Friday, January 11, 2008

No Better School Today

Don't let any school-aged child read this post. It is common knowledge that the first week of school after a holiday is not real school, so you don't have to show up. That is what I've been told after inquiring what it meant when students I found working the market or simply wandering the streets of Goderich this week told me they weren't in school because, "No better school today." Indeed - and this you really shouldn't let school-aged children see - teachers around here spend the first week reviewing material from the previous term. This is as true at the Goderich Waldorf School as it is at any of the government or parochial schools in Freetown that I have heard about.

More inspiring was our most recent faculty meeting during which we outlined a new schedule that will reduce class periods from a grueling one hour to a more manageable fprty-five minutes, with a longer morning break built in. For those who know what a main lesson is, you'll be glad to hear that we also reduced that period from two-and-a-half hours to only two hours. It gave us time for a third special subject. The faculty also agreed to allow the children in Classes I and II to have free play and games during the period between lunch and dismissal and to organize the schedule so that older students could have academics in the morning and arts and games in the afternoons. I have to admit that creating a schedule for a faculty of six is ridiculously easy compared to the artful application in their correct proportions of calculus and alchemy required to create a schedule for the Rudolf Steiner School, where there are upwards of sixty faculty members.

And so we make a slow start into the second term of the year, but there is a great deal to anticipate. On Monday, a local craftswoman will begin teaching bead work to all the classes. The girls and boys football (that's soccer, of course) teams will continue their after-school training through the rest of the year. And, among other things, plans are moving quickly for the new school to be opened at a new site next September. As with any other academic year, I am full of energy for the reopening of the school, and the cool weather brought in by the harmattan winds has contributed greatly to my generally positive outlook.

No comments: