Getting a 'tech' period?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Peregrin5, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 13, 2015

    I'm a little worried this year about a change in my schedule. According to my principal, she's taking out one of my sections of science and replacing it with a "tech" period where I will do things like maintain Chromebook carts, and Google Apps maintenance, etc. I won't have any students.

    I'm slightly worried, because I'm not sure that the district really allows that. I also didn't want being a tech guy to be the focus of my job. I'm happy to help out with tech when people need it, but I don't want the responsibility of everyone coming to me when something is wrong (which has already kind of started to happen).

    I'm grateful to my principal for trying to do this, but I guess the responsibility of finding a productive way to use this time is giving me the jitters.
     
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  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jul 13, 2015

    Why would the district object to it?

    It sounds like your P values your tech knowledge.
     
  4. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Jul 13, 2015

    I see your concern, ask for a stipend possibly to cover the extra duties?
     
  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jul 13, 2015

    Last year, my district hired a full-time (classified) employee for each site that does tech stuff. It is most definitely a full-time job--she works above and beyond her 8 hours/day.

    We used LCAP $$$ to fund these positions.

    I completely understand your concerns about the district not being okay with your principal giving you a tech period (with no students assigned to your roster). There's no way in **** my district would approve that! Be prepared for her to rescind her offer to give you this time within the school day--she may get shot down when she submits this request to district office. :(
     
  6. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jul 13, 2015

    In my district you could not get a stipend to cover work you are doing during the regular school day.

    We have a tech specialist per building, and they are paid a supplemental to help after school with tech issues that are fairly minor.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 13, 2015

    The teacher who is responsible for tech in our building would be thrilled to be able to have one period without students to do the maintenance that's required--she spends hundreds of hours outside of the school day doing it. I wouldn't overthink it, be grateful for the time while you have it.

    One thing I would suggest is keeping a log of what you are doing during those periods--maintenance, app updates, etc.
     
  8. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Jul 13, 2015

    In our district we have what are called "Teacher Technology Leaders" for each building besides the building computer tech which we share with another school and two classified computer techs that teach computer lab. The TTL's are responsible for some of the things you mentioned as well as other responsibilities. They do get time allotted.
     
  9. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    Jul 13, 2015

    I completely understand. I'm one of the the tech-savviest teachers at my school so my P always taps me when it comes to tech. I'll be training teachers on the new grading system in August and I'm hoping some teachers don't take advantage.

    As for how to fill your time, do you have repair tickets for computers? When I have a computer issue I have to fill out a form and submit it to the tech teacher. She will try to fix it first, then she sends it to an IT subcontracting service that we have. Maybe if you don't have hard copy tickets, you can set up a Google form that teachers can tell you what's wrong so you can document what you work on.
     
  10. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jul 13, 2015

    It's just like having an extra prep period which multiple teachers at my site have for things like EL coordinator. It is definitely within legal and acceptable bounds. Now, whether you want to do it or not is a completely different animal of course.

    Personally, I'd love it. I end up helping people with their issues all the time anyway. Would be nice to have the extra time to do so guaranteed.
     
  11. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Jul 13, 2015

    In my district, my principal definitely has the authority and funding to set up something like that as well. Since you will have an extra prep period, your colleagues' expectations of your ability to solve their problems may be quite high.

    Personally, I'd hate being in this situation, I'd much rather deal with students.
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 13, 2015

    Thanks for the tips guys. I guess I'll be ready to go back to teaching in case the district pulls the rug out from under me. Documenting what I do with my time sounds like a good idea too. A lot of my stressing has to do with the amount of responsibility my P is putting on me with this. I'm glad she thinks I'm capable, but it's also worrisome.
     
  13. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jul 14, 2015

    Just had an a-ha moment.

    Here in CA, all public school employees are funded through the general (school) fund, Title I funds, or via LCFF $$$. Some teachers are multi-funded (through multiple accounts). The way your principal could justify having you work one period (student-free) is if she pays for that period/block through Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) funds. It must, however, be stated in the LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan) that a certain amount of money will be set aside for technology usage/implementation (which I'm 99.9% certain it's written in your district's LCAP).

