"Preps"

Discussion in 'General Education' started by daisycakes, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Sep 30, 2015

    Because I teach a "specials" or "prep" class, I have to deal with a lot of what I consider to be entitled behavior. I'm wondering if this is commonplace in your school as well. When I worked a charter for several years, I was not under the assumption that my prep period was an entitlement that other teachers had to give to me. I simply considered loss of a prep period an administrative issue. However, not all are in agreement. How would your school handle the following?

    Situation 1: I am teaching a class and their teacher is having a prep. There is a fire and the whole school must evacuate. Outside, I take attendance for her class and sit with them. Their classroom teacher chats with coworkers. Then, she asks me when I will be making up her prep since she is losing planning time by evacuating. What would your school do?

    Situation 2: All of the teachers who are scheduled for a prep provided by me on a certain day are attending a training. So, they are having subs. My classes are cancelled because there is no reason for a sub to get a prep period, especially since I need to go to the training as well. The teachers then email me to ask when I will provide a make-up prep! What would your school do?

    Situation 3: Prep is cut 5 minutes shorter due to rainy day schedule, but teachers still receive minimum number of prep minutes (our school normally gives 10 minutes more than what is required). Teacher then asks me to do their recess duty to "make up the minutes." What would your school do?

    It is frustrating because I have a full schedule as well. If there is a fire drill, rain, or whatever, I am also losing preparation/teaching time. They are basically asking me to "make up" this time during my own preps.
     
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  3. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    #1-3- NO prep would be made up in any of those situations. I could never imagine asking that of a specials teacher.

    I'm sorry you work with teachers that request that of you.
     
  4. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Those classes wouldn't be made up.
     
  5. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

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    Those teachers should be thankful they ever get a prep...I don't and if I did and it was lost, well then say la vi.

    I can't imagine the behavior your talking about. A specials teacher is responsible for thier class, and their class only, they are there to teach and yippee if it allows someone else to get prep time. If you teach your content during your schedule provided by admin then you are doing your job, you don't have to give extra classes because of a fire, or a training day. And those yard duty responsibilities are the teachers not yours. Geez! I do all my planning on my own time and I am required to per my contract. Talk about give an inch take mile.

    This would be my gut reaction but Id check with the principal to be sure. It's possible the last specials teacher did this and it just spoiled them rotten, but it's also possible that this is school policy. It's work looking into.
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    In situations 1 and 3, my principal would laugh at me and tell me to stop wasting her time. In situation 2, my kids would go to the special like normal, sub in the room or not.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Prep time wouldn't be "made up" in any of those situations, and, as gr3teacher said, in situation #2, the kids would still have their specials.
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    My district is like the previous posters' districts.
     
  9. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Same. I could never imagine those things happening! Classroom teachers respect the specials teachers at my school, but our preps get cut waaaay too often. Many times, they just don't get a sub for a specials teacher, and we get no prep for the day, which is majorly lame.
     
  10. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    It has been over 20 years since my district has offered specials. This year, though, we hired teachers to teach specials (music, art, PE, and science/technology). It is amazing.

    The agreement we (administrators) have with the teachers union (there is a Memo of Understanding) is that teachers do NOT drop off their kids at specials. This is not a prep time for teachers. The classroom teacher is responsible for taking their kids to specials, participating in the lessons (walking around and assisting as needed), and making sure discipline is taken care of.

    Teachers in my district have never had prep time during the school day, anyway, so they can't miss something they've never had. For those of you who are used to having prep time during specials, I'm sure it's hard to give up that time.
     
  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Situation 1 and 3... stuff happens. A teacher missed a specials/prep period because of life. Too bad, so sad.

    Situation 2: normally, if the specials teacher were present, the students would attend the specials class regardless of whether or not the general classroom had a sub or not. But if the special teacher isn't there... at my school, we value the specials class for their own sake, but subs for those teachers are low priority. So if the specials teacher isn't there, well, that's that.
     
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    It is tough to lose a planning period, but at the same time, oh well. A teacher makes it work. At my school, specials do count as a planning time for regular classroom teachers. I appreciate that planning time. But, on occasion, there is a fire drill or the specials teacher is absent... you deal with it. It's not like you're getting daily planning time moved forever.
     
  13. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Same here.
     
