posted October 05, 2015 12:37 PM by Quasar
Pathfinder Tags: chronotype circadian rhythm

In a paper exploring circadian rhythms and start times for student classes, researchers point out that the average biological wake time for kids at the age of 10 is 6:30am, at age 16 it is 8:00am, and at age 18 it is 9:00am. Reconciling these wake times with school starting times, the researchers suggest that kids at the age of 10 would ideally start school at 8:30-9:00am; at age 16, they would start at 10:00-10:30am; and at age 18, they would start at 11:00-11:30am.

The paper bases these recommendations on advances over the last three decades in sleep medicine and circadian neuroscience that have provided a better understanding of the patterns of wakefulness and sleep that hold sway over our lives.

The physiology and behavior of most life on earth exhibits a 24-hour rhythm linked to the day/night cycle. This pattern is governed by a master circadian (24-hour) pacemaker located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus. The SCN receives signals from photoreceptors in the eye, effectively linking our circadian rhythms to the environmental day/night cycle. Behavioral, metabolic, and physiological rhythms are all affected by the 24-hour cycle, including alertness and performance, hormones, core body temperature, and rhythms in organs such as the lungs, liver, and heart.

The sleep-wake cycle arises from the interaction of two basic impulses we all experience: alertness and sleepiness. These instincts are generated by the SCN pacemaker and a homeostatic sleep cycle which intensifies the pressure to go to sleep with increasing time awake and dissipates this pressure as time asleep accumulates. These processes work in opposition to maintain a state of wakefulness during the day, and a state of sleep during the night.

In adolescence, the timing of the circadian clock shifts later, delaying the phase at which sleep can be initiated. The graph below is from a study drawing on a survey of 25,000 people in Switzerland and Germany. It plots the chronotypes of the respondents versus their ages. Chronotype refers to when a person's internal circadian clock synchronizes to the 24-hour day. Starting in early childhood, chronotypes tend to be early in the day - in other words, babies naturally wake up early. Through age 20, chronotypes rise to their maximum - teens naturally wake up later in the morning. After age 20, chronotypes decline through old age - as we get older, we tend to wake up earlier in the morning.

Chronotype vs. age from a survey of 25,000 people in Switzerland and Germany.

Because circadian rhythms determine our optimal hours of work and concentration, the researchers suggest that it makes sense to align our working hours with our internal clocks. Of course, every individual has a unique chronotype, and some 18 year olds are perfectly comfortable waking up at 6am. But when setting class starting times for the general population of students, perhaps school districts should take into account circadian rhythms and chronotypes in an effort to make the most efficient use of student's optimal waking hours, not to mention protecting their wellness.

What do you think? Should class start times be adjusted to fit the natural rhythm of wakefulness?

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#1

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/05/2015 2:10 PM

I expect the kids would like starting 2 1/2 hours late. They might not appreciate leaving school 2 1/2 hours later than now.

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#2
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/05/2015 3:29 PM

Wrong math.

You start 2.5 hours later and end 2.5 hours earlier.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/05/2015 5:59 PM

That's how I like to run my work days!

Start about noon then take a 2 - 3 hour lunch break and end around 4 PM.

I think I was born for upper level management!

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#6
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/05/2015 6:41 PM

My brother had the same hours.

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/05/2015 6:40 PM

Common core math, school day is 8 hours so you start 4 hours late, and leave 5 hours early so now you have one hour to save for a rainy day.

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#12
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 9:17 AM

"/ We wake up at noon and get to work by one.

"/ Take an hour for lunch and then by two we're done.

"/ JOLLY GOOD FUN!

(From 'The merry old land of OZ' in the movie - No, if you don't know this timeless classic by know, I'm not going to tell you. Do a little research and then watch the movie yourself. Pink Floyd soundtrack optional for second viewing, but not recommended for first viewing.)

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#4

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/05/2015 6:35 PM

I think the whole study is worthless BS.

Nowhere in this meaningless piece is bedtime discussed relative to wake time.

Sure, if I don't go the bed till after midnight, I may not be too sharp earlier the next day.

So, no brass ring, no cigar and do not pass go and collect all A's.

tcmtech, I can tell that you've never been in upper management.

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#7
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/05/2015 7:55 PM

"tcmtech, I can tell that you've never been in upper management. "

Yea I have actual ingrained moral and work ethics to uphold (albeit they are small) so I have never been able to break through into the 'golden toilet' class.

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#13
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 9:20 AM

Plus you have that 'brutal, unvarnished honesty' that we here all love you for.

If this were a cartoon about ponies, you'd probably be the one tending the apple orchard. (Ask your kids/grandkids/neighbor's kids if you don't get it.)

