Othmar Brunner is correct in his letter (Optimist, Feb. 2): there are too many days off.
Let's start with what the Delta school board posts as six “non-instructional days,” which I assume are for professional development. These pro-d days fall on Mondays or Fridays, giving teachers six long weekends in addition to every statutory day off, Christmas break, spring break, Easter break, and summer break.
Let's recall that teachers used to be given one day a year on a Monday or Friday to add to their convention weekend, a good use of time; however, the addition of five more long weekends is five too many. Naturally, these “non-instructional days” are known derisively as pro-play days, but there's a glimmer of hope: some teachers (good ones) feel that all these days off are interfering with what they want to accomplish with their pupils.
And we hear a lot about class size. Class sizes are half of what they used to be, and teachers are still complaining.
Many can recall going to school in shifts of 45 pupils for four hours a day. Our education didn't suffer. We were asked to pull together, to give our teachers extra consideration, and to give them our cooperation—and we did. We got up earlier in the morning to make it to school an hour earlier when we were on the morning shift. We came home in the dark during the shortest days of winter when we were on the afternoon shift. We made up for the shortened school day with homework.
Yes, the current school calendar includes far too much time off; however, I doubt that this will change because I know people who've gone into teaching because it gives them so much time off.
Greg J. Edwards