Not even sure how to title this......

Discussion in 'General Education' started by chicagoturtle, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2011

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/educat...ass-home-visits-but-fewer-teacher-raises.html

    There is a lot brewing here in Chicago. We have somehow become the most hated citizens of the city. Our contract is not up until next year, but with a new administration of both the school district and the city, they are saying they can't pay us our raise. I think some people are okay with that. Though now they keep adding fuel to the fire (they want to force us to open our contract a year early). Today it was announced we would be doing "home visits."

    I worked for Head Start in my district and they started allowing "home visits" to be done in the school because principals feared for our safety if we went out into the neighborhoods. I work in a really good school in an up and coming neighborhood. My students come from all over the city. I utilize public transportation. I am not a social worker. I do provide my families with links to lots of resources because the social worker at my school is inept and I used to work with a fabulous one who gave me lots of resources for families. I have 40 students.

    So I was okay with the pay cut. I am happy to remain employed. A strike is brewing. The letters to the editor against us in the paper are mounting. The two "major papers" have been bad-mouthing us left and right. There is one guy in one of the free papers that has our backs.

    In order to strike- since they passed a new law, 75% of the membership that is eligible for voting must vote yes. I was more of the, I'll just take the pay cut and be happy to have my job. Except the attack on us continues. Now they want us to work a longer school day and year, with no more pay. Now they're trying to pull the "we're salaried." Yes we are- but we also swipe in and out and get paid on an hourly basis. Additionally, with the home visits etc. happening- I'm just not sure when enough is enough. They keep hammering and hammering the diatribe that We get out at 3:00, have the shortest school day in the year and have summers off I'm sick of hearing it. My report cards alone take about two - three hours per student to create (Teaching Strategies Gold) per student (a low estimate). My IEPs also take a long time because their system requires you to wait 30 seconds every time you check a box. Both of these have to be done on the internet. I get 2.5 hours of prep time a week, that is often taken away by meetings. I am currently teaching ESY. I sure don't only work from 8:30 - 3:00 and apparently don't have my summers off. I know most of my fellow teachers do not as well.

    I work at an AWESOME SCHOOL but I am sick of turning on the news, reading the paper and seeing my profession being bashed over and over and over. I hope we have a turn around at some point. I really do.
     
  2.  
  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2011

    Wow...wow...wow! I too hope that there is a turn around soon!
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,558
    Likes Received:
    2,649

    Jun 24, 2011

    :(

    I'm feeling a similar vibe in my city, except that we're not allowed to strike. It really limits any power that we might have to preserve our already limited benefits and working conditions. If I could support a strike, I would in a heartbeat, and you should too.

    Good luck to you. :hugs:

    (This is a big part of why I am going to start my own school. I just don't think I can continue to work within a toxic system anymore while my hands are tied and I can't effect any real change.)
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jun 24, 2011

    It's very disturbing. The abuse of the salary concept sickens me.
     
  6. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2011

    Strikes were allowed until this year without a 75% vote. A strike hasn't happened in a long time here. 4 years ago when our contract was up there was a vote to "renegotiate" our current contract. Many of the union reps told all the new teachers to "vote" for the contract or we were going on strike. We were in fact voting to renegotiate. The contract passed, barely but 75% of the membership sure didn't vote.

    After the whole Wisconsin issue, our legislature passed the 75% strike vote as well as a law to allow them to lengthen our school day essentially at will.

    Our contract is already null and void for many of its parts.

    BTW Many of us wanted a 4 year contract, CPS/The City wanted a 5 year contract to have peace in preparation for winning the olympic bid.

    Meanwhile our APPOINTED school board (mind you this is the previous board) has been caught spending lots of money not on students. This of course is on the blogs- but not in the "real press"
    http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Departments/Documents/OIG_FY_2010AnnualReport.pdf ......
     
  7. MandaNicole01

    MandaNicole01 Habitué

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    822
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2011

    Our local paper has been teacher bashing ever since snow started flying this past winter. People can't stand the fact we don't report every snow day. I think people forget that we are teachers...we teach. If students aren't there what do they expect us to do for a big storm that cancels school for a week? I mean you can only work in your room so long... It seems as though this teacher bashing is more than just a local problem. I'm with you, I'm sick of it!!!

    Wow! I can't even begin to imagine attempting to do home visits for all 24 of my students. I worked a summer program once and I did home visits...they take TIME!

    So, if you teach kids and have no professional days when do you get your room set up for the first day and packed up for summer? I can't imagine having no paid days to work in my room! Absurd!

