After-School Program? What would you do?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by COMrs.S, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. COMrs.S

    COMrs.S Rookie

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    Jun 19, 2012

    I wanted to get some advice from fellow teachers. I was recently hired to teach 4th grade in a new district (I've been at 3rd grade for 4 years). My principal presented an opportunity to me in which I could earn extra money. The job is an after school program administrator. Some of the perks include getting paid $30 per hour, getting to know more of the kids, and getting a feel for an administrator-type position. Something that concerns me a little is that it is Tuesday-Friday from 3:30-6:00/6:30. (School gets out at 3:30)

    What would you do in this situation?
     
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  3. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Jun 19, 2012

    I think there are 2 things for you to consider. One is workload - if you're teaching a new grade this coming year, that will be extra work because you won't have any prepared lessons or curricula from the previous year, so add that additional time on to your schedule. Also consider how much free time you want/need in the evenings and on the weekend. Keep in mind that the after-school program will need it's own programming and work done outside of those hours, so that will be additional prep time, unless you have other staff that are responsible for that. Also consider any evening activities you might do, and remember that sometimes parents are late picking up kids, and you may be stuck waiting with a kid past 6:30 on more than one occasion, so you if you have any fixed-schedule activities in the evening, this could impact that.

    Second, I'd consider how much you really want to be a part of the after-school program. To be done correctly, it really needs to have it's own culture, own programming, and own identity. You'd have to completely switch gears from teaching, and transition into a different kind of youth program. You'd also have staff supervision, discipline issues with no administrator counselor present to help with, more paperwork.

    BUT, all of that being said, you're absolutely right - it can be a ton of fun, and be a great chance to connect with kids outside of the classroom. It could also be a good opportunity to have some control over curricula and make some other administrative decisions where you might feel restricted during the day time.

    It's really a matter of what works for you!
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 19, 2012

    Another thing to consider...is your principal presenting this idea because he/she really needs someone to take this job?
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jun 19, 2012

    I personally would not do it unless the extra money was literally making or breaking my financial situation. That is a TON of extra work- on top of being in a new grade level! My first year I did our after school program twice a week, which was only 2 hours per day. I got paid 27/hr. (to be a teacher, not run it) and the extra money was great, but IMO, the extra stress was not worth it. The next year they extended our school day to 4, meaning the program ran until 6. I didn't want to burn myself out with being with students from 8:30-6:00, and then having to do all the work and planning for my actual teaching after that! It was also a really long day for the students as well, and they tended to be irritated and behave a lot worse than they did during the day. I missed the money, but actually being done with students at the end of the school day was totally worth it to me- I did not regret it at all this year even though I had to make some cutbacks to my spending. I also work in the summer so that helps make up for some. Actually doing all the planning and running of the program, plus being there four days a week- that just seems like too much for me. Personally I would wait and see how the new school pans out and if you feel like you can take it on, do it the next year.
     
  6. COMrs.S

    COMrs.S Rookie

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    Jun 19, 2012

    mopar- my principal does need someone to take the job. She told me that I would be a great person for it. I would feel bad telling her no, but that's what I'm leaning toward.

    EdEd & waterfall- you both bring up very valid arguments and I completely agree with you both. Those were all of things that I thought of for not taking the after-school job. Thank you so much for replying.

    Any suggestions on how to gracefully decline? :)
     
  7. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jun 19, 2012

    Thank you for the opportunity. However, I feel like I need to focus my energy and time into learning the new grade I am teaching next year.
     
  8. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jun 19, 2012

    I work at a similar program in my school, but it's only two days a week. It's hard, I'll be frank, and I only work until 5. (But due to my commute I would then get home at 6 or later.) I honestly don't think I could have done it for four days. It wasn't the length of the day that was the worst part it was that it took away from any time I would have had to do anything for my regular "during the day" classroom because I was doing that all afternoon and into the evening. It made it really hard to have a life outside of school those days. Just take that into consideration. Is there any way you could split it with another teacher?

    I don't mean to be a debbie downer, but I just want you to know what you're in for.
     
  9. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jun 19, 2012

    That was my first thought. I was talked into being a student council adviser my 2nd year teaching, because no one else wanted the job.

    I would politely decline, and say that you are more than willing to participate in extracurricular school activities (committees, pto meetings, etc.), but you would like to focus mainly on your students and the curriculum during your first year in the district and at a new grade level. I'm sure the money is tempting, but that is a big time commitment. You would probably find yourself working at least 3 hours after the after-school care program on schoolwork. That would be really tough.
     
  10. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Jun 20, 2012

    Sure thing :). In terms of gracefully declining, I would just make sure to physically show your gratitude of her offer, and how honored you were to be considered for a position with such responsibility, but to be fall back on starting a new grade level. I would say as much as you would really are actually interested in the position, you're worried it might affect your performance in the classroom, and that's what you want to commit to first and foremost.

    Honestly, while I think after-school programs are great, I think the trend for schools to run them and staff them with school personnel isn't always the best thing. Granted, sometimes it's better than a college student with no experience, but with all of the other demands on teachers, and the importance that an after-school program can have, I think it's giving too little thought to the after-school program, and too much work to the teacher expected to do it.
     
  11. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Jun 20, 2012

    I am doing it now because we need the money. :( To be honest, I am tired all the time because it means I am working 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, and then coming home to do planning. I spend most of the weekend exhausted and never feel all the way rested. I am probably a lot older than you but if you want a life.....
     
  12. eddygirl

    eddygirl Companion

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    I ran the after school program at a grade school, and it was tough! I supervised the kids two days a week, and had 2 more teachers who took the other three days. I also handled the billing, which took up quite a bit of time. I needed the money back then (which wasn't much but certainly helped), and I was much younger, but I don't know if I would take on that much now.

    Is there any way you can offer to do a day or two and have other teachers cover the rest of the week?
     
  13. COMrs.S

    COMrs.S Rookie

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    Jun 20, 2012

    Thank you all so much for your input!!! :D

    eddygirl-I like your idea about sharing the workload with another teacher.

    All in all, I think I'm going to turn down the after-school job. The money would be nice, but I don't NEED it right now. I'm already going to be getting a significant raise with moving to the new district. Again, thank you all for validating my thoughts. :)
     
  14. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Jun 20, 2012

    Consider the possibility that other teachers may have turned it down already. If so, why?
     
  15. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jun 21, 2012

    I think you would be taking on way too much. To me, it would be more important to make a good impression in your new role and it would be challenging to commit the extra time needed to do that if you are working that many extra hours.

    I would share your concerns and simply explain honestly why you are declining.

    Best wishes for a wonderful year in your new position. I love teaching 3rd!
     
  16. COMrs.S

    COMrs.S Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2012

    Just wanted to give a quick update:

    I called my principal and told her that I was very honored that she thought of me for the position, but I would really like to focus on learning the new curriculum and working with my new team.
    At first, she was a little bummed out, but she did say that I did have a lot on my plate already. She was still super sweet, though. I'm trying not to feel guilty, but I know that it was the right call.

    Thanks again, everyone! :D
     
  17. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Jun 22, 2012

    She may be bummed, but I'm sure she respects you for making a mature decision, and that decision is over now, so congrats!
     

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