It was suppose to be the last day of my #5posts5days challenge to myself and a few others. However, in my excitement to start my March Break yesterday I did not get my post out on time. But it does raise a question. Where do the breaks in our teaching year come from? I did a quick search for the origins of March Break and could only find that it gained popularity in the 1930’s and it usually coincides with Easter Weekend.
How many of our holidays are based on the Christian calendar and agricultural influence from days gone by? We are off for 2 weeks at Christmas, 4 days at Easter, March Break, 9 weeks for summer, plus a few more here and there. Has there ever been an alternative schedule in Ontario?
When I was teaching in New Zealand in the late 1990’s we worked on a 4 block calendar. We had 50 days (10 weeks) of classes then 2 weeks off. This was repeated 4 times, only the Summer/Christmas holidays were 6 weeks long between school years. It was a great schedule, students and staff were never burnt out and your term had very few interruptions. (FYI Christmas is during the summer holidays in the Souther Hemisphere)
Maybe it is time to get rid of our old calendar and look for alternatives that keep learning fresh and new. What do you think? (Leave your comments below or on Twitter)