School years are always divided into grading periods. Some are quarters, some trimesters, some semesters, but there are always boxes in which to place a set of student accomplishments in order to assign some kind of final grade as a statement about their progress. The school district in which I currently teach does something that I have not experienced anywhere else. They allocate one day at the start of every new quarter as a planning day for teachers to gather their thoughts, plans, materials, and wits about them before they embark on the next 9 week journey. This is amazing to me. Every other district I have taught in filled these teacher work days with meetings, professional development workshops, or parent teacher conferences. Never have I taught in a place that seems to value teacher time and planning as much as the school where I am.
Tomorrow I will go in to school and have 7.5 hours in which to prepare my classroom for the next portion of the school year. Having been hired 3 weeks into the year, there was a lot that I was unable to do that other teachers did in the week prior to students coming back. This one day is such a gift to me. What a fantastic change from prior experience. I wish I knew who to write to to thank them for this opportunity, for valuing the fact that teachers need time to just plan.
A day of rest before the pre-Christmas quarter storm. I absolutely cannot wait. 🙂