    I'm so tired of people who have never taught passing legislation about public education. Just because you attended school, doesn't make you an expert! If that were the case, I've had 3 babies, I should be running labor and delivery! ;)

    Keep your head up! Teachers are professionals and it's ashame we don't always get treated as such. We seem to always get lip service but not much else...
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jun 24, 2011

    Reporting on snow days?! Teachers and students must make up those snow days here...isn't that typical practice? So on a day the schools are closed for inclement weather, teachers are supposed to battle the unsafe roads, greet an empty classroom, and then later in the year when the missed day is made up the teachers are to come then as well? Crazy. Crazy, crazy, crazy.
     
  9. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2011

    Snow days..... We actually had two last year- first time since apparently 1991 or something.

    The first day, teachers and students got to stay home, but administration, security guards, lunchroom staff and custodians had to report. Also all "non-school employees" (central office/ area offices) had to report or they would have to take PB days. By 10:00 AM I think they realized this was a bit ridiculous and said, umm if you can't make it stay home.

    The second day only administration and custodians had to report.

    They canceled busing for three days.

    We have had bad storms before and we have had bitter cold- and we were thinking we would never have gotten out of school. However when all was said and done we got about 22 inches over a 2 day period. The streets were unsafe and the "side streets" were not plowed. Not to mention that 700 cars were stuck on lakeshore drive.

    We actually had no snow days built into the calendar, so the kids went on two days that were supposed to be PD days and staff had to report this past Monday and Tuesday. We actually got to clean our rooms on the clock (we typically end the school day the same day kids do). We also had not much to do after we cleaned- so we ended up reading and playing board games.
     
  10. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 25, 2011

    We always build in snow days, but will add to the end of the school year if we use more than the amount built in.
     
  11. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    11

    Jun 25, 2011

    This is all very sad! It is completely unrealistic for all teachers to make home visits like that. Home visits are a little more common in SPED, but what about the fact that some families do not want other people coming into their homes? Also, teachers work plenty of hours without getting "paid" so to tack on extra school days and say that teachers shouldn't be compensated for those days is also rediculous.
     
  12. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jun 25, 2011

    Emily, I was going to say the same thing...many, many parents wouldn't want teachers in their homes whether from embarrassment to just lack of interest or some other reason. My father would have been fine with it but I know my mother would not have been. To the embarrassment reason, many parents would feel the teachers were judging their home and family and child. And sadly, some would be correct. I remember my first year the special education teacher was reporting back from home visits. The notes upset me a little because they were more about the lawn care and house decor than anything...as if to say, "Get ready! This child comes from a home that doesn't mow their grass regularly enough...smells like trouble to me!" or "This parent probably won't be supportive of her child's education because her kitchen was disgusting!" I don't at all think that's typical, but some parents may fear that type of judgment.
     
  13. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    24

    Jun 25, 2011

    Nut jobs

    Are running the education systems. Makes me glad I am retired and no longer teaching. Also makes me wonder why I might go back to it. I need to find a job teaching in a private school. At least they don't make the NewsLess papers.

    The politicians are unfairly targeting US as the perpetrators of THEIR recession.

    TechnoMage
     
  14. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    3,544
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 25, 2011

    Agreed. Sometimes being salaried is a disadvantage. When I took my current job outside of education, I was a bit bummed that it was hourly at a rate less than teaching. But I get paid for every minute over 8 hours I am there. My last two paychecks were actually larger than my teaching ones, with less hours, no home work and without all my yearly salary being crammed into 9 months.

    So being salaried shouldn't even be an issue. Just because you pull the same paycheck every week does not mean you have to answer to every whim your boss thinks of. It can actually mean an abuse of power of your boss (as it appears the case here is). My office is very careful not to give us more work than we can do in 8 hours, or else they are paying dearly for it, literally. I wonder what principals would ask us to do outside our contracted work hours if they knew they were paying time and a half for it?
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,958
    Likes Received:
    2,109

    Jun 25, 2011

    I'm not asked to do anything outside my contracted hours. I'm fortunate to be in a district that pays very well and respects professional educators. Unfortunately, with state finance being the way they are, teachers in NJ will be paying more into pensions and the state is toying with our collective bargained health benefits. The governor is a bully, but i still feel lucky every ay to work where I do.
     
  16. comaba

    comaba Cohort

    Joined:
    May 21, 2011
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 27, 2011

    So, I'm watching the news this morning, and they just reported that CPS is sending out 1000 pink slips to teachers due to 'declining enrollment', and the schools chief promises that class size will not increase.

