Prep time

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MooSRI850, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 5, 2016

    Most of our schools have a dedicated music teacher; in all of the schools I have worked at, they only teach grades 4 or 5 up to grade 8 because these grades have instrumental music (and the time they have available during the week wouldn't allow them to teach all classes). Some schools have dedicated phys ed teachers, although several classroom teachers do teach their own Phys Ed (I did this for quite a few years). I've never worked in a school that has an Art teacher. When we indicate to administration our preference for grade level, we also indicate what subjects we would like someone else to teach when we have our Prep time. Many primary teachers prefer to teach their own art because of the ability to integrate it into other subject areas. We have several teachers who cover preps; they work with the classroom teachers they cover for to decide what they will teach. The only subjects my grade 7 students have that I wouldn't be able to teach are music and French.
     
  2. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Even in a state where there are specialists (at least in most districts, I'm not sure for all), our teacher cert program included a PE ed, Music ed (yup, including learning all the recorder songs!), art ed, and health ed courses.
     
  3. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    One of the subject matter competency tests we have to pass (prior to earning a teaching credential) includes a subset dedicated to art, music, and PE--but I most definitely don't feel like an expert in any of those areas (although I passed the tests with flying colors).

    I know it probably sounds unheard of (to anyone outside of CA) for there to not be specialists who teach these classes, but for us--it's completely normal!
     
  4. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    The only time away that a teacher has from his/her students is a 50 minute duty-free lunch.
     
  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Yeah, I remember taking one art ed class in my teacher prep program, and we had a few questions related to PE on the teacher tests we had to pass for certification. That said, I don't feel at all capable of teaching those classes to students. That's not to say that I couldn't come up with a craft or creative project for an art class, teach students to sing a song for music class, or lead my students in playing a game requiring physical fitness for PE class... but I definitely do not have the background knowledge and expertise to teach them content-specific vocabulary and standards related to those classes.

    I guess if that works for you all in CA, that's great! But I'm glad we have specials teachers here! :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
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  6. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    True that - it'd take quite a bit of feeling around before I felt comfortable teaching each of the specialists!

    (Funny story though: the .5 PE teacher at our school a couple years ago was out, and the regular PE teacher was saying how she could probably cover it even though it was her lunch...I just asked her to give me a quick heads-up on what they would've been doing that day, and then I proceeded to take the mic system and "subbed" during my plan time for the absent PE teacher. It was hilarious, the kids had a blast, and I think I actually did a decent job! That being said, I had been prepped a tiny bit by the PE teacher, so I guess it was sort of cheating ;) )
     
  7. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Roughly 10 hours a week. No clue where it comes from.
     
  8. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I definitely agree that this is normal in CA (and I would say most), but some schools do have them. Both of my charter schools have had them. The first had 30 min of art and 30 min of music a week. My current school has 55 min of art and 55 min of Spanish a week. (Primary grades have less because they also have an extra recess and much smaller class sizes.) My mom's public school had music and science lab every week (I think totaling 90 min or so). The district I live in has traveling music teachers, but I'm not sure how that works.

    We have late start Wednesday, which gives us 60 minutes additional minutes. That is taken up by meetings (staff, grade level, committee, etc) about 80% of the time. I think most CA elementary schools have some kind of shortened day once a week.

    Somehow, though, the secondary teachers in CA always get a prep period every day... Easier to finance, I guess.

    I'm sure this stems from the fact that CA's per pupil funding is abysmal. Specialist teachers are expensive.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  9. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I took these classes here in Texas as well. Thankfully, I've never had to teach kids music, PE, and art.
     
  10. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    That is at least a nice chunk of time. On the schedule, my lunch is thirty minutes but I have to wait in the cafeteria until they've all been served and then I have to come help monitor clean up so my thirty minute lunch is more like twenty.
     
  11. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    We have a 45 minute lunch and a 20 minute recess. We never have duty for either. Do your kids not have recess with lunch? Ours is 45 minutes because half is eating, half is recess.
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Who supervises your 20 minute recess? I'm assuming this is a mid-morning recess that's an hour or two before lunch?

    In my district, teachers are directly responsible for the 20 minute recess. They take turns with yard duty.
     
  13. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Not the person you were asking, but...

    In one of my previous schools, staff were hired specifically to supervise recess. They were known as recess paras.

    My current school has instructional aides, counselors, instructional coaches, and specialists supervise lunches and recess.

    I have worked at four different schools now, and I've never once been at one where I was required to supervise lunch or recess. Maybe on occasion when someone who usually had that duty was out, but then I received extra pay. We also only get one recess around here, the one that is attached to lunch.
     
  14. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    We only have a 30-minute uninterrupted-ish lunch, but that's because kids have 30 minutes of recess, then 30 minutes for lunch in the classroom. I tend to use it as read aloud time or time to connect with certain students that I need to.
     
  15. MissyB

    MissyB Rookie

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    I'm at one of the rare schools in CA that has a PE teacher and a music teacher (but she only teaches 3-5). I get a 15 minute duty free recess in the morning, a 40 minute lunch, and a 50 minute prep once a week while my students are at PE. I do have a rotating yard duty in the morning before school with the other primary teachers and I stay and help teach PE once a week so one of my colleagues can get a prep.

    I did have to take classes in teaching PE, music and art in undergrad. And at my previous school I only got 50 minutes a week while my class was at computers or library and a 30 minute lunch and I had covered everything else. I'm jealous of secondary teachers who get a prep everyday...
     

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