Do specials teachers teach less classes?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    616

    Jun 13, 2017

    In my district, it seems like specials teachers have more preps than regular ed or special ed teachers. Whenever I sub for a regular ed teacher, I have one prep and a 30-45 minute lunch period. When I sub for a specials teacher, I have several blocks of free time. Her schedule for all days has these extra blocks of free time. Do schools give specials teachers extra responsibilities? I'm assuming computer teachers may be responsible for school-wide technology issues. Ex. I'm subbing for a computer teacher today and my schedule has a 1.5 hour lunch and two 45 minute preps and no duty today. I have noticed the same thing when I subbed for the art teacher. I subbed on a day when she had one prep but her schedule had 3 preps on other days. It seems like this district needs to have specials teachers do recess duty since teachers have a 25 minute lunch when they have duty!
     
  2.  
  3. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Jun 13, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  4. CherryOak

    CherryOak Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2016
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    178

    Jun 13, 2017

    Oh wow, what a schedule. At the schools I sub for, specials have the same time commitments as gen eds.
     
    czacza likes this.
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,982
    Likes Received:
    1,798

    Jun 13, 2017

    All teachers in our school have exactly the same number of teaching minutes each week.
     
    czacza likes this.
  6. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    616

    Jun 13, 2017

    They could combine both jobs (middle school and elem computer teacher) and this job would have 2-3 preps a day. As a sub, I am getting pulled for caf duty but I still have 2 preps. There are some days where this teacher teaches only 2 classes a day! Maybe specials teachers are part time employees but the classes start at the beginning of the day and go until the end with long breaks in the middle!
     
  7. Kat.

    Kat. Companion

    Joined:
    May 14, 2016
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    35

    Jun 13, 2017

    This was the first year that the specials teachers had the same schedule as us because kindergarten didn't have specials until now. Specials teachers had their 30 minute lunch, planning time, and an extra block of time, but that block is now being used for kindergarten.

    They also cover all the morning duty - gen ed teachers get the afternoon duty.
     
  8. Al Bean

    Al Bean Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 13, 2017

    Hi there. Music teacher here.


    Please consider that a specials schedule is often SEVERLY altered on substitute days. Here's a few examples of how:

    1. We often cannot get an actual substitute that is willing to do ANYTHING in our content area. When I am at school, my students would NEVER be watching a movie. I only have 45 minutes a week 36 times a year to cover 50+ state standards per grade level. This means I am on 100% of every class period. It's not planning, but regular teachers do have times like guided/silent reading, testing, morning work, snack, and etc to catch up on emails.
    2. Our extra responsibilities are often cancelled because you are there. When I have a sub, afterschool ensembles, private lessons, and chorus, which fill up some of that "extra time" are all cancelled because we know a substitute will not be able to provide the instruction. They only cover my 6 daily class periods to give the teacher their state mandated planning.
    3. We swap duty days with other team members to accommodate you. I know the names of all 500 children in my school, as the rest of the specials team does. This makes us uniquely capable on things like bus and lunch duty. We always swap because if a sub was covering all those kids without knowing them, it would be a discipline nightmare.
    4. I can't speak for other specials, but music teachers especially work an insane amount of unpaid hours. I'm not talking about planning and grading, as we all do. I'm talking about actual face to face minutes with children. I am never compensated for my 7 yearly afterschool performances I coordinate organize and supervise. I am never compensated for running the afterschool ensembles I am expected to lead by the county. I am never compensated for weekend trips to competitions or all county chorus events.

    Hope this helps elaborate.
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,495
    Likes Received:
    2,532

    Jun 13, 2017

    A specialist I know has double classes. She might have what looks like an extra prep period on her schedule, but that's because she has two Kindergarten classes at the same time, instead of spreading them out across two periods.
     
    Al Bean likes this.
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,495
    Likes Received:
    2,532

    Jun 13, 2017

    Yes, this.

    What a sub sees on a sub day is not necessary how things actually are the rest of the time.
     