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#8

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 12:33 AM

"Sun to Sun" was the schedule for farmers until just recently. Now we have extended the work/school day into the dark hours as well with electric lighting. Another factor is latitude and seasonal day length changes. If we all adopt on-line classes the schools can be extended into a night shift or flexible hours. Assuming we stick with traditional school modes, we need to have the teachers, administrators, staff, and busses available from a reasonable starting time until whatever end time will meet state and national standards (180 days/year x 6-8 hours/day or ? whatever.) If we want sports, band, clubs, music groups, theater, etc. we need to allow for before and after school times. So for the schools to delay starts and follow the guidlines of this study, the school day would extend into night. Why not allow the kids to adjust their cycles to the school schedule and have early and late activity periods for those classes which are appropriate for early or late scheduling? Don't have calculus at 6 AM before the students are awake and avoid a literature class at 4 PM when fatigue has set in. Have PE early then academics from 8-9 AM until noon. Then have another activity period after school to recharge the kids. I taught for 25 years with all kinds of schedules and flex periods and the kids will adapt.

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 12:57 AM

Your model is unrealistic and too costly.

It's not the kids that's the problem.

When the adults (parents and educators and, unfortunately, politicians) abandon traditional teaching for common core, video games and letting the kids run wild, we get dumb, lazy underachievers.

Have you been on a Facebook page of a teenager lately?

The horse is out of the barn.

This younger generation is going to hell in a hand basket, just like all the generations before them.

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#9

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 12:47 AM

Effective fresh hours are early morning, because of the freshness after sleep.

Many teachers prefer taking up first & second hour of the day since the receptivity is expected to be good.

Presentation of the teacher by way of voice, attention, care, involvement, tracking ability of reception of the students, class population, ventilation, teaching aids, light, cleanliness, movement into the class, short diversions, simple on class exercises, jokes, simplification, reaching to the level of students, encouraging discussions, clearing doubts, making them to understand than memorizing, interest creation & application development are vital on the delivery part of the teacher.

Specially motivating the weaker & average level of students.

Many students tend to sleep due to drowsiness caused by the lack of oxygen in densely packed class rooms. Student population, area / volume of class room per students also bear a scientific factor on effective learning of the students.

Many teachers are concerned about their delivery completion, not much bothered about good house keeping, light & ventilation of the class rooms.

Many teachers deliberately switch of fans to reduce noise & enhance their feeble voice audibility. Obviously student get to open eyed dreaming due to lack of air circulation.

There are lot such points to be taken care by teachers so as to make class room productive & interesting.

Learning & teaching got to go hand in hand in a joyful fashion to make education more meaningful.

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#14
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 9:24 AM

"Presentation of the teacher by way of voice, attention, care, involvement, tracking ability of reception of the students, class population, ventilation, teaching aids, light, cleanliness, movement into the class, short diversions, simple on class exercises, jokes, simplification, reaching to the level of students, encouraging discussions, clearing doubts, making them to understand than memorizing, interest creation & application development are vital on the delivery part of the teacher."

"Bueler .... Bueler ...." (Eh, probably not the best example of a first-period teacher.)

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#16
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 9:44 AM

English is probably not the primary language in India. Give a break to the author. How much Indian can you write?

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#21
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 10:38 AM

It was not my intent to make fun of the author. Rather, the description of a teacher using voice, energy and enthusiasm to hold the class's attention made me think of Ben Stein's performance as the teacher calling attendance in Ferris Bueler's Day Off. For many people who haven't even seen the movie, Stein's droning deadpan delivery has become practically a trope.

I apologize if I have inadvertently given offense.

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#23
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 10:42 AM

I can't speak for the author, but I saw nothing in your comment that is offensive.

I did got your humor and had a good chuckle hearing Stein's voice in my head. I think it's a classic line and I use it on occasion to make a point.

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#24
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 10:49 AM

"I did got your humor and had a good chuckle hearing Stein's voice in my head."

Them my work here is done.

Too bad I can't REALLY take the rest of the day off for one good 'ear worm.'

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#37
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 2:39 PM

How much Indian can you write?

Request better to check your English

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#72
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 2:23 PM

Should I say Hindi or Bengali instead? Is there a word for Indian languages in general (like "English" for American English or British languages)

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#11

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 5:46 AM

That's a bunch of fodder. What are the older kids going to do when they have been starting school at 11:00 a.m. when they get a job at McDonald's and have to show up at 4:00 a.m.

NOOOO, you cannot schedule me at 4:00 a.m.!! What about my natural sleep rhythm?

I say to send them out before the parents leave for work or have parents drop them off on their way to work and the kids should be home with homework done, chores done and dinner started before the parents get home from work.

That is what made America great and it is what it takes to make America great again.

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#15

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 9:40 AM

In response to the last question: "Should class start times be adjusted to fit the natural rhythm of wakefulness?" No, because the 'natural rhythm of wakefulness' can be modified through conditioning and habit... ask any young Soldier who could barely get out of bed and become functional by 10am pre-enlistment what their schedule is now... likely:

Up no later than 0445, standing in formation by 0530, physical training until 0630, at the Chow Hall by 0700, back in formation or at duty location by 0800 ready for a full day's work.

There is no denying our bodies are systems and have requirements: we need sleep and a certain amount of it. But when we get it can most definitely be modified.

As for class times - the Factory Model Education system we have is too ingrained to be successfully modified; although that doesn't mean it's still viable and the best way. But facilitating that change is going to need to be based on more than 'teenagers don't like to get up.'

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#17
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 9:50 AM

exactly,... What defines natural rhythms one may ask?....