    I wonder if he pulls rabbits out of his hat too?!?
     
  17. MATgrad

    MATgrad Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    1,437
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2011

    I think I might throw-up. He must have some amazing rabbits hidden in there.
     
  18. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2011

    I hate working for a large district. I can't even get a break from these type of news.:dizzy:
     
  19. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2011

    Wow, I read this article and am amazed that you get 15 days of professional development per year. That is almost 9% of the school year. We get one day at the beginning of school to work in our classrooms and one day of professional development. During the year, we get 1 more full day and 2 1/2 days of professional development. I can totally justifying taking some of those PD days for classroom instruction, but some of the other things are a bit "out there."
     
  20. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    108

    Jun 27, 2011

    NJ also has no money, so how do you expect the governor to be able to pay all the teachers' benefits? The Governor is simply doing his job: he needs to help the state budget its money so no money = no payouts to those who work for the state. It sucks, but that is life. (I really upsets me that people don't get that-- instead they just want to bash the person who's job it is to make the decision.)

    I work in a private school in NJ and I have to pay more for my benefits than public school teachers, but I am doing fine. My school is already providing around $20k in extra benefits for me.
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,558
    Likes Received:
    2,649

    Jun 27, 2011

    I expect the state to honor its contract with its public employees. As a public employee, I'm simply doing my job, and it's unfair for TPTB to decide to effectively give me a pay cut without my input or through negotiating new terms to our negotiated agreement.

    Our state gives huge, huge, huge tax breaks to certain industries, even though those industries no longer bring in much revenue. Those industries have strong lobbyists and power players in their pockets, and they are the ones who helped elect our governor. When it comes time to make the "tough" decisions, do you think our governor is going to upset the people who put him in office? Nope. He's going to walk all over the people who habitually get walked all over, because that's the status quo.

    So yeah, I don't think it's fair to get upset at people who get upset at people who make crappy decisions for the sake of a few votes and a few bucks.
     
  22. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    108

    Jun 27, 2011



    Yes they should honor your contracts as they are stated, however, if there is no money how do you expect them to honor everything in your contract? Money just does not appear out of no where without making some changes in other areas (which trust me, I am ALL for that happening).

    And I agree with you that this is a *** thing for the Governor to keep in place--- they should not be getting those tax breaks, however, we also need to think that if we don't give businesses some tax breaks what will make them stay in the state? There has to be some perks-- otherwise the company might just move to a different state or, heaven forbid, to a completely different country (the company my Mom works for moved half of their business over to India to save $$$). I strongly dislike lobbyists and power players--- but until the Governor does something to clean up these issues, the point still is: the state does not have money.

    But we're just playing the blame game here. A lot of things need to change in this state before we can go back to raises and benefits. The Governor has been doing a lot more to try to get the budget under control-- much more than other idiot politicians in this state. He can't do everything at once and giving him flack for cutting the budget (once again because the state has NO money) is idiotic.

    Teachers will have to pay more for their benefits--- in this economy (which has changed rapidly over just the few last years) the state can not afford to give you everything they thought they could have given you. At least you're working, thankfully.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2011
  23. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    3,565
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2011

    The professional development plan - they say the P and master teachers will spend "all of their time" in classrooms delivering individual PD to the teachers. When my P observes me, he can't then discuss it with me right away during instructional time. We have to meet later. How will they give individual PD on the fly during class?

    Home visits - if it's safe enough for the kids, it's safe enough for the teacher? Well it is NOT safe for the kids and it's a societal shame they have to live in violence and danger. What does that have to do with the teacher adding trips to homes to his day?
     
  24. comaba

    comaba Cohort

    Joined:
    May 21, 2011
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 27, 2011

    Yeah, I'm curious to see how that works too. In my building, it's sometimes difficult to find an admin during a fight, and I know it's not because they're in classrooms!

    Most of my colleagues and I would rather spend the PD days with the students than attend the same district workshops over and over again.
    I think the union will fight this. It seems like a labor violation to me. If not, CPS is accepting a HUGE liability in the event that teachers are injured on the job.
     
  25. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2011

    From what the story I saw said, these people had already found out that they are going to be laid off/let go because of the school closings and positions not in the budget when it finally came out. Whether this is true or not is a different story.
     
  26. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2011

    I work in pre-k and we are sort of a different department. We have 3-4 additional days of to the 19.

    My only comparison is Madison and they got off every Monday 2 hours early for PD AND had additional days off.

    Here in CPS we used to have "1/2 days" where the kids would come and leave at 11:30 every sixteen days of school. They were replaced with the PD days. Three of the days are prior to the students starting school in August/September.

