Losing Your Planning Time

Discussion in 'General Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Ugh my colleagues made me mad today. :mad: Our school is wonderful about making sure we get our planning hours every week. When we have PLC's the time is added to the rest of the week's planning periods-which happens to be in the afternoon. When we have early dismissal days the rest of the staff has to tutor during what would normally be their planning (the time was spread across the rest of the week), so it's not like some are getting it and some are not. They are very fair.

    Today our school put on it's Winter Program for the students. Only one of my grade level team stayed with their kids (and she stated very loudly that she was watching the program, she wouldn't be helping manage the kids at all). The rest sent them to specials like they usually do. Well, the problem with that is-the library was a changing area and the librarian was assigned to help those students. Computer-he was setting up all the AV equipment and Music-well he was on stage and directing. So 2 teachers (me and this other) were in charge of 120 kids.

    What got me is they did it for the principle of it-they are legally entitled to that hour. That's true-but this is one occasion, our kids had parts in this program-not to mention you see ones you had 5 years ago all grown-up. And it's your TEAM getting stuck doing your job. :mad: It's not like someone else was assigned to them, so hey, I'll just leave. It doesn't happen all the time-we have like 2 programs a year-like I said we are always compensated for that time-I just couldn't believe it. Ugh!
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Wow, Kinder. I know how you feel. I've had teachers bail on me and another teacher and we were stuck watching a lot of kiddos!
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    It is a problem in most schools I think. Just because your contract gives you an hour to plan, doesn't mean you need to take it on these special occasions. But some teachers will never understand it.
     
  5. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    You work at a school. There are kids in the room. If they need managing, you manage them. That's your job.
     
  6. cruiserteacher

    cruiserteacher Comrade

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    Dec 16, 2010

    Some teachers are very "contract/union oriented." They stick exactly to what is said in their contract and they do no more and no less. Thankfully, the tides have turned in my school recently and we have a lot younger staff and we are always willing to do more than what is required for the good of the school & students. I'm sorry you had to deal with that today.
     
  7. ecl

    ecl Rookie

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    Dec 16, 2010

    But should you really be getting angry at your colleagues? If they are legally entitled to that hour, then what is the issue?

    You need to address the issue with your administration. They left you in charge of all of those children, not your colleagues.

    True, this is one occasion. Sadly though, many administrators would take advantage and make it more than one occasion. That's why we have contracts - so that administrators have to follow certain guidelines to respect people's rights.

    Respect your fellow educators' right to insist that they have their contractual planning time. Teachers fought long and hard for that right. Letting it slide for "just this one time" opens the door for precedents to be set and rights to be lost.
     
  8. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    We had an emergency evacuation once and ended up at another building. I found at later that one of our teachers tried to get the the PE teacher to watch his kids at what would have been our PE time. I can't believe he had the nerve to do that. With everything that was going on-I wouldn't have even known when PE was supposed to be. Besides the fact that the specials teachers were helping everyone. Why would you get a break in an emergency?!

    But I have been upset over losing my planning time sometimes. Our special ed teacher always schedules IEP meetings during specials, and it usually takes the entire time. I just feel like I have to rush to get there, and then I'm worried about when I need to leave.
     
  9. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Well, sometimes you have to step up to the plate and do what needs to be done, regardless if it is cutting into your personal time. I get the annoyance if your planning time was cancelled frequently, but this seems to be the occasion where those teachers should have thought of someone other than themselves. Kinder, I commend you for staying and helping out.
     
  10. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I'm always in awe when people don't want to give up a prep. I only get 1 hour of prep a week and it is cancelled if the art teacher is away. At my last school, self-contained teachers only got 1 prep day a semester. Some people don't know how good they have it...
     
  11. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Dec 16, 2010

     
  12. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    The whole school participates in this program every year-all classes in the school come to watch-paraprofessionals, etc are helping with the sets/costumes. There is no alternative-other than not to do the programs and I don't think that's fair to the students who work so hard on their performances. To me, if you really cared about your students, you would give up one hour every 2 semesters. Like I said, we get planning every day and our school is really good about that-they don't even take it away for PLC's. I just think it's really selfish.


    Thank you for your replies. I never know if I'm too sensitive about things like this.
     
  13. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Thank you Sarge! They had made an announcement that everyone should be with their kids for security purposes and I think she wanted it to look like she was there but let everyone around her know-she wasn't going to do anything, and believe she didn't.
     
  14. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    I agree!
    It's the admin that should be addressing the issue and making the decision that everyone must follow the same.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 17, 2010

    Our planning time is contractual. If we miss it, they pay us for it. (unless for a fire drill or emergency). If there is an assembly, classes attend the assembly. If the class is scheduled for a special during the time of the assembly, the special area teacher relieves the classroom teacher at the assembly. If there is a music assembly and the music teacher is running it, they get a sub to cover her classes during the assembly times. It all works out nicely.
     
  16. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Dec 18, 2010

    I share Sarge's view.

    Kinder, don't you just feel sorry for the kids in that colleague's class? Everyone needs their prep time, but seriously, how must those kids feel to know they are not valued, but a job? There will always be those teachers. Just don't let it be one of us.:love:
     
  17. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Our school is going skating during my next 3 planning periods. Since I only get 1 hour of prep a week, I'm wondering what is going to happen. I'm the only teacher affected. I don't mind missing a prep here and there but I do mind missing 3 in a row. I just know that I better get something or I will phone the union.
     