    Al Bean likes this.
  11. Cesmusicmom

    Cesmusicmom Guest

    Jun 13, 2017

    We have 1200 students at my school with 3 full time music teachers. (3 PE/2art) We RARELY make our subs sit through the same dvd 6 periods in a row. With a ton of standards and an EOC at the end of the year that all students must take, there is no time for dilly-dallying. If there is an open period in our schedule it is to go into the classroom for Tier 1 or 2 support. If not we are scrambling around to get things done for the more than ten performances we put on each year, it's nice to take a breather at the copy machine after all three of us had double classes. (40 kids X 3).
     
  12. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    616

    Jun 13, 2017

    I think your schedule is more typical of specials in most schools since you teach 6 classes a day (which is a lot!) Over here, the specials teachers teach 2-4 classes a day. (Only one class each.) Today I have 4 classes and it's a really light day. I have 2 preps (beginning and end of the day) and I was supposed to have a 1.5 hour long lunch before I got pulled to duty. (It's possible that they get pulled to duty a lot!) This teacher has recess duty as often as regular ed teachers and did not write any other duties on her (personal) schedule. I'm with the computer teacher and she is basically using her extra time as a prep. I get that she has technology responsibilities but she teaches at most 2 classes a day. Today she actually has no students and only has lunch duty. I feel like regular classroom teachers have extra duties that they aren't given time to do as well. At this school, teachers have recess duty half the time and I think that it would be more fair if specials teachers covered it. I've been to several schools in this district where specials teachers have this extra planning time. There is only 1 town I've subbed in where specials teachers have the same prep since they are assigned as aides to other classes if they have extra time.
     
    Hmt7913 likes this.
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,495
    Likes Received:
    2,532

    Jun 13, 2017

    Is it a small school? I mean, the specialists can only work with the number of students they have and the schedule they've been given. Do you think it's better to just not have specialists because they might not have as many classes as other teachers? I assure you that if admin is on top of things, those specialists are doing just as much work as the classroom teachers, even if the schedule appears to suggest otherwise.
     
    Luv2TeachInTX likes this.
  14. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    616

    Jun 13, 2017

    It is a medium sized school that combines elementary and middle school. It just seems weird that there is a middle school computer teacher and an elementary school computer teacher. Looking at their schedules, it seems like if you combined their jobs, you would still have 2-3 preps a day. The middle school has no classes at all on 2 out of 6 days and teaches at most 3 classes
    on the other days. I'm not sure if this teacher is part time but she has no class today and she is in school so it seems like she is full time.

    I have a lot of respect of specials teachers but it seems to me like the reg ed teachers aren't getting fair treatment in this school. I think they at least deserve not to have lunch or recess duty so they can have a 45 minute lunch.
     
  15. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,692
    Likes Received:
    1,661

    Jun 13, 2017

    Our technology specialist has no regularly assigned classes - ever. But he's one of the busiest people in the school. He wouldn't get a sub because the sub wouldn't be able to fulfill his duties. That doesn't mean that his job isn't worthwhile or that he isn't working as hard. He's always updating software so that teachers can use technology with students. He's also available to come into a classroom and teach a lesson at a teacher's request. What he does in his office may look like "prep" to someone else, and it probably is "prep". But it's not prep for himself, it's prep to help someone else. Just because you can't see the work they are doing doesn't mean that they don't have an equal amount of valuable work to do.
     
    Caesar753 likes this.
  16. Al Bean

    Al Bean Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 13, 2017

    I understand what you're saying but you also must consider altering the specials schedule frequently involves altering it for EVERYONE on the specials team to make things work. If a music teacher is covering k-8 in middle and es, they really should be getting 8 preps a week to cover for the 8 unique and developmentally different lessons they need to create, in addition to assessing and grading their literal hundreds of students. It would be even more if they are teaching both instrumental and vocal music. This is BEFORE the extras like special ensembles and performances, just curriculum.

    I'd have to see the schedule to know for sure, but altering this schedule could cause devasting effects that lead other special teachers to seek other employment and make the position almost impossible to fill by a qualified professional.
     
  17. Al Bean

    Al Bean Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 13, 2017

    Honestly I just reject this whole attitude; you have no idea how often we hear it in our line of work. It makes it so incredibly difficult to get any respect from teachers, parents, and students.

