Schooooooool’s OUT FOR SUMMER!
By Dr. Ryan Donlan
Department of Educational Leadership
Bayh College of Education
Indiana State University
The countdown began last August or September … “180, 179, 178” … and ends for many this week, with a “3, 2, 1 … ZEROOOO.”
As Alice Cooper sang long ago, “Schooooooool’s Out, FOR SUMMER!!!”
Some in our profession mark yearlong tallies of the countdown in their classrooms, to the delight of students. It is as if educators and students, alike, now seemingly have much to celebrate amidst sunshine and lemonade.
Yet, let us consider as well, what else may be happening for the next two-to-three months:
The onset of forgotten academic content;
Increased costs for child care in families;
Sweltering heat with no respite for the impoverished;
An end to cafeteria food, and thus … “food,” for many;
Idle time for kids, in which they can learn from the unwritten curriculum of smoking or imbibery;
Hours and hours of daytime drivel, where television hosts bring together belles of the barroom and their babies’ daddies to discuss the foreign language of monogamous relationships;
General increases in crime and hospital emergency room traffic in many locales; and of course …
Fewer adult role models making a positive impact upon impressionable children.
I’ll skip my typical “21st century, yet-still-in-an-agrarian-calendar” points of contention, as we might have a deeper problem here, evidenced by the fact that much of our hoopla comes after 36 consecutive “TGIF’s” celebrated, with a similar number of morose Mondays mourned in our K-12 classrooms.
Enjoy your summer.
Dr. Ryan Donlan is wondering what all of this summertime celebration is really about. Conversations among his doctoral students from the Indianapolis area inspired him to visit his back deck this week and put some thought into this whole notion of the “Big Countdown.” If you would like to spar with him a bit about the relative importance of summer vacation for K-12 students and our profession, please feel free to throw-down at firstname.lastname@example.org or (812) 237-8624. Might do him some good.