    The whole Blago trial just ended- Phew- CPS will be outta the press for a few days.
     
  27. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2011

    Brizzard makes me sick! He was quoted as saying that he thinks teachers should never get a raise (so say at the same pay their entire career) and when one journalist asked him why wouldn't he take a 4% pay cut to lead by example since the teachers aren't getting their 4% raise... He said that he can't do that because he has a family to feed. Don't we all have families or ourselves at least to feed? This man makes 250k a year but doesn't want teachers to make above 50k. Jerk.
     
  28. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2011


    Wow I do a lot of news reading/ I didn't see this. Do you have the link?
     
  29. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2011

    My husband read it in the Wednesday or Thursday Chicago Tribune.

    In the Tribune, there was an article that discussed how CPS is getting more strict with their residency requirement and have never granted an administrator amnesty before but Emmanuel granted Brizard the right to live in Winnetka instead of Chicago.
     
  30. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,481
    Likes Received:
    195

    Jun 27, 2011

    Actually, it's not as safe for teachers as it is for the kids. If you live in a neighborhood you know what to keep an eye out for and what to do and not to do.

    I'm curious. Do they want teachers to visit every student? If not, how are the students chosen? Do they only visit the "bad" kids homes. I can see how well that would go.

    Do you make contact first to see if the parents want you to visit? If not, then how do you know they won't think you're a detectives and shoot you so you don't find the meth lab?

    And what training will they give on how to make home visits? Training costs money. Do they know that? And an sending an untrained teacher in a home of a family that already has an antagonistic relationship with the school could turn into a very ugly situation very fast.
     
  31. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jun 27, 2011

    There's a reason I have no desire to go back to the classroom....
     
  32. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2011

    As far as I know it isn't Brizard that is living in Winnetka, it is someone on his administration that apparently just adopted a daughter from the Ukraine and they are allowing him 2 years for her to finish Middle school. It is controversial because we have to follow the residency requirement AND a principal got fired from a high school awhile ago because he was living in the suburbs so that his special needs daughter could get better services. I will find his name/title in a bit.
     
  33. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2011

    Your right that wasn't Brizard. That was my mistake. It does bother me that they are granting him an exception which they have never done for administrators.
     
  34. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2011

    There have been no details other than this article that was on the cover of the newspaper- a week after our new mayor said "we were giving kids the shaft" and that was the headline. With Blago- I imagine we'll get a little reprieve from the headlines for awhile.

    All I know is our Head Start and Pre-K programs used to require home visits. While Pre-K no longer does, Head Start still does- but allows for a waiver so that the visit can take place in the school. They made this change because principals were worried about teachers going out into neighborhoods.

    For the most part our kids go to "neighborhood" schools and the schools are typically every 4 blocks. Teachers probably know their neighborhood well and its intricacies within the fist year or so. That being said. Some neighborhoods and because of school closings etc are divided by gang lines.

    Unfortunately gangs are very prevalent in the city. If you don't mess with them- they tend not to mess with you. I live in what I consider a very mixed income neighborhood- but I still see signs of gang activity everywhere. Luckily for me it is mostly tagging. I also can tell by the tagging that I am in between two turfs of 2 gangs. However, most of the activity must be done in the wee hours of the morning. In one of the neighborhoods I worked- they were outside at dismissal trying to recruit our 2nd graders.
     
  35. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2011

    I know the residency requirement is a hot button issue for many. Personally I moved her to live in the city. I rely on public transit. I could only realistically see myself moving to an edge burb like Oak Park, Evanston, Norridge or Niles really. Plus I qualify for a waiver- so I guess I know if I needed an out (at least currently- I qualify).

    People lie about the residency policy all the time.

    BTW- Did you get my PM about that school you interviewed at?
     
  36. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    8

    Jun 27, 2011

    Manda, I just had to laugh when I read this part of your reply. Nicely said!:D

    I am in rural VA and when I heard the caustic, uninformed statements being spewed about teachers in WI, I wanted to scream! In fairness, it wasn't until I became a teacher that I appreciated:unsure: just how much work it involves. However, I would never vocally decry a profession unless I really understood it. The politicians have to spend time in the schools, day after day, shadowing teachers in different districts. Maybe we should all keep a running tab on the time we spend on school/student related work during the summer, days off, evenings, and weekends. It might scare us to actually see it in writing, but maybe the public & politicians would learn a thing or two about teachers and our careers!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. RainStorm
Total: 232 (members: 2, guests: 203, robots: 27)
test