The French did an experiment of which NASA duplicated it...

At first I thought that the natural rhythms without light was considerable longer, I'm glad I verified.

My opinion is structure and focus is the key....

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#22
In reply to #17

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 10:41 AM

A 48 hour cycle? that's interesting, from what I remember from a similar experiment, it appeared that the subject was self-adjusting to a 25- 251/2 hour cycle.

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#25
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 10:49 AM

I thought this experiment was interesting also.

I have to admit, when I first heard about it, was in grade school where I read it in my 'Weekly Reader".

The biggest problems they had was the isolation, IMO, this played a big part. suggest as handling depression. But the cycle of sleep was not extensive.

But the subject did not realize the concept of time. It was like he lost a few weeks.

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#26
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 10:56 AM

"The biggest problems they had was the isolation, IMO, this played a big part."

Yeah, for long-term isolation situations, you'd probably do better to send a natural introvert, someone who feels okay not being near or interacting with other people much.

Of course, that's going to skew the test results, since you'll be using mostly Aspies, high-functioning Autistics, and Engineers for the exper-

What? No! Go away! I don't WANT to go live in a cave for six months! Leggo!

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#27
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 11:33 AM

it's somewhat humorist reading the article on the isolation. The guy befriended a mouse which helped.

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#28
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 11:59 AM

Are you saying a liberal democrat in DuPage or Kane County is in isolation? That would explain your responses!

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#29
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 12:21 PM

I often take a Devil's Advocate position here, debating points I may not personally adhere to, in order to help people 'see the issue from all sides.'

Unless I explicitly state that I am being serious, there is a good chance that I am speaking ex cranium, 'outside my head,' taking a particular point of view simply to illustrate something.

(And yes, I know that Latin could also translate into 'out of my mind,' as in insane. Have you read my signature line lately?)

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#30
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 12:51 PM

Devil's advocate,.... like your doing now?,.... right?,..?

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#31
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 1:25 PM

Exactly, the less sense I'm making, the more likely I'm playing DA, or trying to make a joke.

Well, either that, or I'm being nonsensical because I was slipped Decaf and it's messed up my thinking.

(Yes, ANOTHER Coffee Joke.)

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Or you could use the Political Commentator Filter: If you agree with what I'm saying, I'm being serious; if you disagree, it's just a lame joke.

Seriously, this extended campaign season is really beginning to get tired. And think if Big Money gets even more influence, supplying the funds to start even earlier. Two, three years of campaigning? The House members would have no time to do their job, right after they're elected they'd need to hit the Trail to fight off the challengers to their NEXT term. Think if it expands to FIVE years, in the last year before the Presidential election we'd have overlapping campaigns, with attack ads that the opposing candidate will do NOTHING for the country because they're ALREADY starting to campaign for their second term before being elected to their first.

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#32
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 1:42 PM

you lost me at "Exa..."

I have a very short attention spa...

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#33
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 1:42 PM

"The House members would have no time to do their job..."

I"m not sure I see a down side. Not doing there job would be better than what they've been doing the past 10 years (do I hear 20? 40?).

As it is now, I think they are only legislating 3 days/week while they're in session.

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#34
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 1:51 PM

A family company where I worked that were employing good-for-nothing 20-30 something year old nephews, one of the customers told me, they should pay them $100,000.00 to stay away,

This was 20 years ago, and I had to agree with it.

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#35
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 2:13 PM

Legislating? Hardly! Congress is in session 110 days a year. Of that time, 90% is wasted either bickering or fund raising.

We have fiscal cliffs every 6 months because it is a sure fire way to collect bribes from special interests, lobbyists and big business.

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#42
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 5:00 AM

Joking aside, there was at least one experiment on cave explorers. They were sent into the cave without any clocks for an extended stay. I read this long enough in my past to have lost most of the details but one thing I do remember is that without an artificial time keeper (watch or clock), they eventually found themselves on a 30 hour schedule.

TPTB came to the conclusion that our planet once had a 30 hour day.

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#43
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 6:35 AM

As time passes, I believe the days are getting longer and the moon farther away.

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#48
In reply to #42

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 10:12 AM

"TPTB came to the conclusion that our planet once had a 30 hour day."

Unlikely, since, from what I've heard from the astronomers, the Earth is slowly 'spinning down(1),' so unless there was some planetary collision that gave the planet a whole lot of angular momentum(2), this planet has NEVER had a 30 hour day.

Notes:

  1. And not only is the planet slowing down, it's drifting away from the Sun, increasing the length of the orbital path, so not only is the day getting longer, which means the work day is getting longer, but the year is getting longer too, which means even MORE time spent at work during the calendar year.
  2. It's hard to conceive of this planet gaining that much energy from an impact without shattering the crust and throwing the world into another 'lava planet' phase, where the only live that survives is the anaerobic bacteria clinging to rocks tossed out into low earth orbit from the event. This has happened, not the 'spin-up' impact, don't see that happening, but the 'lava planet' phases, they happened during the 'heavy meteor bombardment' periods of the system's history. and the early bacterial live survived by riding on jettisoned bits of rock, and being lucky enough to fall back to Earth when there was a water ocean to fall back into. The 'early arrivals' got to take lava swims instead, and, sadly for them, they had not had the time or proper environmental stresses to evolve traits that would survive immersion in molten rock.
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#52
In reply to #48

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 10:55 AM

I read the 30hr day was 30 hours of daily activity/sleep cycles , not 30 hours of sun/night.

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#89
In reply to #48

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/10/2015 12:20 AM

Considering some of the meteor strikes we've experienced, that acceleration is a possibility. They may have tipped the planet on it's axis also.

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#90
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/12/2015 10:03 AM

I'm not saying that it's unlikely that we've had meteor strikes like that. what I'm saying is that any lifeform complex enough to gain a 'biologic memory' of a 30-hour day cycle would not have survived what happened to the planet to spin it up to a 22-24 hour day cycle.

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#93
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/15/2015 9:29 AM

There is a theory that the earth had a catastrophe about 50,000 years ago and that's why there are several underground facilities including one on Turkey whose name escapes me. As technology improves. we are finding more underground - sometimes under water, locations. There is a theory that goes hand in hand with these that aliens warned the earth's people about an expected cataclysm. This disaster allegedly caused both a great loss of life, but also most of the technology that existed then. Hence the legends of prior civilizations. True? We can't be sure, but it would explain things like the different length of the day.

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#94
In reply to #93

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/15/2015 10:19 AM

I don't mean to sound rude or cynical, but have you been talking with this guy?

Sometime between the Early Stone Age and the Late Stone Age there was a sudden technology explosion that had all its evidence and records destroyed before mankind worked out the 'high tech' of agriculture?

The distinction between Early Stone Age ans Late Stone Age (or Old Stone Age and Modern Stone Age(1), if you prefer) was the discovery/invention of agriculture, which allowed mankind to settle in an area instead of having to follow the migrating herds for food.

Notes:

  1. Yabba Dabba - No, I don't to Random Show Catchprases just for giggles. Besides, I'm still upset at the show for putting cigarette ads right into the program. Yes, that was the thing to do in live action TV back then, but this was a cartoon, KIDS were watching.
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#49
In reply to #42

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 10:23 AM

I, too, read about such a study concluding that most humans have a daily body time cycle slightly longer than 24 hours (28-30). I don't recall any mention of the planet having a longer daily cycle.

Somewhere I read that the natural human wake/sleep cycle was longer than 24 hours as it's easier for the body's internal clock to re-sync to the planet's cycle every day based on sunlight if the body's clock was a longer cycle, as opposed to a shorter cycle.

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#18

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 10:10 AM

Then wars should be fought after 10AM when the troops are alert. Surgery should be done midmorning when the medical teams have had time to be fully alert. Clerks, cooks and bakers should not be expected to arrive at or before 5AM to prepare for customers at the stores and restaurants. Why should police and firefighters be available all night when they might be sleepy? Let's delay flights until midmorning so the crews can be ready to do their jobs. Close all the 24 hour stores and gas stations and return to lunch breaks for bankers from noon till 1 PM. How about a Siesta midday for all workers and students?

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#19
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 10:21 AM

Agree, having structure does teach the students an important lesson in life, And that is Responsibility.

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#20

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 10:34 AM

Get the kids off their arses, away from the TV and video games. Have them active during their wake hours and then in bed with enough time to get a good 9-10 hours sleep and the start time won't make much difference. They will adapt and be able to perform.

When my daughter was in elementary school, mom's in the neighborhood took turns dropping off/picking up the kids to/from school. On a few occasions my wife was not able to pitch in and I filled in her slot. It was obvious which kids (out of the 4) had enough sleep.

Just mine, because the parents of her schoolmates allow their kids to watch TV from the time they get in from school to until they go to bed at 11:00 pm. My daughter was alert, attentive and talkative all the way to school (and back). The other kids looked like zombies, no expression, no energy. Sad.

Our kids never had more than 30 min of TV a day during the weekdays (usually in the morning if they were ready for school). They were in bed by 8:30 PM (9 at the latest) then up around 7/7:30 AM.

Another important factor is diet. What do the kids eat? Give them a good balanced healthful breakfast before school. Send them with a nutritious lunch and limit snacks before bedtime.

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#36
In reply to #20

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 2:19 PM

GA JBRtardis

Too many kids are coddled and therefore become weak, in their spirit and physically. I applaud you for the TV guideline in your home. We don't have TV except for whatever video we may watch, which isn't real often.

Put the kids outside and give them a stick to play with. Turn off the stinkin' TV, put the video games away, turn off the phone, etc. and talk to one another, play games together, go for a walk, work on projects together.

As has been mentioned in earlier Posts, kids will adapt. They adapt to us, not vice versa. The kids aren't in charge!

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#38
In reply to #36

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 3:16 PM

Thank you.

"Put the kids outside and give them a stick to play with. Turn off the stinkin' TV, put the video games away, turn off the phone, etc. and talk to one another, play games together, go for a walk, work on projects together."

I agree 100%.

