Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day

When I was going to school, schools traditionally started the year the Wednesday after Labor Day. This was true of the elementary schools, the middle schools and junior highs, the high schools and the colleges and universities. I am not quite sure why it was that Wednesday and not the day before since Tuesday was the day immediately after the holiday, but the start of the school year was after Labor Day. Some schools still do that. My son starts the Wednesday after Labor Day.

Still, this approach has largely changed. Like many instructors, my college courses started the week before Labor Day. School began the Monday before the holiday. While it may allow the school year to end earlier and help institutions meet standards and goals, there is a problem with this. After just one week of classes, students are getting a day off.

I teach a Tuesday morning class. For many of the students, this is the first class after the Labor Day holiday. That means, when they return to classes on Tuesday, it is hard getting them to refocus. Many have still not broken out of the summer vacation mode and now they aren’t even given a chance to settle into the school year before getting a day off.

I realize that this is not going to happen but, I think schools which start before Labor Day should sit down and truly reconsider. Perhaps some of those who make the decisions should try teaching a class the day after Labor Day and see what they think.

Either way, it is good to be back teaching as I enjoy it. I just wish we had a little more time to ease into the routine.

To one and all, teachers and students, here is wishing you a good, enjoyable and successful semester.