    I probably provided far too much info, but I was stoked when I figured out how I'd justify giving you a tech period if you were in my district. Over the past couple of years, I've gotten really savvy at rationalizing how I'm spending school funds. All administrators have to provide methodical explanation of how we are allocating $$$ when we shoot anticipated expenditures over to D.O. for approval.
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 14, 2015

    Lol! Are you thinking of giving a teacher a "tech" period too?
     
  15. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jul 14, 2015

    Several teachers at my school get duty periods for things like that, including one who is a tech guru. I'd love it!
     
  16. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jul 14, 2015

    If it's all kosher with the district, so be it.

    I think I'm more of a behind-the-scenes person so I'd love it if I were in your shoes.

    Kind of comes down to personality in the end.
     
  17. TonyBalonga

    TonyBalonga Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2015

    If I Had A Class Called Tech

    Sounds like you didn't know what to do during your Tech period. And you had no students? I wonder if there might have been a chance of getting students to work and learn "tech" as time went on?
    I was hired for an advertised math teacher position. As it turned out I was not only to teach math, but a Standardized Test Prep (STP) class. It was my largest class. It seemed quite unclear as to how to teach it. It didn't really line up with my philosophy of education. I asked the previous teacher (another math teacher) what I was supposed to teach. She didn't really seem to know. The counselor gave me some clues which confused me even more. I felt very uneasy, but I guess now days with all the testing, it is needed. I focused on having students practice tests that had been given during years gone by. I just wondered, "Don't all teachers do that before the state testing, and really - a whole semester class just for that?"

    After all the state testing (around the end of March), I continued to wonder even more about the value of this course. I decided to be creative. I took an idea from the name of the course - Standardized Test Prep. I taught students how to prepare their own standardized tests. I taught them to write their own as on-line testing programs. We learned simple Microsoft Excel programming skills. Yes I learned also, every evening at home. Each student learned simple programming for Excel, learned to write tests in subjects of their choice, sent the tests to other students in their class. Students took each other's on-line tests. The computer automatically graded the tests and sent the scores back to the author (the student who programmed and wrote the test) and to me.

    Well, at the end of the year I requested to teach Geometry and Algebra and no STP for the next year.

    Even though the students enjoyed learning the programming, writing on-line test, etc. I never felt like I was doing what was expected. I always felt uneasy. I bragged a bit, but to no avail.
    Now though, I think if I ever again get a class such as STP or Tech, I think I would do the same thing again - teach students something worth-while.
     
  18. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jul 15, 2015

    Peregrin5, my colleague is in your situation. He set up a Google Form for tech requests and just asked us to respect his limited time. Perhaps you could do that, and then answer requests in order? If there are no requests, he does school-wide tech things like maintaining computer carts, questionable wifi, designing tech PD, etc. He LOVES it.
     
  19. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jul 15, 2015

    I think this is a really great idea. In my last school, one of our tech-savvy teachers started something like the Geek Squad (named for our school mascot instead of geeks, though). Those students would go around and help other teachers and students with fixing or implementing technology in class. This teacher led this group as an extra-curricular activity rather than during the school day, but the students did have permission to go help in other classes during the school day. This was also in an elementary school, which leads me to believe that it would work even more smoothly in a high school. I wonder if you could create a class similar to journalism classes that run the school newspapers and yearbooks or student council classes. I'm sure there would be students interested in signing up for something like that, and I'm sure they'd be just as capable of helping to maintain Chromebooks, etc. as a tech-savvy teacher would be. You could organize everything but actually send the students to complete the work orders. Win-win for everyone.
     
  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 21, 2015

    Yeah, we're actually already doing that. That's my elective course where I have students, but that's separate from my student-less period.

    Anyway, after being back getting my classroom set up for a while, I've learned that my getting a "free period" is not going over well with the other staff. Some requested a "student-free period" in the past and didn't receive it, and others feel they (or others) are more deserving.

    Thankfully, I am not the only one who got an extra leadership period, so all of the animus isn't only directed at me.

    I think everyone will get over it eventually, and I think they actually will use my assistance when the year starts.
     

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