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#39
In reply to #36

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 3:23 PM

Against my better judgement we got my daughter an ipod a few years ago.

(Well actually, it was against my will. My clever daughter asked her Japanese grandmother who obliged by giving my wife the money for that purpose. Instead of offending her mother, my wife got her the ipod.)

Over the past few years we've had many a discussion on the appropriate use of her device (don't use it at the table is a common theme, don't use it while you are having a conversation).

Then funny enough, my daughter spent a significant period of time with some of her friends (sleep over or something). She came home talking about how rude her friends are that they can't just have a conversation....always stopping what they are doing to respond to a text. I looked at her, and it was like a light turned on in her head. She got it (I think).

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#40

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 4:09 PM

The "one size fits all" approach never works well with individual people....it makes life very frustrating....it assumes people are all the same all the time....it's an outdated approach....individual people require individual evaluation to come up with a mutually agreeable plan to meet individual goals....We waste a lot of resources trying to cram square pegs into round holes and vice versa...

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#41
In reply to #40

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/06/2015 11:52 PM

Care to elaborate on how the educational process can be tailored to each individual student and not cost a fortune?

Can you cite any examples beyond sitting in front of a PC screen?

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#44
In reply to #41

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 7:07 AM

Here is the problem: We have one guy in AZ who wants to be somewhere else (when it's hot and dry) and another in FL who probably would rather be in AZ part of the time (when it's hot and humid). The individualized solution would be to both come to CO where (at 9300 feet) it is sunny and cooler most of the year (except for the "really cooler" times from Nov to May). That is the dilemma for educators trying to individualize the school curriculum. It is more efficient to put a teacher in a room with 25-30 students for a period which is not too long for the short-attention span students but not too short for the attentive and motivated ones. Then there is the bus schedule for the union driven subcontracted bus company which has several school districts to serve at about the same time during the traffic rush hours. Add in the support staff needed for security, food services, janitorial scheduling, and administrational overseeing (state mandated testing, counseling, special-needs support, media resources (library), etc.) and the daily or weekly schedule becomes a challenge to adapt to the individualities of each person in the equation. On top of all this is the role of the parents and the varying work schedules of each family unit. Disney World vacations and trips to Hawaii can't all happen at the same time so you have to be flexible in allowing pre-arranged absences for everyone involved. Sports teams will have early dismissal for game days and at tournament times and bands will march at the Rose Bowl Parade. It used to be harvest time which set the summer vacation schedule. Now with A/C in the buildings (not all), a full year schedule with quarterly breaks is possible for most districts. But then the teachers union will want to renegotiate contracts and costs/pupil/year are affected and state and federal funding comes into play. This is why superintendents compromise their principles and principals lose their faculties!

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#45
In reply to #44

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 9:23 AM

So as I read, I'm following along, until near the end where things become a little disjointed. Can you please clarify how these last two statements connect:

"But then the teachers union will want to renegotiate contracts and costs/pupil/year are affected and state and federal funding comes into play. This is why superintendents compromise their principles and principals lose their faculties!"

I'm confused because moving to a 'full year schedule with quarterly breaks' would certainly require additional funding and renegotiating contracts. But I don't see why/how this is the input into the last statement.

Anyway - one of the largest problems with our education system isn't the system but the lack of parenting going on at home. Although most of my LE experience is on the military side - I was a civilian LE for awhile and had to do a school rotation... I was completely flabbergasted buy the sheer lack of respect and discipline the majority of the youth had. As a result, most of the faculty's time was spent managing the environment rather then educating.

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#47
In reply to #45

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 9:54 AM

"This is why superintendents compromise their principles and principals lose their faculties!"

At the risk of committing the Cardinal Sin of Comedy(1), may I suggest you re-read that line, paying close attention to the spelling of the words towards the center, which would give you a clue to the meaning(s) of the words at the end.

Notes:

  1. "First Rule of Comedy, boy: Nevah- ah say nevah explain a joke. If a joke needs explainin' either you told it wrong or you've got a dumb audience, and you never say that last part out lout, you nevah even THINK it, 'cuz NOBODY likes bein' called dumb. Ain't that right, you dumb dog? Say, why's your rope unhitched from that stake? That's supposed to keep you from wandering around and gettin' in trouble, or wanderin' over here to harass .. the ... chickens ... uh oh..." -F. Leghorn
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#51
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 10:49 AM

The superintendent that year was the former football coach and the district had won the state title recently. They funded a new stadium with astroturf and padded bleacher seats at the same time that they sent the custodians to the Goodwill donation centers to get free toilet paper and towels for the restrooms. This is a loss of principles by superintendents and a loss of faculties by principals: I resigned ASAP.

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#56
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 11:18 AM

re-elect a new school board.

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#57
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 11:31 AM

The school board members were the ones pushing for the new stadium and donating to the project.

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#59
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 11:51 AM

I know, donating to the project.... ah construction companies looking for work.

We had the same problem at my high I attended, some old has-been jocks pushed for a new football field and bleachers (no stadium), and expensive sports in general (football)

And they gutted out the industrial arts classes and equipment (Mechanical, Woods and Graphic Arts). We had the best Industrial Arts program that was better than the local Technical College.

