Wholly In Favor of Half
Dear Editor (to Beth Hanning):
In response to your half day article (Slice of Life, 5/31/18), I want to share a teacher’s side of this.
Yes, half days can be a burden to working parents, and maybe that mom you were speaking about is not lazy but works nights and sleeps during the morning.
Yes, we here in Rockaway can work it out with other parents or family members to pick up our children on half days, as I do for my children at St. Francis de Sales, but not all schools and parents are as fortunate as we are. I work in a Catholic school in Brooklyn where the children travel very far distances to come to school, so half days can become a problem, but my school as many others offer after-school care on these half days.
These "half-days" are for students but not for teachers; we continue to work a full day. Yes, we do clerical work, book orders for next year and clean! Imagine parents, trying to clean your house and put stuff away with 18-30 students in your house while doing it.
Do parents know how long it takes a teacher to set up a classroom in August and then take it all down and pack it away in June? In June, when it could be 85-95 degrees and we do not have air conditioners. We are lucky if we have fans. Do parents know what it’s like when it’s hot and muggy and we’re trying to teach children the final lessons in June and you look at your class of hot, sweaty overheated children who cannot perform?
Half-days in June are only two days nowadays and they are much needed. Teachers need the time to put end-of-the-year things in order and students need it to socialize and have fun with their classmates and friends. To the mom who complains about half-days, why don't you offer to help your children's teachers in the classroom at the end of June and then maybe you will understand why schools need "half days."
How About Some Doody Duty?
They say you don't s--t where you eat. That is unless you live in Rockaway. Despite the fact that the Memorial Circle is hallowed ground for our neighbors who made the ultimate sacrifice, people who live in the surrounding area persist in walking their dogs on the grass and claim to "pick up" after their dogs. They pick up urine also? Explain how the south side of the Circle has piles of old dog poop if this is the case. Hasn't anyone heard of "curb your dog?"
Perhaps the most egregious walkers are those that let their dogs relieve themselves right on your front walk. They pick up, but what about the smutz they leave behind? You can't walk around with your socks or barefoot, what are you bringing into your home if you do? Again, curb your dog!
It's been many years since our parks looked like dog walks, thanks to the efforts of our community members. Look at Pat Brackley Park. One woman took the gumption and money out of her own pocket to transform a neglected dogwalk into a bit of paradise. If we are not vigilant about our parks, they will revert to dogwalks. Try saying the Pledge of Allegiance on Memorial Day, ankle deep in dog poop. Shame on us!
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