Just like Garfield, we all hate Mondays. They signify the beginning of another long week, and are a rude end to a wonderful weekend.
Parents will understand the struggle of trying to get their kids out of bed on a Monday morning, hurrying them off to school, and then having to rush themselves to work.
Weekends are generally a time for relaxation, but any teacher will tell you this is not the case for them. Most find themselves working overtime in order to prep for the coming week, without getting compensated for their extra work.
Of course, this is something most people know about when they decide to go into teaching, but one school district in Colorado has made a change to their schedule, which they hope will give teachers the time they need to prepare.
School District 27J has chosen to 'eliminate Mondays,' starting their school week on a Tuesday instead. Students will have a four-day week, and teachers will be able to use the extra day for prep instead of their weekend.
District 27J superintendent Chris Fiedler released a statement on the decision.
We're confident it's going to attract teachers and keep them. I haven't had teachers say that this is a horrible idea.
I realize this will be a significant change for our students, their families, and the communities we are so fortunate to serve, but our district can no longer be expected to do more with less financial resources. We really feel like Monday is the day to prepare and to be better for kids.
This will give people a chance to have a weekend and then come in on Monday — whether they're paid to or not because they're doing that work anyway to be prepared for kids and to be better for kids.
The decision comes on the heels of the district's failed attempt at getting more funding for their schools. They can now save money on bus costs, substitute teacher salaries, and utility costs. Fiedler estimates the savings will be around $1 million.
However, it will mean additional child care costs for parents of students in the district. There is the option for care provided through the district, which is $30 a day, but Fiedler admits that it is a cost that the parents will have to deal with.
With that being said, the superintendent believes they are making the right choice for the students in the long run.
“We are 100% committed to providing our students with the necessary skills and competencies that will enable a future far beyond graduation," he said. "To that end, I believe it is in our students’ best interest to provide high quality, engaged teachers using 21st Century tools for learning four days a week rather than not have them five days a week.”
So will it work?
While it's great to save money for the school, how will it affect students? There's been no conclusive evidence to point one way or the other.
“Determining the effects on students, staff, and parents, that gets to be much more complex,” says John Conrath, PhD, a senior lecturer in Ohio State University’s Department of Educational Studies. "Older students seem to adapt more readily, are more flexible, and have parents who seem to be more flexible in making these changes. With younger students, it always becomes problematic.”
The other thing is, starting school on a Tuesday doesn't mean the dread of starting your week will disappear. Mondays aren't hard because they're Mondays, it's because you're coming out of a relaxing routine.
Just like how black is the new pink, Tuesday is about to be the new Monday.