    If they want more prep time, they should've gone to school to be a computer resource teacher if that's the job they wanted. In my school ALL tech duries (including 1:1 iPads) are covered in this position that should really be a wholly separate one in the county budget. It's just apples and oranges.

    Additionally, I know when I don't make a sub day as easy as humanly possible they just ignore my plan and get a video from the library. People are very scared when they see the words art music and pe (if all of my 5 year olds can sing the song, I promise you can too). I have had trouble in the past when I include actually musically valuable plans securing substitutes at all. This results in either the whole specials team being slighted (your classes are split and sent to them disrupting the other specials instruction all day, regardless of if those students have already seen that lesson or if the teacher has enough materials) or your special being cancelled which is unfair to the classroom teacher AND students. Thus, we have learned as a team to simplify our sub days as much as possible to ensure that we get coverage AT ALL.

    Classroom teachers should be working with the union to advocate for what's best for themselves and their students, not fighting over scraps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  18. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    92

    Jun 13, 2017

    Our specials teachers had to fight for Prep time. In fact, they seem to have more to do. They bounce between 2-3 schools depending on the special teacher. They have to see all the students at all their schools each week. I'm sure there are days when they might have less to do because school schedules prevent them from seeing as many classes, but they also don't have a regular lunch schedule, never get recess breaks, and some days they have zero time to get the next lesson ready between the classes showing up literally back to back.
     
    Al Bean likes this.
  19. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10,843
    Likes Received:
    2,674

    Jun 13, 2017

    I was a sub who could teach music, and I did, a lot. When you can do the job, you would be surprised how the day fills up. Our MS teachers also taught at the ES, taught vocal and instrumental, ran jazz band, choir, and wind ensemble before and after school, ran the school play, and had more duties than most teachers, but they would trade them off when subs were present, since they were getting a stipend for them, and they never felt that was fair for the subs. As my son went through HS, it becomes even more apparent how many things the music teachers have on their plates. It doesn't matter if there is a stipend for Marching Band, or Wind Ensemble, or Jazz Band, or the Christmas parade, or the Graduation band and choir - they are terribly time consuming. My experience is that there are usually projects going on in both music and computers that those teachers don't put on the sub's schedule simply to keep it simple, since these projects may be the culmination of longer periods of study and learning.

    What a sub sees is only as much as the person out is willing to spell out in the plans. I wouldn't take that as a definitive guide as to their total duties.
     
  20. cnowmos

    cnowmos Guest

    Jun 13, 2017

    You don't necessarily know if this teacher's contract is a half time or .75 contract or something like that and he/she is being paid accordingly. Or if he/she has other duties that a sub would be unable to cover or wouldn't be necessary for them to cover...ex. technology coordinator, small group pullout musical instrument lessons, etc. I agree it doesn't seem like the teacher's day is scheduled efficiently, but there might be reasons for that you're not aware of...for example, maybe specials need to be at particular times during the day because they have to also coordinate with schedules for basic skills teachers or reading/math specialists who work with multiple grade levels, special needs teachers, or other teachers who co-teach with the classroom teachers, or pull-outs like speech or O/T, and have to schedule specials for classes that include those kids so that they work around those other teachers' schedules. Who knows what the situation is. I know our schedule is very precise and we can't switch things around willy-nilly (like having teachers trade times or come during my prep) because it messes up the schedules of the other teachers that work with the students in each homeroom. We also have some basic skills teachers who are not scheduled to come in for the full day, the are contracted as part time but it's more than half time, so when they are out the sub is scheduled for the full day...the office just pulls the subs to cover other teachers' classes when we are short on subs (which is almost every day) or has them help with office duties during any free periods the sub might have. Subs are not contracted to get a prep. I'm surpised the school is using your time so inefficiently and is not giving you something else to do during those preps.

