As a teacher in the Granite School District, I took offense at the article published in a recent issue of the Deseret News by Jennifer Toomer-Cook indicating the waste of time students are forced to endure during the end of the school year.
I, along with my colleagues, work very hard to ensure that students get valuable instruction up to and including the last day of school.Some of my classroom end-of-year activities include a camp day. On this day, the students set up camp, tell stories and sing songs. Play, you say? It may seem that way if you don't see the whole picture. However, our class had just completed a novel on a boy surviving alone in the wilderness. Could my students survive? They wanted to know. The songs and stories they shared had been written by them and they needed someone to listen and cheer them on in their efforts. We did. As a class, we have worked all year developing lifetime skills that are needed in our work force. These skills include: trust, respect, caring and responsibility. These skills aren't acquired without working together and supporting each other in their efforts.
As a class, we will also build model rockets in teams and launch them. Team skills are crucial in life.
Of course, if you ask my students, they'll just say, "We get to shoot some rockets for fun." Even though it was hard work to get to the launch pad, they won't even mention that because it was fun.
If you honestly think that learning is not happening at the end of the school year, I invite you to participate with us, not only in the culminating activities, but in the entire educational process that your child is participating in. You may be pleasantly surprised and not be so quick to make a judgement call.
5th grade teacher