Space, Time and Rest

The success of this week’s Faculty Development Day points to one of our school’s more brilliant new initiatives: to give students more space, more time and more rest. The pace of life has always been a concern of this community, but our concern was not met with a viable solution until now. Many in the community were disgruntled last year when administrators extended the school year by 10 days. This extension, however, has given us an opportunity for the “spacer” days which are crucial to relieving our out-of-control pace of life. There’s no secret about it: Faculty Development Day was as much about giving students time to rest as it was about offering new resources to faculty. To the students who really needed it – to sleep, to study, to prepare for the SAT’s or to prepare this newspaper – the day off was a godsend. Perhaps not all students used the extra time efficiently, but then again some students aren’t inclined to anyway. The extra day particularly helped Seniors struggling to stay above water in their hardest term here. Wave upon wave, the demands of their classes, extracurricular activities and athletics, as well as college applications, can be completely overwhelming. Not only did the day off give students an opportunity to catch up on college applications, it also provided some needed rest before tomorrow’s SAT’s. Of course, it cannot go unsaid that Faculty Development Day did exactly what its title implies and more. By addressing the critical nature of technology in students’ lives, as well as the technological gap which has left some teachers feeling estranged from student culture, the school demonstrated a great deal of wisdom. Faculty participated in seminars and discussions covering everything from the tech-savvy, multi-tasking culture of their students to wikis, blogs, Facebook and more. Faculty Development Day brought faculty one step closer to understanding the way students think. For continuing to indulge us in their attention, time and concern, the students are very grateful. When we see our teachers working to understand our complexities, students realize that they have dedicated their lives to educating us. Faculty Development Day accomplished two very important things. It helped faculty to understand their students better, and it gave their students a little time off. It cannot be emphasized enough that a little space, time and rest are invaluable to students here. The administration got it exactly right when they decided to add “spacer” days to the schedule.