    My schedule (1-5 music and chorus) involves teaching six 40-minute classes a day, a daily 34-minute lunch duty, daily 15 minute AM recess duty, and I have one 40 minute prep and one 30 minute lunch each day...same prep/lunch minutes as the classroom teachers, and similar if not same student contact time, but they don't have duties every day. Also, the past few years I've had chorus class as part of my schedule, but before that it was held during the students' recess period (3x a week--our school day was also about half an hour shorter back then). On days that I was absent, chorus practice would just be cancelled because there was no point in having the students stay in from recess to watch a movie or something. (We only have one music-certified sub who could handle sight reading music and teach the same or similar lesson to what I normally would do if I was there...if I don't know who I'm going to get, it is better for the sub and for classroom management issues if I just leave a video or a worksheet. I've left more active lessons for subs a few times and walked in on a lesson after getting back from a field trip and the kids were just all over the place, and the teacher was not in control of the classroom, which is a concern when there is lots of expensive equipment in the classroom. Unless I am able to specifically request a sub and know that sub has good classroom management skills, a quiet movie or worksheet is usually the safest bet.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2017
    Al Bean likes this.
  21. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    616

    Jun 13, 2017

    It seems like the middle school teacher also has other duties with helping other teachers with technology. I didn't mean to offend anyone. It just seemed weird that all of the specials teachers I've subbed for in this district just didn't have that many classes so I felt like the schedules were not designed efficiently. For example, a health teacher I subbed for had about 4 classes a day and I don't see what other responsibilities a health teacher would have that a classroom teacher wouldn't. It is possible that these teachers are part time but why would their classes start in the morning and end at the end of the day?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  22. Al Bean

    Al Bean Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 13, 2017


    Amen to this! My schedule is back to back and I have zero minutes to change classroom setup between 2 different sets of unique and vastly varied developmental levels.
     
  23. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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

    Jun 13, 2017

    Two things: one, it highly depends on the school and district, surely.

    Secondly, within that range, in some cases the teaching minutes are the same, in some they are different, and when they are different, it's quite often due to other responsibilities, or additional planning perhaps if there are a multitude of preps. Our librarian has about 2/3 or so the load of other specialists, but also is our tech integration person and does a variety of other responsibilities for the school.
     
  24. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    616

    Jun 13, 2017

    Yeah I understand extra responsibilities for a library or computer teacher. Computer teachers may also be the technology specialists and should probably be on a different contract. I also understand extra time for library teachers for shelving books, etc. but the library teacher at a middle school I know helps in other classrooms in her free period. But I don't think double or triple planning time for a gym, art or music teacher (for example) is fair. (Like I said, when I subbed for a health teacher, she had a ton of free time.) And this is the schedule that most schools in my district follow. I feel like if specials teachers have the same contract, then they should have the same planning and lunch time. I know specials teachers have extra work but classroom teachers do as well! It seems like an inequity in this district and I wonder if the teachers are upset about it...
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  25. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,692
    Likes Received:
    1,661

    Jun 13, 2017

    That may very well be the case. The point that I think you need to remember, that others have said, is that you are a sub. You may not be getting a clear picture of what these teachers do when they are at school, without a sub in their place. The second point that you need to know is that, even if you were a full-time teacher at this school, you may not fully understand what another teacher does as part of his/her responsibilities. Yes, there are inequities in schools. But most experienced and wise teachers know better than to make judgments - at least publicly - about who works harder or longer than others. Especially in your position as a sub, you'd be wise to not presume that the teachers have inequitable schedules or responsibilities. What makes you think that you know enough about what the music/art/PE/health teachers do when they are present to say that they deserve less plan time than library and technology teachers?
     
    Caesar753 and MrsC like this.
  26. CherryOak

    CherryOak Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2016
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    178

    Jun 13, 2017

    At the end of the day, it's education and no one really has it easy in this field.
     
    Luv2TeachInTX likes this.
  27. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    616

    Jun 13, 2017

    I am not making judgements, but questioning whether this is fair or common practice. I would never discuss this with someone at school which is why I am posting on an online forum.

    Library teachers and computer teachers may have many extra responsibilities outside of teaching classes. In the high school I went to, the library teacher probably didn't have scheduled time to have classes but helped out when she could. She also managed behavior in the library, ordered books, set up displays, etc. I can imagine several other responsibilities that do not have to do with prepping for their lessons they these teachers would have. Computer teachers, similarly, would have responsibilities helping teachers with technology training, etc that go beyond prepping for a class. I think these should be outlined in separate contracts however.

