UEA: Unnecessary Education Absence 2

Since school started two months ago, I don’t think my kids have had a full week of school.

Between national holidays, teacher work days, parent teacher conferences, UEA and something called “furloafer days” or something, I swear my kids are home every other day.

It throws off my groove.

Do any teachers actually attend the UEA convention? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the “Educator’s Specials” for Disneyland advertised specifically for UEA weekend.

The long UEA weekend can be a great thing if you are making the pilgrimage to Disneyland with the rest of Utah’s population, which we have done before. We’ve also gone other places like Moab and Heber Valley to hike and bike in the beautiful fall colors and weather.

But this year we had to stay put.

If we can’t travel, I’m all for taking advantage of the extra personnel at home to tackle big projects like cleaning out the garden, dejunking closets or scrubbing grout.

My kids are not so keen on that idea. They’re already hosting a pity party for themselves as they get texts and photos from their friends in sunny So Cal and other places of resort, so engaging them in a working long weekend is tricky – unless I can make it worth their while.

Throw in a bonus package of cousins sleepovers, Papa Murphy’s pizza, movies, sushi and some Cache Valley Fun Park passes and they almost work without whining.

I even managed to squeeze in a little fun for myself. On Thursday night I got a wild hair and talked a friend into sneaking away with me after our church volleyball game to the late showing of Planet of the Apes at the bargain theater. We felt all rebellious and rowdy munching popcorn and sipping soda in a theater so late on a weeknight. (We’re middle-aged moms. It doesn’t take much.)

On Saturday, Jason got a call from a friend who had some extra VIP passes to the USU sponsor tailgating party and game on Saturday. We ate a tasty meal catered by Cafe Sabor, received nifty gift bags, giveaways and unlimited free Coke. The USU athletic director gave an apologetic speech for the football team’s performance, promised a brighter future, and begged the sponsors to pleeeeeaase keep supporting the Aggies even though they suck. I’ve never tailgated before and I’m all for it if it means I don’t have to haul my BBQ in the back of a truck and paint my belly blue.

I won’t elaborate on how I almost puked up my free fajitas after watching the game. At least I didn’t pay any money to watch history repeat itself.

My kids got a completely unsupervised Saturday out of the deal and free reign of the house, fridge and pantry with their cousins. When we got home the popcorn popper was out, there were multiple empty cartons of ice cream and Pop Tarts, furniture covered in duct tape, and two jars full of frogs on the kitchen counter.

No, it wasn’t Disneyland, but we did manage to get some work done and have some mid-fall fun too.

I do think they should check the teachers for tan lines today though.

2 thoughts on “UEA: Unnecessary Education Absence

  1. Reply Steve Oct 26,2011 2:09 pm

    I am a teacher who attended UEA Convention. Let me try to explain to those of you who berate those days exactly what they mean to me. One of the first things cut for teachers is their professional development opportunities. The UEA Convention provides me with professional development which I value, appreciate, and which improves my instruction. Most of our districts do not provide this to our educators.

    Also, on Friday the UEA Convention is geared for pre-service educators and new educators. The workshops are packed. Our newest teachers and college students value and appreciate the opportunities they are given to increase their knowledge.

    It used to be that all districts included the UEA Convention in their academic calendar. Not true anymore. So attendance is down because many teachers are working. Another attempt to minimize our association on the part of our policymakers.

    So before you berate the UEA Convention days, it might be wise to enquire as to the extreme value it provides to many teachers.

    • Reply Kari Oct 26,2011 11:26 pm

      Steve – If you follow my blog regularly you will see it is all tongue-in-cheek. I have many teachers in my family and have a very high regard for teachers and I never meant to offend you, or anyone. My purpose was to make fun of myself and the struggle I have with keeping my kids busy with good things on days off from school. Please accept my apology.

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