A lot of the equipment when to the school board members and their friends. They were the ones that posted the small print public notices in the local paper.

Then after 5-6 years it was determined that Industrial Arts Class is needed. And this same Jock, priced out Made in China Machine Tools, only to find after the delivery of the tools, that a lot of the accessories did not fit, were incompatible, or had too poor of tolerances and workmenship.

That is why, you have to vote for you school board members.

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#64
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 12:49 PM

"That is why, you have to vote for you school board members."

And do the follow-up, find out which members are proposing the bone-headed or corrupt ideas and vote them out so they stop doing damage. Better an empty seat than an idiot in charge.

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#65
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 12:53 PM

correct, participation....

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#61
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 12:14 PM

Well, the board spoke pretty loud and clear there: "This school district will be known for producing a plethora of dumb jocks for the NFL meat grinder and/or military service. All girls and, boys too weak to make the team, are of no real consequence."

"Madness? This! Is! SPARTA!!!!!!" (*kicks some poor schlub into a deep pit/dry well*)

This is why I am for: if not the current implementation of Common Core Standards (haven't looked too deep into it, don't have any school-age kids to worry about) the idea that there should be some scholastic benchmarks to insure that all 'mainline' students finish their K-12 curriculum with all the skills they'll need to move on to higher education, and that the 'special needs' students are educated as close to that standard as the child can manage. Timmy may be dealing with MS, and will never be able to write with gorgeous penmanship, or use a keyboard ad over 10WPM, but he can still learn to read at a college-ready level, and to write eloquently, even if his typing is slow, and to speak like a scholar (assuming his tongue is going to cooperate, of course), and he can learn his algebra. He may never be a football star, but he just might become the next Steven Hawking, or the next Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Garrett, or Steve Jackson.

(Please don't ask me about Mark over there, the kid who seems to be just a few steps above a permanent vegetative state. I'm not an educator, and definately not a special-needs educator. If I can't tell whether or not he even knows I'm standing in front of him, tapping him gently on the shoulder with my finger, how can I reach him to share my knowledge? Those cases are for wiser minds than mine to solve.)

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#62
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 12:23 PM

NFL???... LOL

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#66
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Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 12:53 PM

How dare you touch a student? That would earn you a suspension of your teaching license and a headline in the papers. Then your use of the terms dumb, weak, schlub, etc. would result in the loss of your pension for defamation of character and bullying. Teachers must give only positive reinforcement resulting in elevated feelings of self-worth and self-esteem. All homework should be marked with a smiley face. We were told by school administrators that the remedial science courses should ultimately prepare those who struggle in math/sciences to be brain surgeons who would supposedly operate on the like-minded. True story!

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#68
In reply to #66

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 1:11 PM

Something tells me that we need to send in The Who's Tommy ("That deaf, dumb(mute) and blind kid") for them to try and teach.

Or better yet, send them all to Tommy for a lesson or two. ("Welcome to the Camp, I guess you all know why we're here. My name is Tommy, and I became Aware this year. If you want to follow me, you've got to play pinball. And put in your earplugs, put on your eye shades, you know where to put the cork.")

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#83
In reply to #66

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/08/2015 11:37 PM

I have a friend who was a teacher in one of the ghetto schools in Jersey City. When he was physically attacked by a student, he defended himself which led to his dismissal on psychological grounds and a disability pension. After all, he must have been crazy to strike a student. (Never mind that the student was vigorously trying to do severe damage to the teacher.) True story!

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#86
In reply to #83

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/09/2015 9:30 AM

Sounds like that was the school spinning it into a story that would at least get the teacher a pension, since claiming that the student attacked first and the teacher was defending himself, even if there was security camera evidence of the event, would have lead the school to being sued by the kids parents for 'slander, defamation of character, character assassination, pedophilia, murder, and what ever else the lawyer can dig up to throw at the institution.'

It could have been a whole lot worse, your friend could have simply been 'fired for cause' for touching a student, which would have gotten him nothing but an effective lifetime ban from working in education.

And people wonder why New Jersey is considered a punchline in and of itself.

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#88
In reply to #86

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/10/2015 12:17 AM

Well, my friend was happy with the result. Retired at less than 40, he simply went on with his life. He works when he feels like it and stays 'retired' the rest of the time.

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#58
In reply to #51

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 11:42 AM

Ah, my mistake. From the style of writing, I had assumed you were channeling Dave Barry or the late Terry Pratchett to produce a humorous, yet scathing satire.

And yet the underlying double-meanings still seem to hold:

Superintendents losing principles/principals: This was probably not the only case where a super was being unethical, and there was likely some 'turnover' in higher staff in those other situations.

Principals losing faculties: not only were there other teachers walking out in other situations, but there were likely principals appearing to go crazy either as a result of the events around them, or their 'loss of mental faculties' instigated or exasperated the events around them.

There's no law that says a joke cannot hold the truth within it. Sometimes a clever turn of phrase can be the way to 'sneak truth into an otherwise unaccepting mind.'