    I feel like gym, art, and music teachers do not have work that goes beyond prepping for their classes (just like classroom teachers). Yes, music teachers have concerts but classroom teachers also have responsibilities in the evenings such as parent conferences on some days. In the ideal world, all teachers would be compensated for their evening time but it doesn't happen with classroom teachers either. But if an art teacher has 3 45 minute preps during the day while a classroom teacher has 1, I find that unfair. If a music teacher teaches a class before or after school unpaid, I would absolutely agree that they deserve an extra prep.
     
  28. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    616

    Jun 13, 2017

    Yeah I agree but wouldn't you be upset if a teacher on the same pay scale with comparable responsibilities got double prep time?
     
  29. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    616

    Jun 13, 2017

    Also I am aware that everything cannot be exactly fair. For example, resource and specials teachers usually end their day early because students have to get back before dismissal. They may get assigned bus duty but if they don't it's not a big deal--it's the nature of the job. Classroom teachers may have a bit more "down time" during the day to get things done during silent reading or snack. But I think if you are on the same contract, you should have the same amount of time for lunch and the same amount of prep time.
     
  30. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,692
    Likes Received:
    1,661

    Jun 13, 2017

    I've made bold the two keys phrases here. You are basing your thoughts and opinions on a) your experience as a student and b) on your experience as a sub. That's understandable, given that that is all you know. However, I hope you know that you cannot possibly fully understand teachers' responsibilities on those two things. There are so many layers to what teachers actually do that the general public (basically anyone who ever went to school) cannot fully understand. So, you really shouldn't be basing your interpretation on your time as a student. You may have a better understanding as a sub, but you won't fully understand what teachers do until you are in that role yourself. I'm not a specials teacher, so I don't take any personal offense to your comments, but I do find your thoughts about what specials teachers do to be inaccurate and, frankly, disrespectful to anyone who teaches art, music, or PE/health. They may not have the same responsibilities as classroom teachers, but they very likely have difficult parts of their positions that classroom teachers do not have to deal with. Scheduled lunch and prep time is just one factor in a multitude of factors that can and should be used to determine equity... and, again, just because they appear to have a lot of time on the day a sub is present doesn't mean that they have that time scheduled in during days when they are present themselves.
     
    Caesar753 likes this.
  31. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    616

    Jun 13, 2017

    So on a teacher forum, I can't start or participate in a conversation unless I have experience full time teaching? I know I don't understand a teacher's full responsibility but I don't see why a gym teacher would deserve more planning than a classroom teacher. That just does not make sense to me unless they have an extra class before or after school unpaid. At all of the schools I sub in, kids do not stay after school or go in early for any type of lesson except sports which is run by coaches on a stipend. If someone can explain why specials teachers deserve more prep that would be great...

    I was actually comparing the responsibilities of a music, art, health, or gym teacher to the responsibilities of a classroom teacher. I never said either was easier or harder. I know that specials teachers deal with things that classroom teachers don't and vice versa. But I don't think that one deserves more plan time or lunch time than another.
     
  32. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,692
    Likes Received:
    1,661

    Jun 13, 2017

    You can start any conversation you like. You're just being told by people with full time teaching experience that your understanding is inaccurate. Believe whatever you'd like.
     
  33. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    616

    Jun 13, 2017

    I guess I'm confused then because I haven't seen anyone explain why a gym teacher should get more plan time than a 3rd grade teacher on the same contract in the same school.
     
  34. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,692
    Likes Received:
    1,661

    Jun 13, 2017

    Ok, I'll give you one example... At my school, on paper, specials teachers get more plan time. The reason is because that much of their plan time is used to help with school-wide efforts. The music teacher puts on grade-level AND choir concerts and has to prepare the stage for those. The PE/health teachers plan seasonal activities, such as field day at the end of the year. The art teacher and gifted teacher help students to create displays around the building. Each of these teachers does all of these things on top of planning for their actual instructional time with multiple grade-levels. On top of that, these teachers are also expected to to run academic/behavioral/social interventions for small groups of students who need them (such as a breakfast club for students who have difficulty transitioning in the morning or a GoNoodle brain break time for a kid who needs more movement than his peers). All of this happens during what, on paper, appears to be their plan/prep time. These are things that a sub would never be asked to do for a variety of reasons. So, if one of those teachers has a sub on any given day, the sub is going to have a lot of downtime that the actual teacher would not typically have. Again, this is just one example, unique to my school. Other schools probably assign other responsibilities to their specials teachers.
     
