From a young student's perspective, PD days are rarely seen as more than a day to sleep in and have some fun at home. However, a high school student’s view on PD days is less class time, but the same amount of things to learn. The added professional development days are largely in response to PEI’s low test scores, but will less class time translate into better results?
In many classes, such as math there isn’t enough time to cover all the material by the end of the semester or year without the extra PD days. With less time with teachers and the stress of having to learn the same amount of material, I don’t believe students will benefit from these days. Although it’s true that teachers gain skills, materials and new resources from these days, most students won’t do better because of it. The kids who would actually study during theirs three extra days off are most likely the kids who already get above average grades and the rest would do what is in their nature and procrastinate. The teachers are better equipped from workshops and meetings, but just because they can teach better, it doesn’t mean that they can teach faster or that the students will be motivated to improve on their own.
I think that the only way that there will be any real benefit from this is if we both extend the school year by however many PD days are added or take them out of the ten months of school and add them to the end of school year when students are gone. Both of those solutions are bound to leave someone unhappy, but as Premier Robert Ghiz said in his year-end interview with CBC, “Education is like tourism, everyone has an opinion.”