Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Surveying Schedules- Part 2


While keeping up to date on all of the banter about teachers stemming from the debate between governors and teachers' unions, I thought I'd post again about my schedule, as it has changed.  While some politicians have done the politically correct thing in saying they are after the unions, not the teachers, many pundits and news stations have attacked the teachers directly.

For the pundits calling us lazy, please see my schedule for the semester below.

Workday Schedule
  • 5:15 AM Wake up, make coffee, pack lunch, check headlines, create to-do list for the day and run through lesson plans
  • 6:45 AM Depart for school, taking the train from Manhattan to the Bronx
  • 7:20 AM Arrive at school, make copies, prepare classroom for arrival of students, make coffee, pull together supplies for the day, last minute coordination for any meetings that require it, etc.
  • 8:10 AM Students arrive for home room, where we read silently, check up on their grades, practice math skills, do team-building exercises, and take care of miscellaneous logistical tasks
  • 8:55 AM-10:00 AM Planning period, used to do research for my curriculum, plan my German elective lesson, procure supplies, meet with the tech guys or learning specialist, call parents, make copies, do administrative paperwork, meet with parents, etc.
  • 10:00-11:15 AM Teach a modified-block 8th Grade U.S. History section
  • 11:15 AM-12:00 PM Supervisor of the APEX online learning lab or detention duty.
  • 12:00-12:45 PM Meetings with my grade-level team or content team, suspension room duty, and a weekly 1:1 advising appointment.  I also eat during this period.
  • 12:45-3:10 PM Two modified-block sections of 8th Grade U.S. History 
  • 3:10-4:00 PM A period of my German elective
  • 4:00-4:30 PM Put away any supplies of the day, clean up classroom
  • 4:30-5:15 PM Train back to Manhattan
Evenings Sunday-Thursday 
  • 5:15-7:15 PM Dinner, down time
  • 7:15 PM- 11:45 PM Parent outreach, grading, left-over planning, writing, and research

Weekends really vary. Luckily I have a fiancee who helps me manage my social schedule and puts up with my workaholic tendencies.  If she wasn't around I doubt that I'd be able to manage this in anywhere near a healthy way (though my doctor friends say I'm not anyway).  This past weekend I spent somewhere between twelve and fifteen hours grading papers and a few more doing other planning, collaborative work and writing.

The rabble rousing seen by many leaders is extraordinarily misplaced.  The budgets of course must be saved, which will most likely require actions such as paring down of pension plans for us younger teachers, reducing teaching staffs, and tossing young talent to curb.  Whatever actions are taken to save the budget, the national debate surrounding the issue- the claim that teachers are overpaid and lazy- is only going to make fewer people join the field.

As for the pundits who think we're bunch of lazy bums, I invite you to come into my classroom and into my school, where you'll find a staff working to the point of exhaustion, pouring everything they have physically, emotionally, and professionally into teaching our nation's youth.  I'm pretty damned tired in general, but especially so when it comes to your criticism.

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