  18. flutterbye

    flutterbye Rookie

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    I understand how you feel Kinder. I could not imagine refusing to care for the kids. I could not imagine doing this job if it was just a job, it's just to hard for too little money if it were just a paycheck, and it sounds like that is all that one 'teacher' wanted- a paycheck and summer vacation.

    My question though, Administration did know - since this is done every year- that the specials teachers would be busy and that the classes wouldn't be meeting in specials right? So why would they not have scheduled a sub for that time to cover the special classes? That seems a bit short sighted on administrations part.
     
  19. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Dec 19, 2010

    We can only schedule subs for a whole or 1/2 day. This is literally an hour of time. They would be paying 4 subs for a 1/2 day to work one hour. In this budget that would never happen.

    Honestly, I think most admins would assume teachers would want to watch their kids perform in the program. We were the only grade level who was not sending a representative to help in the evening program performance for the parents (I would have done it, but it was when my sister was here and we were celebrating Christmas). 5 other teachers and no one else was willing to stay and help. It just doesn't show very much support for our other teachers or our students. I think it means a lot to the kids when I see them in the hall and say "Johnny, you did such a great job". I actually like watching the kids perform. I like being able to talk to my students afterward and see what they learned. But that's just me.
     
  20. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Dec 19, 2010

    Same in our school. If a "specials" teacher is out then we lose our prep time. Sometimes, if a student is having behavior issues, we actually stay in the specials with them (lose another prep there). We don't even get a lunch without students. Some people really don't know how good they have it.
     
  21. jennyd

    jennyd Companion

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    Dec 19, 2010

    You get paid for missed prep time? Holy cow, that's amazing! I'd better not share that tidbit with the other teachers at my school - there'd be a riot.
     
  22. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    I have lost preps due to assemblies. Our old principal wanted classroom teachers to be with their class. We have a new principal and I am not sure if he has been approached about it. I would love if I have a special for the teacher to watch my class but right now it doesn't happen.
    If a special area teacher is out and there is no sub we get paid for it.
     
  23. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Sure we do. And we "have it" because we have strong unions that insist on these benefits.

    We all choose which district we work for, and many of us choose based on benefits received, as dictated by the union contract. There is nothing "lucky" about it. It all boils down to choice.


    This thread is excellent in that it gives valuable information to those in districts that have few benefits.


    How does it feel to you to know that YOU and YOUR TIME are not valued? Unions were established precisely so that administrations would be required to value you and your time.
     
  24. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    We have a 1/2 hour duty-free lunch. Planning time can be used for meetings, training for administering standardized tests, administering assessments for students if necessary, etc. It's not guaranteed to be "duty-free". Since it was the 2nd to last day of school for us and the last day was a 1/2-day, I'm betting those teachers weren't doing much "planning" for their students anyway.

    My point was-- it was 45 minutes and I personally enjoyed watching our students perform. I wanted to monitor my kids so I could make sure they were being good audience members. It just really surprises me that the rest of my team would rather be the only ones in the entire school just sitting in their empty classrooms. And as I've said before, regardless of whose fault it was, 2 of us were stuck monitoring 120 kids, which these teachers knew and also just disregarded in their decision. I personally couldn't do that to the rest of my team simply to get those minutes.
     
  25. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Dec 21, 2010

    I can understand your point about pitching in for special occasions, however I have worked in schools where the planning time is taken away for all sorts of reasons that mainly stem from poor administrative leadership and decisions.

    I get annoyed about losing my planning time because I feel I use it wisely. When I lose my time it means I will not have an opportunity to do something that will serve my students.

    Even in special occasions, it can ruin a whole day of planning if you lose the time you needed to prepare for the activities because your planning period is taken away.
     
  26. G00d d00bie

    G00d d00bie Rookie

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    Dec 22, 2010

    I am Good Doobie

    I just see all of this as part of the poor job schools are doing now days. Teachers are good, administrators are bad, parents are bad.
    I was going to leave it at that, but I should explain myself. I'll post this here as I do not want to start a new worthless thread, spend time looking for the appropriate place, etc.
    If principals hire teachers who know their subject and really love to teach then most teachers are doing their absolute best. Most experienced teachers are doing all they can to make sure every child knows the subject content. These teachers really get into it. Admin.thinks teachers have it so good that they can use these teachers for other stuff that has minimal affect. Most teachers try to put up with administrators and parents as they try to make their cases, but these teachers shouldn't be expected to be good at stuff that pales in comparison to what they are focused on in the classroom.
    As Good Doobie, I always try to do every little thing everybody wants me to do. I see others that do little and I get mad and redouble my efforts to forgive and give more of myself to them and everyone else. Administrators love to use me for an example to everyone else.
    Here is just one example of me so you will understand me better.
    There have been many times that I have walked into another teacher's room full of students, but there was no teacher there. I stayed until the teacher returned or the bell rang because I know that I am not to leave a room full of students by themselves. Yet principals do it all the time. I don't say anything - just do the right thing. Well, actually this is the first time I am saying it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010

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