    Caesar753 likes this.
  35. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    616

    Jun 13, 2017

    Yeah, all I was saying is that if teachers have extra plan they should have other responsibilities that will support the school like the tutoring groups you mentioned.m (so the extra period doesn't really become a plan then). Only one school that I've been to has had specials teachers support other students in their classes. As a substitute, this school had me do the same duties. I'm aware that it's very possible that the schools I work at are assigning these extra responsibilities but they didn't want a sub to do them. I am aware that specials teachers do a lot to support the whole school. I also do think that classroom teachers do a lot of extra work as well. While the gym teacher does plan field day, classroom teachers have to grade papers for example. Similarly, a music teacher plans for concerts but doesn't have to grade as many papers. Specials teachers probably also get extra prep when classes go on field trips.
     
  36. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,692
    Likes Received:
    1,661

    Jun 13, 2017

    Gym teachers have to enter grades, too... and usually a lot more of them...

    I'm not sure what the point of your post is here. Plan time is time to complete your responsibilities. Specials teachers get it, and classroom teachers get it. Both have difficult jobs in varying ways. Just because one looks to have more plan time on paper doesn't mean that there is an inequity.

    I'm not sure why you're so set on the idea that classroom teachers need the same amount of plan time on paper as specials teachers have. You've acknowledged that their additional time is filled with other responsibilities in most cases, so then what is your issue? It's not like specials teachers are sitting around playing on their phones while classroom teachers are drowning in work. Everyone is busy and overworked, and everyone needs more time to accomplish tasks. When a teacher has less face-to-face time with students, they are given other responsibilities that may not be obvious to someone outside - or even inside - the school.
     
  37. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    616

    Jun 13, 2017

    I know gym teachers enter grades but they do not have to grade papers like a classroom teacher does. Are you honestly saying that grading takes a gym teacher as long as a classroom teacher?

    I know all teachers could use the extra plan time but I don't think it's a controversial opinion to say that teachers all deserve the same plan time. I would guess that if classroom teachers were given triple planning, they would find many things to do that would benefit their students. I think all teachers have extra responsibilities. I really don't mean to argue but I would find it unfair if specials teachers were regularly given doubles or triple planning with no other assignments during these extra blocks. I'm sure other teachers would agree with me but it seems like I'm in the minority here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  38. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,692
    Likes Received:
    1,661

    Jun 13, 2017

    I would agree with you if the specials teachers had three times as much planning as classroom teachers and had nothing to do with all of that time. The point I've been trying to make is that that rarely happens. Specials teachers are given other things to do that you may not be aware of. Just because they are not in front of students doesn't mean that they are not working. They are just doing different work. Equity isn't determined by face time with students. The impression that I'm getting from you, though, is that you think this is how equity should be determined.

    To answer your question about gym teachers grading, I don't know. I've never been a gym teacher, but I can tell you that I don't care if one aspect of their job takes them less time than that same aspect of my job takes. I'm certain that they are doing other things with their time that I don't have to do myself. When I was a sped teacher, I spent almost no time on grading. As a classroom teacher, I spend more time on it, although not tons. That said, I would say that, without a doubt, I was busier with paperwork and could have used more plan time when I taught sped than I have a need for now as a classroom teacher. Every position has different aspects to it that other positions don't have. Picking only one aspect to compare (such as grading or face-to-face time with students) doesn't give the full picture of what that teacher does or how much work they have to do.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  39. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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

    Jun 13, 2017

    Ms Holyoke - if I may suggest, please keep in mind that perspective is vital to understanding, judging, and determining "fairness" within a situation. I don't judge, or even attempt to determine or say something is unfair unless I truly have researched, discussed, and found all information and perspective on that situation. I'd suggest the same for you.

