Am I working too hard?

Discussion in 'High School' started by a teacher, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,565
    Likes Received:
    744

    Apr 16, 2015

    Hello again...I keep thinking about this thread and wanted to come back to say I'm sorry for implying that you might need to leave teaching. I've been seeing more and more threads on this forum turn personal and negative and I don't want to be part of that anymore.

    I think we all come on this forum to be anonymous and vent our frustrations, but too often we get too brave and say things we would never say to someone's face. I would never tell a colleague they shouldn't be teaching, unless they sincerely asked me for my honest opinion and I thought they really were hopeless.

    My feelings would be deeply hurt if someone told me I shouldn't be teaching, even just on this forum, and I'm sorry if I made you feel bad.

    If I worked with someone who was expressing the kinds of feelings I've seen on these threads, I wouldn't confront them, but rather live and let live. In fact, my "neighbor" at school sounds a lot like this, and I just nod and smile. So that is what I plan to do here, too.

    Ateacher, I truly hope for you that you can find some solutions to the things that are bothering you. We all have our gripes and things we wish we could change about our teaching careers, and we all want to be able to come here and express our opinions without being attacked personally.
     
  2. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    719
    Likes Received:
    20

    Apr 16, 2015

    Thank you for that. You are very gracious. Even a forum is difficult to manage when you have so much anxiety about your working conditions. I hope we can still converse on matters good and bad. Just so you know, the other half of my experience is very positive. I just don't feel the need to get on this forum and share that. I come here when I need solace, support and ideas. Human nature I guess.
     
  3. TamaraF

    TamaraF Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 17, 2015

    Your schedule does not seem that much different than most, in my experience. Here is my day:

    85 minute block: English 10
    10 minute break between classes
    85 minute block: English 9
    50 minute lunch break (I have cafeteria duty every third week)
    85 minute block: English 10 Honours
    10 minute break between classes
    85 minute prep period.


    Last semester I taught 4 blocks of the day, so this semester I get the prep. This is standard for us. I have the best schedule I've had in years... I expect to teach at least 4 different courses a year.
     
  4. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    719
    Likes Received:
    20

    Apr 20, 2015

    So one semester you get a prep period and the next you get none?
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,709
    Likes Received:
    1,673

    Apr 20, 2015

    That seems to be typical of schools around here on a block schedule. The district considers the time you are here before and after students as your prep time.
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    572

    Apr 20, 2015

    wow.

    We're to be monitoring the halls for ten minutes before school starts. We're expected to have meetings many afternoons. I can't imagine even having time to make my copies in the twenty minutes I have left.

    I couldn't work in that environment. I'd be looking for a different career for sure. As it is I can't get my work done with a full prep period every day. I always have to stay after or take work home.
     
  7. leeshis0019

    leeshis0019 Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 20, 2015

    Okay, I'm admitting that I only read about 5 posts before posting this...



    How do you not have a lunch break of some sort? How could that possibly work?

    I only ask because there are some classes (like Chemistry) where the teacher cannot eat in class. It's against safety regulations. It's a health hazard even if you keep your lab clean. Are they expected to eat in their classroom?



    Anyways, my schedule is just 4 90 minute blocks a semester (students take eight classes a year). One block is planning. Lunch-time is 25 minutes included in one of the blocks and that does not rotate (A, B, C, D lunch). If I didn't have that 25 minute respite I'd be frazzled. And when I say frazzled I mean something worse.


    If you are an elective teacher (especially Art) then I know they are having issues. At my school our 2 art teachers [which is a super-high number, I know] will be teaching 3 separate classes in one block. I believe they have 8 different art classes in their 3 teaching blocks.

    That means [excuse the incorrect class names]:

    1st: Drawing (~15 students), Painting (~10 students), Drafting (~10 students)

    2nd: Repeat of first, but with advanced

    3rd: Repeat, with advanced...lunch in here!

    4th: Planning

    That's probably about what it looks like. So they'll have 3 different roster's of students each class and 3 different sets of assignments for each class.

    I can barely handle one set of assignments for my one chemistry prep, but I don't know if it's easier over in the Art dept. I know it's a bit more relaxed and the admin's are forgiving, but jeesh. I'd be all :dizzy: at the end of the day, seriously.
     
  8. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    719
    Likes Received:
    20

    Apr 21, 2015

    Before and after school as prep time? I don't think so. You should look into the labor laws in your state. Sounds like you're being taken for a ride.
     
  9. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    719
    Likes Received:
    20

    Apr 21, 2015

    I don't get it. You get a conf. period every day or not?
     
  10. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    1,174

    Apr 21, 2015

    Out of curiosity, what would you consider those times to be (that is, the 30 minutes before / 30 minutes after school)? Just trying to understand your perspective better.
     
  11. The Natural Log

    The Natural Log Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2015
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 21, 2015

    I can't speak for a_teacher, but I would consider the 30 minutes (well, 25 of them :lol:) before and after school as my personal time. We are contractually obligated to be there 5 minutes before period 1 starts and 5 minutes after period 9 ends. Any other before or after school time is our own time.
     
  12. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    38

    Apr 21, 2015

    Fair enough, but if your contract requires 30 before and 30 after, then it would be fair for them to call that "prep time", wouldn't it?
     
  13. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    719
    Likes Received:
    20

    Apr 22, 2015

    No. Prep time, or conference period time should be the same length as a class and occur during the school day. Sure, everyone has to be at the school a little before the students, but you can leave right after unless it's your weekly meeting day. That day is short for students.

