Teachers on the Job Working on Schoolwork

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by bballlady, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. bballlady

    bballlady Rookie

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    My brother-in-law owns a large company and hires several teachers during the summer to fill in for vacationing employees. He has found out that 2 of the teachers are working on school related projects during the time they should be working for him. They are not doing it on their breaks or lunchtime. They are working on their websites, making lesson plans, printing out projects, etc. He will be confronting them tomorrow. He will broach the subject by asking them what type of disciplinary action do they take towards students who cheat and do not do their work. He is not planning on letting them go but giving them a fair warning. I think he is being generous. What are your feelings towards people who work on personal projects rather than completing work they are getting paid for?
     
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  3. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    so its not like they have extra time and have already done/caught up on office work?
    Then they should be treated like any other employee who was web-surfing or talking to their friends on company time.

    Just because they teach the rest of the year does not make them exempt... they should know better. If they really need that time to be planning for the next year, then they shouldnt have gotten a part time job... or should have got one they could do at home.
     
  4. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    What were they suppose to be doing during that time?

    At my husband's job they seem to have plenty of down time. They send each other joke emails, read books, play games etc. during work time. It's not frowned upon.

    As a teacher we have a prep time. It should be used for teacher stuff, but how many of us use that time to do personal stuff?

    I think when you're at work, you should be doing work related stuff. At the same time, it's not that way at all companys.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    In college and grad school I had jobs where there was plenty of down time. Rather than literally just sitting there, I've studied for tests, written papers, played around online, etc. I'm sure that it wasn't totally on the up-and-up, but I did it anyway. I don't feel like I cheated my employer in any way. My work was always the priority when I was on the clock, and I never left without having everything finished and done well.

    I'm just sayin'...
     
  6. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    I think it really depends...if their work is suffering or there is something that is not getting done, than I think it much more severe than if they have down time and decided to get some work done. But, like others have said, when you are at work, you should be working....
     
  7. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I'm kind of torn like everyone else. If they have all their work done and it's down time then they're doing what any other employee would do (just in a different way i.e., doing projects related to school instead of playing on the computer or talking on the phone).

    However: If they are not finished with everything they possibly could do for the job, or strict guidelines were given for what they could do for the down time, then they should be reprimanded. They should be treated like any other employee in this matter.
     
  8. bballlady

    bballlady Rookie

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    There isn't much down time in the company. It deals in the medical field and there is heavy computer work, phone calls, ordering for drs., filling orders. There isn't any type of quota that is required. My brother-in-law is only asking for good work habits in his employees.
     
  9. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    If their "paid" work is suffering, they should not be paid for the time they were doing their school work.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 5, 2008

    :2cents:
     
  11. bballlady

    bballlady Rookie

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    SOOOO True! Thank you Czacza :up:
     
  12. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I worked in an office before entering teaching and I could do my job effectively for the 8 hour day in 2 hours. I was told to stretch that work to last the day-by my supervisor. I created my own company-related projects - new filing systems, auditing accounts, I still had a lot of time when I had nothing to do. I can't just sit and do nothing; I have to say I believe in a good work ethic, but I would be filling that time by working online or doing crossword puzzles-otherwise the day just dragged by.
     
  13. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Yeah, my boss gives me NOTHING to do at work. He's given me a project of data entry which is tedious and boring, it makes my head hurt just thinking about it. I have until next Thursday before I'm out of here for good, and I'm pretty sure I can finish this project on the Wed/Thurs of next week. Mostly my time here has been working on my website and stuff for the classroom. There is just nothing to do.

    But if there were stuff to do, then I wouldn't be doing this. I still get the scheduling done and the badges made, etc. Things that need immediate attention get done. If your husband hired them to work on a project and wanted them to work all day, every day, that's different. I don't think my boss cares about deadlines. He never gives them to me, and when I DO get a project done, he just tosses it on another desk and never refers to it again. Real motivating...
     
  14. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Honestly I think I'd feel to guilty to do something for school at another job, unless it was during my break.

    Your brother-in-law is going to speak to them about this. I think it would be good for him to let them know what they need to do if they find theirselves with nothing work related to do (i.e., clean, straighten up, file, ask him...).
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  15. runnerss

    runnerss Comrade

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    Even if there is "down time" they aren't being paid to do school work. Also, they are using company supplies to print this stuff and that is a big no-no. Surely there is something they can be working on for the company. If they don't know of anything then they should ask. There is always something to do.
     