    (By the way, even if one person's work takes more time than another person's work, what determines "fair"? A kinder teacher will have different tough parts than a 5th grade teacher than a PE teacher. "Fair" is an overused word that, well, isn't fair to use most of the time.)
     
    bella84 likes this.
  40. Al Bean

    Al Bean Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 13, 2017

    As said before, those probably aren't truly preps as her sub schedule is likely altered. But regardless, here's a few reasons we need our plan time. Not saying it should be more or less than a classroom teacher but I can't spare a single more minute; and their advocacy for themselves should have nothing to do with my time.

    1. Transitioning the room between different developmental levels. I can't tell you how many hours of my day I spend moving heavy choral risers and other instruments to accommodate my schedule. Those are all minutes out of my "plan" the are NOT used for plan but my job would not be possible without. The space needed to accommodate a 5th grade drum circle is totally different from a kindergarten folk dance. I can't waste student minutes to have them help me with these tasks, as I said, I only have 45 minutes once a week with my students and have to make each one count to cover curriculum standards.
    2. I input grades and assessments for FIVE HUNDRED STUDENTS INSTEAD OF 20. I DEFINITELY have papers to grade and I KNOW my gym teacher does too!
    3. I make behavior and content parent contacts for FIVE HUNDRED STUDENTS instead of 20. I see 120 students by the end of a day. Imagine how many phone calls that might be?
    4. I have lots of non-teaching duties such as lunch duty and bus duty.
    5. I run after school and DURING school ensembles that are on top of my contractual workload for no extra pay. This is simply the school and community expectation.
    6. I run a PROGRAM with administrative duties, such as collecting money for competition fees, inputting permission slips, receipting, keeping up with an inventory with over 20k, and communicating with 500 sets of parents about events, weekend trips, competitions, and performances.
    7. Planning concerts involved much more than just going to the event. I have to plan how to manage 100's of students at a time by myself. I have to choose the music. I have to make practice tracks. I have to hire and rehearse with an accompanist. I have to practice how to play their music to the point that it is second nature so that I can manage an unruly class while playing. I have to write their standing orders and communicate them with classroom teachers. I have to schedule school wide rehearsals by communicating with SPED, gifted, classroom teachers, custodial, and other support staff. I have to schedule constant reminders and school messengers to make sure they attend. This is all on top of teaching my real CURRICULUM. For no extra pay. The minutes with kids are just the tip of the iceberg. All the while I am still making my curriculum maps, planning developmentally appropriate lessons and etc.
    8. Many of us have NO team members in the building or even THE SCHOOL DISTRICT (many of us are split between multiple schools, so lets add time for constantly packing and unpacking teaching materials) to collaborate with in our planning as grade levels frequently do. We plan solo.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  41. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    616

    Jun 13, 2017

    I don't think equity is determined by face time with students. I stated earlier that computer teachers (for example) who have responsobilities to manage technology in school (and other things) do deserve the extra prep time since it goes far beyond just prep for their classes.

    My intention was not to pick one aspect of the job (grading). Your example stated that gym teachers plan field days or art teachers set up school wide bulletin boards, which is true and a tough job. (And they have to get to know so many students!) I was just stating that there are pros and cons to each job--a gym teacher probably has less grading than a classroom teacher for example. If an art teacher or gym teacher has regular extra responsibilities (similar to those of a computer teacher) I think they absolutely deserve the extra plan. But I wouldn't want a gym teacher to get an extra plan for planning a field day at the end of the year or a music teacher to for having a few concerts a year. I hope that makes sense. I really don't mean to say that specials teaches don't work hard because I think they do. I think it's very difficult to teach such different grade levels during the same day. I was honestly just surprised at the amount of non-student time that specials teachers have on their schedules with the seemingly same duties. (I want to clarify that in my experiences, I was not looking at the sub schedule but the teacher's schedule (in her planner, pinned to the board etc.)
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. MissCeliaB,
  2. CDOR79
Total: 427 (members: 4, guests: 400, robots: 23)
test