We talk about “a year” of religious school. How much time do we REALLY have? For a six-hour per week program, we can use the following figures (formulae are provided below):
180 hours per year - 6 hours per week x 30 weeks
-15 hours per year - Gathering time (attendance, collect tzedakah, etc.)
-15 hours per year - Wrap-up time (assign h/w answer questions, distribute papers)
-15 hours per year - Break time (bathroom, stretch time)
135 hours per year- SUBTOTAL: Time in class
135 hours per year x 7 years that we hope students will attend= 945 hours in total.
This assumes that a student has perfect attendance and is present for the entire class each time the class meets.
- Any cancelled sessions (“snow days”) should be subtracted from the total.
- Other factors that may affect the total number of in-class teaching/learning hours include music classes, tefillot sessions, family education programs and/or special programming. While these types of programming can add significantly to a students’ overall experience, they decrease the amount of in-class time available to cover designated material.
- Also included in that total is the time spent on community-building within your classroom, on discipline issues, and issues “du jour” which need to be dealt with before the lesson can proceed.
And if your program meets less than six hours a week.... your total number of hours for learning is decreased significantly.
And what do we expect our supplemental teachers to be able to teach? And our students be able to learn?
More on that later.....
Formulae used to calculate the data above
Hours per year: 6 hours per year x 30 weeks in the religious school year (some years, it's less)
Gathering time: 10 min/class x 3 classes/week x 30 wks/year divided by 60 min/hour
Wrap up time: 10 min/class x 3 classes/week x 30 wks/year divided by 60 min/hour
Break time: 10 min/class x 3 classes/week x 30 wks/year divided by 60 min/hour [NOTE: this total will increase significantly if food is involved or students go outside for a break]