Specials, Duties, Lunch, Paras- Does your school still have these?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Toast, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Jul 14, 2011

    I have been teaching for 3 years and have noticed a decrease in these benefits at my school. I know money is getting tight in education all over the country so I am curious as to what the rest of you still get. If any of you live in Arizona I am especially interested since that is where I teach!

    **This last school year we had specials 4 days a week instead of 5.

    **We had either a 30 minute before or after school duty every day.

    **We did not have anyone specifically designated/hired to cover lunch duty and lunch recess. Our principal took "volunteers". This turned into every grade level spending half of their lunch- 20 minutes (total lunch break is 40 minutes) doing either cafeteria duty or lunch recess duty for their own grade level.

    There is talk of no specials what so ever this upcoming school year and I know every librarian district wide was layed off in the spring.

    This freaks me out because I am forseeing an 8 hour day with only a 15 minute lunch break. No specials or other breaks. I'm not sure I can go on that every day.

    Just curious, what do you get in your school? What has been taken away?
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    We have specials 5 days a week. From what I understand, it actually used to be 4 days and they upped it this past year. So every teacher gets a 40 minute planning period. I take my planning during the literacy block (every teacher has it at the same time) because I'm not allowed to pull kids out of whole group literacy. I don't like it because it's right at the beginning of the day, but hey at least I get a planning. Those of us that aren't classroom teachers are in charge of lunch/recess duties. So I have either lunch/recess or both duties 4 days a week. I make my own schedule, so I schedule my lunch around that. I get a 30 minute lunch whereas classroom teachers get a 45 minute lunch. The justification for that is that classroom teachers have bus duty in either the morning or afternoon a couple days a week, so the rest of us have more "free" time before/after school than they do.

    Our school doesn't have any paras at all. We could really use some!
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 14, 2011

    175 minutes of specials/prep time is contracted...we actually get 180. Comes out to 30-40 minutes per day.

    1 hour duty free lunch daily. There are paras who do lunch and recess duty.

    1/2 hour meeting time before school, monday thru thursday...teachers use this time to get ready for day if they don't have a meeting scheduled.


    We stay 10 minutes after dismissal for walking kids to bus, etc

    One faculty meeting per month.
     
  5. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Jul 14, 2011

    Waterfall- How many minutes do you usually spend on lunch/recess duty each day?
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Mon-Wed, I had one 25 minute duty (either lunch or recess). Thursday I had no duties, but this wasn't "extra time" for me or anything. I stil was only allowed to schedule a 30 minute lunch and any "extra time" I had was scheduled for me to see students. On Fridays, I had both lunch and recess duty which was 50 minutes total.
     
  7. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 14, 2011

    We have every single one of those things. We have paras who watch over the kids at lunch time. Specials are five days a week and rotated on a weekly rotation- "A" Week being Music, "B" Week being Math Lab, and so on. I have hallway duties every morning (and also stand out every afternoon). I am the first classroom when you step into the hallway, so I feel it's really important to stand there. :)
     
  8. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    I have subbed in several districts for the past two years. The first year that I subbed, one of the districts had associates that covered all lunch and recess duties. It was wonderful! However, last year they eliminated these jobs and now the teachers cover all duty. The bad thing is that as a sub, alot of the teachers were giving me their duties even though it was not the scheduled day for the teacher I was subbing for. Sometimes the teacher I subbed for would assign it to me for someone else and sometimes other teachers would just come in and say that I had it. To me, that doesn't really seem honest especially when I can see the teacher's duty schedule. I had some times last year when I only had 10 minutes for lunch. That's really hard when you consider that I had to eat, have a restroom break, write notes from the morning, and look over plans for the afternoon. I would end up with morning duty, lunch recess duty (after helping the kids walk through the lunch line), and afternoon duty. Sometimes I even had before and after school duty. I guess that these teachers were so used to not having duty that they didn't care if they pushed it off on the sub. The other districts that I sub in never have a problem with this and are very fair about extra duties.
     
  9. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Wow! I would NEVER ask a sub to cover a duty that belongs to another teacher or myself if they are not the person who is supposed to do it!
     
  10. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Jul 14, 2011

    Last year and before we had all of it, not sure what will happen this next year because all aide positions have been eliminated except for 1:1 student paras.

