This week we could read in some media: “For many French people, the summer holidays start this weekend”, and Bison smart predicted “difficult traffic throughout France” on Saturday towards departure, and a red day in Ilede-France. There are still two days of class, but it seems that not everyone is there, on the side of the children. The Huffington Post and France Info have even explored the issue, focusing their paper on parental justifications and the parent-teacher relationship to be spared.
Well, let’s face it: every year it’s the same, our classes are emptying as the last day approaches. We don’t have official figures, but my wet finger would say that in some places between a quarter and a maximum of half of the students are no longer there on the last day. Will it be worse than usual this year? It is quite possible, since the ministry has found nothing better than to decide on a year-end on Tuesday, July 6. These two silly and unnecessary little days there at the beginning of the week, when the month of July has begun, annoys many people. It’s that you have to do 144 days of school no matter what, in elementary school, or 180 if you work as a bibi on Wednesdays, and 180 is not 178, let it be said. No way to give away two days, to end on Friday, July 2, even though it still sounds better.
In addition, it seems that some parents have completely missed the information (too bad it was in all correspondence books at the beginning of this year) and are only now discovering that Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 exist. Note, I know a school principal who grabbed his train tickets for Friday, July 2nd, and had to exchange them when he realized we were finishing up the 6th (it had been a few months)!
It should be noted here that these few late days in July, over several years, are the direct result of the transition to 15 days of school holidays on All Saints’ Day, where before 2012, there were only 10, the few days granted in October postponed until the end of the year. The problem is that the time of school and that of society do not necessarily coincide, and in the collective unconscious, since the months of July and August are in fact those of the summer holidays, go tell the juliists to wait until the 6th Leave . Some summer camps start on Monday, July 5, and not just for teens, most of whom have been on vacation for at least a week. Inevitably, if only the youngest has to go to class…
And then there’s the financial argument put forward by many families: leaving this week instead of next week means saving heavily. The fact is, and for some it was leaving or not leaving a little earlier. We’ve already devoted an article to how the tourism industry, and in particular the transportation companies (air, rail) notoriously inflate their prices as the holidays approach, in the name of supply and demand and according to the principles of revenue management. , depopulating our classrooms in the immediate vicinity of school holidays.
Miss a movie and a snack?
The other main argument of the parents, who are often embarrassed in the corners, but not all, is to explain that “he only misses two days because of that” and that because of these two missed days we no longer work at school, the last days from school are notorious for playing games, watching a movie, eating cake and drinking Oasis.
It’s not fake. Even if some co-workers say loud and clear that we work to the end in their class that only the last day will be “recreational”, most of us have already taken it easy. In my class we are in full delay, after a very intense period of evaluations and corrections, interrupted by the booklets, we came back this Wednesday. Thursday and Friday we worked, but already less intensively, and then we stopped earlier, in the afternoon, to watch one or two episodes of this gem that is “Les grandes grands vacances”, the animated series about the second world war that my students love. Thursday they started emptying their boxes, Friday the last notebooks went home.
On the program Monday and Tuesday: games, a math rally, student presentations. And yes, a movie (probably ET) and a snack.
So if the students miss these two days, I have to admit it’s not a big deal. At the limit they rob themselves them special and privileged moments, with their friends but also in the classroom, with their teacher. Personally, I like these moments, when I’m talking to one person, to the other, where I can take some time to observe them doing something other than work, enjoying them, their camaraderie. And then I have CM2, frankly most want to stay until the end, because after that there are tears, goodbyes and the big jump.
Given the faces of the students who left us Friday night, their souls dim all day, I can tell you they would have loved to stay until the end. But I also know that they will love to be on vacation this weekend.
Here I feel the disapproving looks of my colleagues on my shoulders, I can already hear some accusing me of calling to skip class and contributing to the disintegration of respect for the school.
The argument of the teachers, the unions, against this early departure is often the same: it is a matter of respect for the school, non-negotiable, the school ends on July 6 at 4.30 pm, so it must be respected at 4.31 pm to leave if you wish, but not before. At these times when the issue of respect for the school, the institution and the teachers crops up more than ever on a daily basis, the discussion is audible. But personally, even if it means burning in hell with a fire fueled by copies of the Solar Code, I repeat that I generally understand parents on this matter of the last two school days to come.
And for what my experience is worth, it’s not necessarily those who are most disrespectful the rest of the time in school that cause their child to miss school Monday and Tuesday, it’s offensive to make an automatic link.
Of course there is a way and a way. The students who leave without saying a word, that is, without their parents telling me, I always take it badly frankly, and the worse I warn them to warn me, just to give them a little rough hair give, right , as farewell: we spent a year together, I worked hard for 10 months, I have the right to be warned, it is a matter of respect, there, yes, it is not human that I am bruised, besides that I think it’s light taking school to leave it quietly, like a thief. The art and the way of saying things is therefore knowing how to communicate with the teacher, not considering that it is necessary, normal, being aware that we are breaking up a bit anyway, the school pact, and apologizing, why not, for doing it.
But to be honest, the lack of complacency shocks me much more during the year, when, say, a student isn’t there for two days and I learn that he’s spent them at Disney (the correspondence book says he’s a little feverish); when a student returns after a day’s absence without a word of explanation in the notebook; when a student is frequently absent on Monday morning because the parents come back late from the weekend on Sunday evening, etc.
You will be hard pressed to find me to raise your fist at respect for the school and the obligation to come on July 5 and 6, but I will be on the front lines to warn, fight against other abuses, or the deterioration of relations with certain families, the procedure of relations, the questioning of the teacher’s authority by some, including his professional legitimacy, especially on social networks or in the classroom Whatsapp groups that benefit a little in be plenty (you got the homework my son didn’t mark it) and the worst too.
The issue of respect for school is fundamental to our society, and it starts with the way governments view it, in word and in action.
By the way, for your information, next year we will end on July 7th. A Thursday.
Note: To read this revenue management post.
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