I reasoned that schools run on tight schedules, and students are forced to follow those schedules, and the first tool the students would need for meeting this demand would be the classroom clock. Without a reliable method for checking the time, how can you expect students to comply? How do you teach them time management? I also reasoned that setting a clock is a simple, basic, and funcamental thing to do, especially in a school.
The response I got from the teachers stunned me. It boiled down to this:
1) Those clocks have not been accurate in years. They are considered to be non-functional.
2) The teachers do not have the ability to set the clocks in their rooms, it can only be done remotely by the district office.
3) For whatever reason, the district office is not setting the clocks, apparently district-wide, in the class rooms. (I got the impression the problem has persisted for five years, but I may be wrong on that.)
4) Teachers are buying off-the-shelf clocks and installing them in their classrooms, not always in locations that are visible throughout the classroom. The main clock continues to display the incorrect time to the class.
5) There was no mention of any ongoing effort to set the clocks to the correct time.
What are we teaching our kids here? Time isn't important? When you encounter a problem, push for a solution until you meet an obstacle, then throw up your hands? Fend for yourself and don't expect the bureaucracy to help you? That they must find a way to meet the teachers demands even though they are denied even the most basic tools for doing so?
I donâ€™t know about you, but any clock in my house that has consistently displayed the wrong time for a week is on the way to the dump. These clocks have been wrong for YEARS! They look pretty firmly mounted, I think crowbars may be required.
What is wrong with our schools that they cannot even set a clock?
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