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#60
In reply to #47

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 11:51 AM

Ah yes... I see now... *chuckle* albeit late

A dramatic pause (i.e. Hard Return) would have assisted in the original read-through. I must say that the lack of spacing influenced my reading rate, and thus my comprehension.

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#54
In reply to #45

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 11:05 AM

My thoughts on parent involvement in education center on the current trend toward split families where the kids have 2 homes where they alternate times with separated or divorced parents.Many parent-teacher conferences are spent with each parent separately since they cannot be civil with the other parent present, even in front of the child. We had to mail reports separately for those kids. No wonder the student had attention deficit disorder.

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#46
In reply to #44

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 9:53 AM

You should have listened more closely when you were being taught punctuation in class.

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#50
In reply to #44

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 10:30 AM

My final year of teaching in public high schools (2006) was in a small logging town in OR where for 20 years every tax levy to support the schools was voted down. The current principal was a lady who had had 5 successive principals leave in about 4 years. She came in when the school was adopting a WEEKLY flex schedule with classes held from 1 to 3 hours long (depending upon the class needs- music, drama, science labs, etc.) on a staggered and varied DAILY schedule that defied belief. Teachers and students could be found wandering the halls searching for their classes while reading a printout of the daily schedule for that particular day. Bells signaling beginning or ending times were sounding every half hour and lunches had to be available from 10AM to 2PM to accommodate the class schedules. We had no budget for science lab supplies and even hand towels and toilet paper were in short supply. Science teachers were in rooms with maybe two power outlets and the computer for attendance used those. I HAD 36 STUDENTS IN A ROOM WITH 25 CHAIRS, WITH KIDS SITTING AT LAB TABLES AROUND THE PERIMETER. Then the special needs students were around the front in wheelchairs with adult helpers beside them. It was chaos and midyear the principal left and a new schedule was adopted to resolve the problems. This is what I meant by compromised principles and lost faculties. I resigned that spring and as far as I know the district has yet to fund the schools as needed.

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#53
In reply to #50

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 10:57 AM

Sad.

One major problem is how much money goes to and from Washington D.C. supposedly for educational purposes. I see it as a huge waste of money. We are spending far more per student than ever, with horrible results.

Cut D.C. out of the pictures and tax payers will have about $500 a year more in their pocket. Then maybe they wouldn't mind shelling out a a bit more in local taxes to cover school expenses.

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#55
In reply to #50

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 11:17 AM

Well you do what you have to to make the budget,.... as well as they are within federal education requirements.

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#63
In reply to #55

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 12:33 PM

Schools have to "cut to the core" to get federal funds now, the Core Curriculum which has been forced upon the schools. Meanwhile the "flesh" of the apple of education has been discarded. When I began teaching we could still teach principles, standards, and a broad selection of science theories and even historical values. Now the state-mandated tests have narrowed the scope of the courses. While I am writing, the same sparrow has been hitting his head repeatedly against my reflective window outside the house after seeing his reflection. This is how I felt as a teacher after 25 years and seeing the schools decline. Fortunately for me I had alternatives and was able to leave the public schools for other interests where I could have more effectiveness.

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#67
In reply to #63

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 1:03 PM

That's why I say I like the underlying concept of Common Core, even if it's implementation is flawed.

Common Core should be the 'baseline' that every school should teach, yet be easy enough to achieve that there is still time and budget for the flesh to be taught as well.

It's like designing a roadway bridge: the Federal guidelines give the minimum load the bridge should be able to take before collapsing, the State may have regulations that set the bar a bit higher, stating that the bridge should be able to handle 120% of the load the Federal guidelines mandate, but if you've got the know-how, time and budget, why not build the bridge to 150% of the Federal guidelines and make it a bridge that will be a point of pride for the communities served by it, a bridge that will still be in 'excellent' condition when the DOT records say it should be at it's 'end of life' stage. But if the Federal guidelines are so strict and inflexible that they chew up the budget and make it hard to even get the bridge to 102% of the Federal recommendations, then either the guidelines need to be changed, or the budget increased.

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#69
In reply to #67

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 1:37 PM

When driving cross country we often see bridge foundations that have survived years after the roadway has been abandoned, standing alone without any span to the other side. Normally the span is demolished to avoid someone using the structure accidently, but I wonder if the specs for the foundations were overengineered. Same may be true for schools: the design criteria for American Public Education was never codified as such and teachers passed on what they had learned as best they knew how. Attempts to fix standards from the top down have failed as well. Maybe it's time to apply evidence-based learning to schools, using "grass roots" methods which work at the local level. School schedules should be regional or local decisions that work for the cultures, settings, and economies of the local communities. For example here in Colorado some high schools extend the daily H S schedule from Mon thru Thurs then have a three day weekend so that the older students can work in the ski industry on weekends. They achieve the hours/year of classroom time and respond to a local demand for supporting the tourist industry for the community. In Amish Country in PA & OH, the Amish will complete 8 grades then finish as "home schooled" where they learn a trade as apprentices to their family or relatives. Some will complete high school and go on to medical careers, education, or agricultural sciences related to the family businesses. They can choose a path suited to their needs.