  16. bballlady

    bballlady Rookie

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    I would be curious to know what these 2 teachers (they teach HS) would do if they found their students writing letters, reading a book, text messaging during one of their classes. Perhaps they'll think it is ok because they did it while working. (I highly doubt it) I took a course in HS called Business Practice many, many years ago. I'll never forget that my teacher told us if you ever find yourself with nothing to do while working then redo it over and over until you are given something else to do. Boy, I can remember filing and filing and typing and typing. Has the work ethic changed that much?
     
  17. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    For me, that would depend on the circumstances. If I wasn't lecturing and they had finished their work, my first thought would be to re-think the amount of work I was (or was not) giving my students to do.

    But I wouldn't expect them to sit there and stare the the wall until the bell rang.
     
  18. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    That's a good point Sarge. I also wouldn't want my students to redo their work over and over again until I gave them something else to do. Go over it and check it, yes. Redo it because they're finished early, no. My students have a list of appropriate things to do when they finish early, all school related.

    That's why I think your brother-in-law (bballlady) should give them a list of appropriate things to do if they find themselves finished early.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  19. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    I think this really depends on the type of job and it's required duties. I have had a summer job in a HR dept. I was kept busy from 8-4pm...even lunch never went beyond 25min. However, in this same company they had me work temporarily as the receptionist. I was told to bring magazines and such, so I wouldn't get bored. I do think this is a two way street. The employee should be doing all the work required within their job description. Also, the employer should make sure that there is enough work to keep the employees useful throughout the day. As a teacher, it is our job to make sure the students have activities and options for when they complete tasks given to them.
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Whatever happened to- "What else can I do to help today?"....Emailing jokes, working on personal websites and doing crosswords when you are being paid to do otherwise is THEFT.
     
  21. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    :lol: That would be so nice in a perfect world, but rarely part of human nature.
     
  22. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I must be in one of my "Stick it to the Man!" kind of moods. I get them now and then.

    In life you do what you got to do. I remember when I was a very, very stressed out student teacher I had Air Force reserves one weekend. One afternoon we weren't doing much, so I basically disappeared for about three hours and graded papers and wrote lessons. I knew good and well that I'd get chewed out by the first sergeant if caught, but as far as student teaching, that was my life. At the time I needed that more than I needed any of the stripes on the sleeves of my Air Force uniform.

    Perhaps these people need to get the lesson plans done more than they need their job in medical administration. Now if the op's brother does confront them, or write them up he needs to be prepared for the possibility that they might not come back to work the next day. If he's comfortable with that, fine. If not, maybe he should look the other way.
     
  23. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Whoops. It was brother-in-law wasn't it. I think I kept posting "husband". I'll fix that.
    :sorry:
     
  24. ready2teachintx

    ready2teachintx Companion

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    At my last office job, we (the entire office) had lots of down time because our business was really slow. Once I completed my work I was free to do personal projects or play on the internet or computer. But I always made sure that I got my work done first.
     
  25. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    WHAT????

    I'm sorry, but I'm not re-inputting data into the system. THAT is a HUGE waste of time. Which I think is a bigger crime than finishing your work and doing other things.
     
  26. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I do think a lot of it depends on the nature of the job. When I worked at the front desk of a big hotel, it was my job to make sure that particular things were done. After those things were finished, usually less than 2 hours into my shift, I straightened, refilled printer paper, did some light dusting, organized cupboards and shelves, updated and maintained guest records in the computer, prepared for the next day's guests (!) by assigning rooms and whatnot...but there is only so much you can do when you must remain behind a desk and be available to guests at a moment's notice.

    So I brought work with me. And for at least 4 hours of every shift, I'd work on my own personal stuff. I don't believe it was the wrong thing to do. Frankly, if I had a summer job like that today, I'd do the same thing.
     
  27. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I once had a job where I only had work to do from 8 am to 9 or so and again from 1 to 2, yet I was on the clock from 8-5. My boss told me I had to look busy. I HATED that job. I ended up spending a lot of time sitting in the bathroom. My boss didn't care. He just didn't want HIS boss to walk by and see me doing nothing. There's only so much dusting of the office equipment you can do. :rolleyes:

    However, people should do the work they are paid for. I don't do personal things on the job.