    Before we had:
    * Detention aide did breakfast duty (K-1 all other grades eat in classroom with teacher) with one other para (eliminated)
    * specials 5 days a week: PE (still have - bus duty in a.m.), music (retired, unsure of replacement - bus duty in a.m.), art (still have, retiring in 2012 - bus duty in a.m.), computer (still have - 30 minute recess duty), library (aide - eliminated unsure of replacement - 30 minute cafeteria duty)
    * other duties were: myself, and 2 other spec ed teachers 30 minute cafeteria duty, 1 spec ed teacher 30 minute recess duty, reading intervention teacher 30 minute cafeteria (retired not replaced), 2 reading intervention teachers 30 minutes recess (one retired not replaced), guidance counselor 30 minute recess, principal covered cafeteria when present, 1:1 para & intervention teacher (non renewed) 30 minutes each homework help center, kindergarten para 30 minute cafeteria duty, kindergarten arts teacher 30 minute recess duty
    * grades 4-5 classroom teachers have no extra duty b/c there's only one recess for them; have 30 minute lunch and 15 minute collaboration daily ( = 45 min lunch) and 40 min planning daily (except library day which was 30 min)
    * grades K-3 have 15 minute recess/study hall daily; have same 30/15 lunch and planning daily

    Next year is uncertain. We'll be down to 4 people to cover lunch from 11:30 to 12:30 which is 600 students total, and 5 people to cover recess duty from 11:50 to 12:55 recess for same number of students.
     
  11. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Jul 14, 2011

    -We have 30 minutes of prep everyday during specials (music 2 days; art, pe, library, and guidance 1 day). One of those days each week is actually a 60 minute block of common prep with our grade level.

    -We have three recesses each day on a rotating schedule. You could have 2 out of 3 duties each day, which could be 15-45 minutes per day depending on what the rotation ends up being! Some days may be nothing!

    -We have a 30 minute duty free lunch.

    -We have 2 aides who rotate through the rooms to help with whatever we want. We have them for a week at a time for an hour a day. Since there are three classroom per grade level we have one week with no aide. **I find this to be an enormous luxury that hardly any schools have!!! It actually really shocked me (and still does) that we have this. I don't like it and hate trying to find things for them to do...but others love it! **
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 15, 2011

    "Specials" (they aren't called that here) are part of our curriculum and will not be eliminated. We don't, however, have dedicated teachers for any of those subjects except music.

    Teachers receive 240 minutes/week of preparation time (as per our contract). While we are receiving prep, our students may be having Phys Ed, Music, French, or Drama.

    We have 60 minutes/week (but no more than 30 minutes/day) of supervision duty which could be before school, at recess, lunch or after school bus duty. We are guaranteed a 40-minute duty free lunch, so if we have lunch duty it is no more than 20 minutes.

    The only assistants we have are assigned to the school because of high needs students (physical, safety or behaviour needs). They are assigned to work in the classes where those students are assigned.
     
  13. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I agree, a great deal of the time I would actually cover a duty that teh sub might have, just to make sure it gets done right and to keep the burden off of them.
     
  14. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    An hour of lunch, I'm still shocked at that, how nice that would be. Ours usually ranges from 30-40 min.
     
  15. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Wow. Perhaps I need to start looking into another district for 2012-2013! I am beginning to feel a bit disgruntled with only a 20 minute lunch and no prep time!
     
  16. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    In this small county west of Atlanta, the school board and superintendent are doing everything they can to keep everyone and not lay anyone off. It's worked so far, and class sizes have not increased. We've kept the paras and specials teachers, and media center is still intact.

    I'm impressed with our county. In fact, we just got an e-mail saying that they were able to give us back one of the four furlough days planned for next year.
     
  17. Picabo

    Picabo Rookie

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    We have a 45 minute duty-free lunch.

    Daily yard/bus duty is 15-20 minutes, depending on which duty you have.

    No paras, no specials.

    Weekly faculty meetings.

    4.5 furlough days this year! However, I'm grateful to be working!
     
  18. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    How do you survive with no specials. We have the occasional day where specials get canceled, its awful. People need a break throughout the day.
     
  19. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    That would be really hard to not have any specials. The kids and you need a break and a change of pace is needed. :) I'm grateful the charter school that I am working at in AZ has specials!
     
  20. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    No specials really do make for tougher days.
     
  21. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    I agree. The teachers and the kids need a break/change in the day. Even though specials aren't necessarily a break for the kids, they at least have the opportunity to get up and move somewhere else as well as spend some time with another teacher.
     
  22. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Last year we had 30 minute duty before school one week of the year. We ate lunch with our children everyday. We also had 15-30 minute duty after school. We also did recess duty every third day twice a day.
     
  23. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2011

    We have specials five days a week. Each teacher has either a morning or afternoon duty for roughly 15 minutes. Then each teacher has either a 15 minute cafeteria duty or recess duty at lunch. Our only paras are in the special education or ELL rooms.
     
  24. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Jul 17, 2011


    EiffelTower--what district do you teach in?
     

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