10%. That’s it.
I have spoken and written about the fact that children spend only 10% of their lives in K-12 schools between birth and age 18. School people - teachers, principals, secretaries, custodians - are the 10% Stakeholders for your kids.
Do the math:
K-5: 6 hours per day x 180 = 1, 080 hours per year; 1,080 x 6 years = 6,300 hours
6-8: 6.5 hours per day x 180 = 1,170 hours per year; 1,170 x 3 years = 3,510 hours
9-12: 7 hours per day x 180 = 1,260 hours per year; 1,260 x 4 years = 5,040 hours
K-12 Hours = 6,300 + 3,510 + 5,040 = 14,850 TOTAL hours
24 hours per day x 365 = 8,760 hours per year
8,760 hours per year x 18 = 157,680 TOTAL hours between birth & age 18
14,850/157,680 = 9.42% of 18 year life spent in a K-12 school!
That makes you parents and extended families the 90% Stakeholders.
Once you get over the shock of seeing the reality of the fact that your kids spend 90% of their lives outside of schools, think about this: maybe now people will appreciate teachers more.
The coronavirus has forced families and communities to understand, first-hand, the true value of professional educators and their schools. I have brayed at the four winds about the need for all parents and communities to step up and do their part, instead of blaming the 10% - their kids’ schools - and I got crickets.
Not now. Parents and extended families are squealing under the pressure of having to fill the gap. With COVID-19, the 90% is finally and firmly on the hook to figure out how to live life without schools.
No one to watch your kid for free for six to seven hours per day, five days a week.
No more AfterCare to get for free or almost free.
No more teachers and a principals to stay late for your kid after the basketball game so you can pick them up when it suits you.
No more seeing your kids’ teachers as punching bags you can blame for the fact that you haven’t taken your responsibility as the 90% Stakeholder very seriously.
Every professional educator, or anyone who works for K-12 schools, has every right to ask: “Do you miss me now?”
Ask your kids who are tired of staying at home with you. They can answer the question with an earth-shattering “YES!!!”
And you miss school people, too.
Even though most school districts in the U.S. have concocted e-learning by distributing thousands of computers to kids to use from home, you all miss open schools terribly. And the same parents who have said, “I could never be a teacher, for even an hour” now anticipate each day the virtual class from their child’s teachers. They want relief. They want schools to re-open ASAP and release them from this nightmare lockdown with their own kids.
When the COVID-19 aberration evaporates, I urge the 90% - everyone who isn’t a school professional - to never forget what happened here. When politicians suggest paying teachers more, your response needs to be loud and clear: “Hell, yes!” When politicians suggest cutting the education budget, shout just as loudly, “Hell, no!”
Perhaps now those who couldn’t walk in the steps of a K-12 teacher for an hour will stop saying idiotic things like, “What more do teachers want? They get 12 weeks off!”
Now, knowing what you know, you need to just kwitchyerbitchin and support the 10% Stakeholders you have maligned for too long.
The current Federal government and many state governments are friends to non-public schools. What are they doing during this coronavirus time? Many just closed their doors.
In the end, thousands of those computers which public schools checked out to the 90% Stakeholders’ kids will never come back or will be broken. Who will pay for their replacement?
Do you think the same governments, like Florida, who gave public monies to those non-public schools will cough up the extra money? All while the non-public schools that closed down during COVID-19 will continue to bleed public money to while the public schools break their backs and remain operating? Come one, face it: schools and the children they serve will not recover from the immense damage of coronavirus 2020 for years.
So, in the meantime, say it out loud: you sure miss your kids’ teachers, don’t you?
©️Copyright by David Samore. Excerpts in part or whole may not be used without the expressed permission of David Samore.