  14. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    In our district when that happens, It's called a "buyout" and the teacher gets 1 period of comp time. Once they get 5 periods, they have a day off. Or the teacher who missed out on the prep period can ask to be compensated. But the prep teacher doesn't get involved.

    We recently negotiated a deal for grades 1-3, who don't get a prep period, that says if they have to split up a class, the teachers who got the extra kids get partial comp time.

    So it works like this. Say you have 4 second grade classes. Someone is out and they can't find a sub. The class gets divided among three teachers. Each of the teachers that got the extra kids that day gets 1/3 of a day's comp time.

    Or they can ask for payment, which nobody ever does.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I wish someone would ask me to provide additional prep relief in these situations.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I definitely work with some classroom teachers who feel they're above everyone else...and even they wouldn't have the nerve to ask a specials teacher to "make up" prep time! The only way I could see that being even remotely okay is if the specials teacher somehow ends up with more planning time than everyone else and therefore actually has "extra time" to do extra duties. In my building everyone has the same amount of plan time regardless of what you teach. I'm honestly shocked that anyone would even think to ask for this- even if they think their job is more important than the specials teacher (and sadly, I know many do), I can't believe they would actually come out and say that by asking the specials teacher to give up her own plan time to provide more time for themselves.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    see my Redanswers above. Your school needs to clarify prep protocol. Thus isnt about you...it's about lacking clarity as a school in terms of expectations, coverage, 'preps'. :2cents:
     
  18. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    In situation 2, the reason they are not going to prep is because I am also at the training.

    So, 2nd grade teachers normally have prep on day x. However, they have subs because they have training. I also attending the same training. Why should the school pay for a sub for me so that a sub gets a prep? Also, I can't find a sub that teaches my subject, just a sub to show a movie. It seems like a waste to pay an additional $150 for one sub to send kids to another sub to watch a movie.

    The teacher asking for a make up in this situation is taking the stance that kids are missing my class too much (there are multiple trainings on that day of the week) , but really she just wants a prep moved to a day she is not in training.
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My school gets subs to cover teachers who are in workshops. The sub gets a prep, lunch hour, etc. Do you seriously think a sub shouldn't have a 'prep'? A sub doesn't have to be certified in your content to be able to fill in for you. You should be able to leave some sort of work that can be done independently by students, or a review activity, etc and not just expect that all a sub can do is have them 'watch a movie'
     
  20. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Our subs follow the same schedule as the teacher they are replacing--preps, supervision duty, etc. Our subs use prep time to get ready for lessons, tidy the classroom, organize work the students have handed in, etc. Our regular subs will often go to the office to see where they can help out during their prep period if they don't feel that they need it.
     
  21. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    In the schools I previously worked in, even the specials teachers got subs so "preps"were never cancelled. In any case I wouldn't make up any classes. It stinks that the teachers didn't get their preps but many teachers don't get any on a regular basis. If there is nothing in your contract to the contrary...just tell them no.
     
  22. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    At my school, it's not so much about the subs needing a prep as it is the specials teacher being able to teach the class. Our specials teachers have their own preps and are generally not looking to get out of teaching a class. In fact, woe to the general classroom teacher who dares to pull a student during Music or Computers or Spanish.

    I guess I'm shocked a specials teacher would see themselves as nothing but a filler.
     
  23. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

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    I need to get a job where all you lucky people work. I knew I had a bum deal-first year teacher are in a beggars can't be choosers situation- but I didn't realize how much better you other folks with your specials classes and prep times had it.
     
  24. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Same here.

    Daisycakes, I'm not sure if you intended this or not, but your post above really does give the impression that you think that the purpose of your job is to provide classroom teachers with prep time, not provide students with an education in a special subject. At my schools (past and present), specials classes have always been viewed as for the students, to enrich and extend their education into special areas. There is an added benefit, in that teachers get prep time while their students are at the specials class, but no one would ever dare to say or even think that the teacher teaching the class is only there to serve the purpose of giving the classroom teacher a break. Specials teachers always get subs, and they leave sub plans that can be implemented by any average sub, regardless of whether or not that sub is familiar with the subject. Perhaps it would help your situation if you (and your administrators) start believing that you serve a greater purpose than just providing prep time for teachers. If you and the admin see your job that way, the attitude might carry over to classroom teachers, as well. The way you've described it, I'm honestly not surprised that they think their questions are acceptable to ask.
     

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