Brookfield, WI – Democrat Tom Palzewicz has envisioned how the Covid-19 pandemic might reshape America’s economy and create new opportunities in the years ahead. The opening and closing of schools the strain that puts on families necessitate a rethink on how schools operate, even outside the confines of a public health crisis. Palzewicz is running for the Fifth Congressional District seat to bring about effective and lasting change to schools across the country.
Palzewicz often begins any discussion on schools by saying that teachers are underpaid. He will follow with the need for more teachers, which leads to a new way of looking at the school calendar. Historically, the schools have closed for the summer because of the agrarian roots of our economy. Needed for the harvest, students would stay home to work on the farms. That has changed for the most part, yet the school year remains at the traditional 180 days.
In other developed countries, school is a year-round activity. Rather than a fall and spring semester, the year is divided differently into trimester blocks, with breaks in between. American teachers need the break because their time and energy demands are very strenuous under the current structure. Many teachers have six of seven classes a day; all require lesson planning and continuous updates.
“We are already asking a lot of our teachers, and the year-round plan would require accommodations for our educators,” said Palzewicz. “But school is much more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. We are developing citizens and preparing children for life. Teachers are essential to that development and should be paid accordingly. We would be asking three more months from them, so adjustments are necessary. They need vacation time, reduced class sizes, assistants to help in class, etc.
“Many teachers are also coaches, theater directors, club supervisors and all of that needs to be accounted for. Ask yourself, how much is that worth? How valuable is a good teacher to the development, the health and happiness of my child? Other than parents, teachers are enormously important. That is why I would favor expanding the school year and creating a whole new paradigm for education.”