WARNING: Side effects of this blog include: nausea, extreme jealousy, anger, and sadness (ugly crying may result from sadness).
This is a picture of the resort I will be staying at for the next 9 days! The point of this blog is not to rub it in your face that I will be at one of the most beautiful, luxurious places on the planet, but simply to relate my dream vacation to the education world! ☺
A little background information on this trip:
My mom is a HUGE fan of family vacations and unfortunately, due to the terrible state of the housing market for the past few years (she is a new-home sales representative), our family has not been able to go on a vacation. Needless to say, anxiety, angst, sadness, and annoyance have built up inside of her like a popcorn bag filled with marshmallows. As these emotions brought my mother to her breaking point, she last-minute booked a vacation to a place called Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean. Although my two brothers and I are in school, as well as, she and my step dad have work, she decided the end of September would be the best time to go (aka the MOST inconvenient time for everyone). The result of it all? A nine-day family vacation to the Caribbean!
Initially, I was exuberant about the trip. However, my excitement began to fade as I realized I was missing a total of 7 days of school! As many of you know, missing college is… TERRIBLE! My mind quickly went to missing homework, to being absent for exams, to paper deadlines I would miss, to angry teachers, to failing classes. (I am a girl so this kind of thinking is normal!) As I hesitantly began to talk to my professors about the vacation, I experienced an extreme amount of grace and excitement from them! This surprised me!
This got me thinking about how the education system (at least in Colorado) handles family vacations. As future educators, will we be okay with students missing long periods of school? Or will we be tolerant to helping students get back on track after missing classes?
In elementary school, I experienced many teachers disapproving of my missing school when I was sick. This ultimately led to me NEVER wanting to miss class. It actually got so bad that my parents would ask me to miss school and take a break for a day and I would upright refuse! The amount of stress and anxiety caused by missing a day of school was not worth the day of rest I would get.
Is this what we really want to communicate to students? That learning, being in class, or attending school is more important than valuable time they could spend with their family? Or more important than getting a much needed day of rest? In my opinion, there is a fine line between encouraging missing school and creating an idea that school isn’t very important and stressing the importance of family time and rest. How can we make students aware of the importance of school and learning, but also not create anxiety and stress for students when they do miss class? Should this be done on an individual basis depending on if you have a student that is constantly ditching class or a goody-two-shoes that never wants to displease you?
I would definitely be interested if you have any stories or past experiences about missing school for a vacation and how your teacher responded!
Anyways, just an idea to chew on as you get closer to becoming an educator. And also an opportunity to tell you all about my amazing, beautiful, and fun vacation I get the opportunity to go on! Oh, and maybe to provide an explanation for my absence in class for the next week and a half.