The good news is that this is not an Ontario story.
The bad news is that stories like this can spread like wildfire with other jurisdictions adopting it or modifying the concept and calling it their own.
From my perspective, it’s a knee-jerk, bean counting reaction to the lack of face-to-face schooling that happened as a result of COVID. It reminds me of decisions being made by legislators who have never been in the situation. We’re seeing it in Texas and now this story pops up.
Let me throw out some thoughts…
- kids are kids – they need the weekend break to do things with family, just to recharge, and to do kid things like hockey, dance, go to a nature walk, hang out with friends, etc.
- schools are already sending home homework for the weekend
- kids often have weekend jobs to get themselves a little money and, in some cases, help out mom and/or dad in these tough times
- kids often do other learning activities on Saturday like music lessons
- it increases the time that unvaccinated kids are closer to each other in rooms and on buses
and let’s turn to teachers
- they’re dead tired already on Friday afternoons without adding this to the table
- even if the suggestion of newly-hired tutors could be put into place, there needs to be a continuity to what’s happening Monday-Friday already so that adds more work to the regular classroom teacher
- to me, it speaks volumes about online learning. Without preparation, teachers poured their hearts into providing the best that they could when teaching went online. Granted, it wasn’t face-to-face but the same promotion and granting of credits was given so the school system has already recognized that achievement can be done
I do like the acknowledgement that, in some cases, there needs to be attention paid to student well-being. But that’s already a thing that teachers do. I would find it demeaning to think that we could hire someone else to do it.
I have no doubt that the concept was put forth by some well meaning individual but fear what might happen when some politician decides this is something hanging their hat on.