It’s great that California governor Newsom is proposing to pay for summer school this year.
So many of our schools haven’t had it for so long. When I began teaching seventeen years ago, two-thirds of our students would attend it – we had plenty of enrichment courses, as well as straight academic ones.
However, this summer is going to be a different kettle-of-fish.
First, it’s assuming that all teachers will be vaccinated by then. I believe that’s likely but, with all the problems with the vaccination rollout – who knows?
Second, it’s still unlikely students will be vaccinated since there still isn’t one for them, and I’ll believe that districts will take teacher safety seriously when I see it.
Third, with so many teachers exhausted from a year-and-a-half of full-time distance learning, the pool of educators who would be willing to do it will be greatly reduced. I’m assuming we’d be talking primarily about young teachers who could use the money and who are at least risk of COVD complications, along with those who would have just graduated from teacher credentialing programs.
If that is, indeed, the group of teachers we’re talking about, then the summer teaching force will likely be composed of teachers with little experience and teachers with no teaching experience in a physical classroom, since the student teachers will have just been teaching remotely.
Summer schools typically have minimal on-site administration, so who’s going to support these less-experienced teachers, who will also be teaching students who will not have been in a physical classroom for sixteen months?
I hope the state is thinking these things through, but I’m not holding my breath. If they aren’t, summer school could be a disaster.