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#70
In reply to #69

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 1:45 PM
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#71
In reply to #70

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 2:17 PM

Were you an English teacher at some point? I have been ignoring my edit warnings lately; sorry.

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#73
In reply to #71

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 2:48 PM

Never taught English.

I came from rural Arkansas, graduated high school in 1965.

I lost my southern drawl as soon as I left AR. and spoke correctly, with no accent and as few grammatical errors as possible, so I would not be thought of as a "hick".

I've always believed that proper speech, spelling and grammar are critical if you want to be taken seriously. I think it has worked for me to help me succeed in an engineering/technical world, when speaking with engineers, managers and presidents of companies..

Besides, it's easier to read if punctuated correctly.

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#74
In reply to #73

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 3:17 PM

I enjoyed the handbook "Eats, Shoots, & Leaves" by Lynne Truss about sticklers like you. I admit to rushing through comments and you are right to correct me. I had strict English teachers in OH (Amish country), one who studied Shakespeare and Pepys in England so I should be more careful.

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#75
In reply to #74

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/07/2015 4:15 PM

Sorry, it is but one of many of my character flaws.

Reading run-on sentences and unpunctuated paragraphs also gives me a headache.

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#91
In reply to #75

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/13/2015 8:39 PM

You must love Victor Hugo.

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#76
In reply to #74

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/08/2015 8:49 AM

I appreciate properly punctuated sentences, but what makes your long posts even more unreadable is the fact that you don't insert any carriage returns. It's easier to read if there are a few breaks in the paragraph (even if not needed for grammatical reasons).

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#78
In reply to #76

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/08/2015 9:24 AM

The only carriage returns I know about are the buggy rental returns in Amish country. Not really!

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#92
In reply to #69

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/14/2015 10:34 AM

Well, here in the Midwest, at least, most of the 'overpass' ramps that let two roads cross without interacting with each other are man-made hills, and as such they are very stable and can weather the elements well. After all, a hill doesn't just blow over or collapse under its own weight(1). Now if you're talking about pylons and support columns that stand tall and proud long after the bridge they were supporting is gone; again, those are designed to last longer than the bridge the were supporting. It'd be a really bad idea if a good bridge collapsed because it's foundation wore out first.

(Self marking as OT because this has nothing to do with students anymore)

Notes:

  1. 'Sand Hills,' aha 'dunes' explicitly excepted. Those aren't proper hills in the first place BECAUSE they wander around. They're more like slow motion 'waves' than they are geography.
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#84
In reply to #67

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/09/2015 12:01 AM

A 'common core' may be part of the solution, but from what I've been reading, the current 'Common Core' isn't even a good approach to a decent education. Unfortunately there are too few teachers or school boards out there who will insist on something better.

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#87
In reply to #84

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/09/2015 9:57 AM

As I said, I like the concept, but the current implementation stinks.

The base was a good idea, but there were two 'camps' in Congress that screwed it up; the Far-Left Liberals, who don't want even the most brain-dead student held back for 'just being diferently-brained,' and therefore make the tests about something other than knowledge and understanding; and on the other side you have the Far-Right Conservatives, who are against ANY sort of education for the 'lesser people,' and want to privatize the entire education system so kids can get only the education their parents can afford (Which means that rich kids get schooled, poor kids stay 'dumb, uneducated beasts' fit only to serve the 'better people' who have all the money).

What we NEED is a truly non-partisan organization to design and implement the education system here in the US. Talk to the people 'in the trenches,' the parents of school-age kids, the teachers and principals, perhaps bring in some 'expert consultants' to provide insight, I hear Japan has a good educational system, as does Germany, France, the UK- oh, why beat around the bush, ANY country with a better primary education system than the US can be consulted, which means almost EVERY 'developed country' in the world. The last thing we need is to let the same morons we sent to Congress have any say in the education system of this country. They've screwed up more than enough. Five hundred and thirty-five idiots on Capitol Hill (not counting the Veep) and I can only work to change three of them. (I envy the states that use a General Election for their Representatives, instead of the District-based 'pick one for your district' method used in IL; those people have a say in ALL the idiots they sent to the Hill.)

Sorry about the rant at the end, I think I'm getting an alergic reaction to all the political campagining; it's too much, too soon, and my Last Nerve is really getting worn down from the experience.

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#82
In reply to #41

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/08/2015 11:22 PM

Regarding the cost of education; it may be expensive in the short run, but we're losing ground as regards the better education systems out there. We really need to raise the bar, and that doesn't just mean longer school years. The 'cheap' schooling the kids are getting costs them and the country in the long run.

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#77

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/08/2015 9:09 AM

I think a more important question/topic is.

Is Daylights savings time really necessary?

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#79
In reply to #77

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/08/2015 6:35 PM

Yes. Plants grow better and faster when they have the extra hour of sunlight in summer. I actually had a student say that in biology class.

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#80
In reply to #79

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/08/2015 7:31 PM

He's probably a Senator or Congressman now.

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#81
In reply to #80

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/08/2015 8:59 PM

I think he's president and his weed is doing well.

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#85
In reply to #79

Re: What Time Should Students Start Classes?

10/09/2015 9:15 AM
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