    What I'm trying to understand from those of you on block schedule is whether or not you have a conference period every day. We have one period that is our conference. Every other day, when that period doesn't meet, we don't get a break. That is unheard of in my district, and I assumed it was rare or never happened anywhere else as well. I'd like to know if I was wrong in that assumption.
     
  14. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    719
    Likes Received:
    20

    Apr 22, 2015

    I would consider that to be nonsense. Unreasonable.
     
  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,003
    Likes Received:
    1,484

    Apr 22, 2015

    I get to school at 7:45 and the students arrive at 8:30 so that is some prep time. Today they have Art so I will take prep time then too even though the Art teacher tries to use me as an extra aide...ummm no. After the students leave I have 20 minutes before I go home. But sometimes I stay later if I need to do more things. I did a 10 week observation in a school with block scheduling and out of 4 blocks teachers only taught for 3 of them. In the middle school where I taught after college there were 9 periods and the teachers had 1 lunch 2 preps and a duty. That always seemed reasonable to me. The time before school is a terrible prep for me because the time seems to go way too quickly (annoying teacher knocking on my door looking to borrow stuff, etc.).
     
  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,204
    Likes Received:
    2,787

    Apr 22, 2015

    Perhaps this is just NJ, but we are contracturally obligated to be at school 50 minutes after the student bell at one HS, 65 minutes after the students leave at my current site. That time is used for faculty meetings, but those are every couple of weeks or less. The time may be used for team or department meetings, but no more than once a week, and that is being generous. A portion of that time(30 minutes) is set aside to offer student assistance 3 days a week after school, but can be used by the teacher if no students arrive. Around here, only subs get to be out the door right after the students.
     
  17. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    2,397
    Likes Received:
    4

    Apr 22, 2015

    Why? How long is your school day? I don't see the difference of exactly when this time is set aside, as long as that's how your contract is set up. In many places, if it wasn't before and after school, there's a good chance the school day itself would need to be longer.

    Several teachers earlier in the thread said that it was not unheard of or was the norm for their areas/schools.
     
  18. The Natural Log

    The Natural Log Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2015
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 22, 2015

    Not just NJ, rather just your individual district. I am also in NJ, and we are only required 5 minutes before.
     
  19. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,204
    Likes Received:
    2,787

    Apr 22, 2015

    You only have to stay 5 minutes after the students leave? What grades are you teaching?
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,584
    Likes Received:
    2,688

    Apr 22, 2015

    Teachers at my school (high school) only have to stay 6 minutes after students leave. We have to arrive 5 minutes before the first class begins. We don't have any contract time before or after school other than these 11 minutes; our contract time and the bell schedule are virtually identical but for these 11 minutes. At my school we have one more period than most schools because many of our students are credit deficient and this was admin's plan to fix that problem.
     
  21. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    1,174

    Apr 22, 2015

    I'll ask my question again and rephrase it, giving you the benefit of the doubt that maybe you just misunderstood: what do you consider the other time in your schedule that you are required to be at school, but is not considered prep time (i.e. school goes from 8:30-3, your hours are 8-3:30...what do you consider 8-8:30 and 3-3:30?). And/Or: what does your contract state regarding when you are required to be at the school vs. what the hours the students are there?
     
  22. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    1,174

    Apr 22, 2015

    Last year, in an elementary school, our specialist times were longer, and thus we only had specialists (and thus the "prep period" - the time to plan while students are at school) 4 out of the 5 days, thus leaving one where there wasn't. In the end, it all evens out, or at least should, to the same amount or at least meet the minimum required by the contract.
     
  23. The Natural Log

    The Natural Log Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2015
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 22, 2015

    High school math. That said, I usually get there at least 40 minutes early, and stay 20-30 minutes after school for extra help, but that is because I want to help my students, not a contractual requirement. Some teachers get there as late as possible and leave as early as possible.
     
  24. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,421
    Likes Received:
    586

    Apr 22, 2015

    We are required to get to school 15 minutes before the students arrive, and stay 10 minutes after they leave. In addition, we are expected to have additional tutoring hours one day a week either before or after school.
     
  25. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    719
    Likes Received:
    20

    Apr 28, 2015

    I hope you're getting paid for that tutoring!
     
  26. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    1,174

    Apr 29, 2015

    If it's in their contract, then they are already getting paid for that. The salary stipulated by the contract.

    Note that "in the contract" doesn't just mean saying a specific time. We have "TRI" within our specific district's salary scale - time/responsibility/incentive - which mentions our attending (forgot exact amounts, but...) a couple evening events throughout the year, and doing additional trainings outside of the usual "day".
     
  27. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,047
    Likes Received:
    1,864

    Apr 29, 2015

    Providing extra help for our students who require it is considered part of our job. At all schools I have worked at, teachers provide it outside of class time--either before or after school or at lunch time--at least once a week.
     
  28. Carliee

    Carliee Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 18, 2016

    I get a 30 min. lunch....sort of. My lunch is in the middle of my 4th period class. So...I have to wait for my students to leave the classroom and be back to let them in. I often need to run errands on my lunch...picking up copies, using the bathroom, etc. Some days, I end up eating my lunch cold during one of my co-taught afternoon classes. I've found that I need to snack before my 4th period class somedays in order to be at my best. Fortunately, I have advisory (like study hall in my room) third period. The worst part of only having 30 mins for lunch? My kids also have 30 mins to get through the lunch line and eat.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. TeacherNY,
  2. Ima Teacher
Total: 250 (members: 4, guests: 215, robots: 31)
test