Slice of Life: Unscheduled Scheduled Day Off

Slice of Life

I’m going to start and say that this post will probably seem odd to public school teachers. It seems odd to me, and I’ve been a private school teacher for 7 of my 8 years teaching. Oh well.

Today was a scheduled day of school. Until Friday of last week. On Friday, it was announced that my school met our fundraising goal and we would be rewarded with Monday off.

Wait, what? We paid for a day off of school?

In some ways, yes.

Being a private school, there isn’t a lot of money in the bank (I know a lot of people think private schools are rolling in the dough, but I assure you, it is the exact opposite). One of the things that is both a benefit and a drawback is that our money is generally not earmarked for things. Sometimes, we will have money given to use specifically for scholarships for low-income families, or technology, or whatever the donor may desire. However, it’s usually just part of a general fund. This goes to pay for all the things schools have as expenses: teacher salary, building maintenance, supplies, technology upgrades, etc.

The upside to this is that if we have some extra money, we can do some cool things with it without worrying about a ton of approval (the school board has their say, but there’s one hoop to jump through, not 3 or 4). So if we want to buy some couches and put together a student lounge, we can do that. If we need to upgrade our computers, we can save up and do that. If we need new uniforms, we can do that.

The downside is that sometimes, things get put way on the back burner. Without funds being earmarked, which comes first: new uniforms or new whiteboards? How can we pay for our computers to be replaced and upgraded when a pipe bursts and we have to fix that first? Where does Wi-Fi come into play (we just got wireless in the building this year)? How important is it that we have the athletics programs we have, considering we have to rent out the playing fields from the community public schools? It’s tough when the money isn’t there. Since our tuition is a couple thousand dollars per student less than the funding public schools in the area receive, it’s a pretty constant concern. We bridge this gap as best we can by having lower salaries, fewer administrators, and through donations and fundraisers.

So when our students are able to raise over $10,000 for the school by selling $25-$100 ad space in our yearbook to businesses in the community, it’s something we’re happy with. We will be able to use that money to directly benefit the school at large. Perhaps rewarding the students for accomplishing something that benefits the school with a day off of school is a bit. . .well, interesting thinking at best, it’s what we went with. I hope the students are using it to their benefit as much as I am (I wrote quite a bit in a new work-in-progress!).

I believe in our public schools. But I also believe in our private schools. I believe in educators and education. While the day off is an intriguing incentive, it’s nice to know we can do a little bit more for our school and for our students because of their efforts.


4 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Unscheduled Scheduled Day Off

    • At the beginning, they weren’t working too hard. Then, as we got closer to our deadline, it really became less about the day off and more about helping out the school. That was really good to see, and a large part of why I’m not opposed to the day off as a reward. It may have been the initial incentive, but really, it was more about the school coming together with a common goal. I hope this transfers to our other fund-raising efforts. This is really the only one we have the students do for the school. Every other month of the year, we have something going on, always to benefit the poor and needy in our community.

  1. That is an unconventional way to get a day off. Public schools and private school have their own sets of strengths and challenges. How cool that you get to have time with your WIP.

    • I’m grateful for your comment. My blog activity has been up what with Slice of Life going on, and my thought after reading my post was “Is someone going to come in here and just yell at me as whining about money in the private schools?” I hope it didn’t come across that way, and the fact that your comment didn’t say so relieves me a bit!

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