Actually May 1st Will Be A School Day – Just a Bigger Classroom

Some people who do not support the All Out For May 1st march and rally in Raleigh argue that it will take away a school day from students and schools.

Sen. Phil Berger and State Superintendent Mark Johnson have made public statements to that effect.

Yet, for all denotative definitions and connotative associations related to what constitutes an instructional day at a school, what May 1st actually is proving to be is exactly what Berger and Johnson seem to not recognize – a school day.

Instead of a four-walled room with desks and seats, class on May 1st will take place in a much bigger classroom: the streets of Raleigh and one of the most important buildings that tax payer money can finance besides a school building – the North Carolina Legislative Building on West Jones Street.

In fact, there is a lesson plan already in place. Many teachers already have to turn in lesson plans to their schools, instructional leaders, and / or administration to show that they are covering the curriculum. The lesson plan for May 1st is a five-point plan that is available to anyone who wishes to see it.

day of action

A class roll of those who have registered to attend is already beginning and will be used to help ascertain attendance. A map done by Red4EdNC has already started to show who from where and what LEA’s are planning to come and / or support.

Buses will be used to provide transportation like on any other school day, except teachers will dig into their pockets to finance these as they do for so many other resources used in schools.

A schedule will be followed. Bells usually signal the beginning and ending of class periods in most schools, but on this day we will allow the schedule to more fluid because one cannot rush or abruptly end a teachable moment. And there will be many teachable moments to be had on May 1st.

Materials and supplies will be in abundance – paper, pens, pencils, and lots of cardboard stock for those signs that will offer so many reading opportunities for people in attendance and for legislators who could use some instruction.

Imagine all of the personalized learning that will be happening. The constant collaboration between educators, supporters, activists, legislators, students (yes, they will come as well), and all the others who will be in attendance. In fact, the use of technology that will be used that day to link people, information, and catalog the day’s events will be something that should please the state superintendent.

The opportunities for cross-curricular connections will be immense. Language arts, civics, physical education (as there will be exercise), science, political science, lots of math (as we discuss budgets and numbers), and tangential references to so many other avenues of learning.

Presentation of material will be scaffolded according to the audience and many learning styles will be honored whether a person is primarily a visual, aural, or kinetic learner.

There will even be a non-restrictive dress code – a red shirt.

And there will definitely be an assessment.

An authentic one.


Plenty of room on the roll if you want to come along.