    ETA: Cassie, I just read your post above mine. My comments were NOT directed towards you. I'd bring schoolwork with me to a job like that! Your job is to be at the desk available to customers. Getting schoolwork done would sure beat playing Solitaire and you could still do your job 100%.
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    :lol: I know it wasn't. I wasn't responding to anyone directly. I just wanted to make it clear that doing personal things on business time isn't always the same as stealing from the company.
     
  29. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 6, 2008

    From Inc.com

    Wasting Time at Work Costs Companies Billions

    By: Christina GaloozisPublished July 22, 2005




    July 22, 2005--The average U.S. employee spends a surprising 2.09 hours each day wasting time at work, not including lunch hour, according to the results of a recent online survey conducted by America Online and Salary.com.

    That's twice the time employers estimate and already account for in salaries, costing companies $759 billion a year in wasted salary dollars, AOL said.

    Non-work related Internet usage (44.7%) and socializing with co-workers (23.4%) are the top two ways respondents said they wasted time. Considering the cost of wasted time, it would seem cracking down on this behavior would be in order, but doing so could do more harm than good.

    Business owners shouldn't monitor the Internet habits of hard-working, extremely productive employees who go beyond the call of duty, said Susan Kormis, a human resources consultant in Brookline, Mass. Instead, they should focus on the "clock-watchers" -- hourly-paid employees who spend 10 hours a week on non-related work activities.

    "There are a number of employees who will work 50 or 60 hours a week. Are you really going to argue with them about wasting an hour or so on the Internet?" she said. Salary.com's Senior Vice President Bill Coleman added that informal co-worker socializing can be considered "creative waste" -- time that often produces new business ideas.

    Other time-wasting activities included conducting personal business (6.8%), "spacing out" (3.9%), and running off-premise errands (3.1%). To reduce some of these, Kormis suggests offering as many amenities as possible to employees, such as weekly dry-cleaning pickup, childcare, and a cafeteria. On the surface, these services are costly, but they decrease the amount of trips workers take away from the office each day, she said.
     
  30. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    I understand the OP's point of view, but at the same time this is very common. For example, when I was finishing my senior year of college, I worked as a cashier. I was not supposed to move from eye sight of the cash register in case a customer comes up, because if they come up and they don't see you, it doesn't matter if you just left to do whatever, they act like they were waiting a century to be helped. So that meant other than straightening of a few displays, there weren't any side projects I could do.

    I usually straightened within the first half hour of my shift and after any customer with small children. However, when I wasn't ringing someone's purchase, I had basically absolutely nothing to do. If you add up that downtime, it could easily equal one half to one third of my eight hour shift. So I started bringing flash cards to study with for my classes. If a customer even started loitering near the registers, I would immediately put my cards up and wait for them to decide they either wanted to be rung up or move further back into the store. I wasn't neglecting my work; I was optimizing my time. The alternative would have been staring blankly into space while I waited sometimes 30 minutes for another customer.
     
  31. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    I think what this really comes down to is whether or not you have something you should be doing, or you have nothing left to do(and redoing completed work does not count:)). If you have completed all you CAN do, but are required to be at a job for a specified period of time, only the co. manager or owner are wasting their money, if you have down time. If however, you have something you should be doing, but are using co. time for personal use, well then that should be nipped in the bud.
     
  32. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    Basically. With the poster who asked how would we feel if a student were doing something in our classroom other than what was assigned, this is basically the answer. If they have something to do and aren't doing it, then I need to get them back on task because they're wasting time on my watch (dime, whatever...). However, if they've already completed all their work, I either need to give them something else to do or not have a problem if they decide to do work for another subject or personal interest or whatever. 9 out of 10 times as a teacher I'm going to have a suggestion as to what else they could do...
     
  33. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I would ask that question and would be told there was nothing else to do, to just "look busy"- everyone else was in the same position I was and got their work done quickly as well. I went way above and beyond straightening out very messy accounts, I still had down-time. Maybe ethically I should have asked them to cut my position back to part-time because I could get everything done by lunch - would anyone do that though, who needed and had a full-time job with benefits?

    I'm with Jem on the redoing aspect - I was calling customers to tell them their invoices were past due - so with this theory, I would call, they would say the check's in the mail and I would call them again, it would constitute harassment. Maybe businesses are inefficient in their staffing, to me that's an employer issue, not an employee issue. Now if they are given enough work to do and neglecting that work to do other things, that's another issue. But expecting employees to just twiddle their thumbs and stare at the wall-that's an unreasonable expectation.

    With regard to my students, all through high school I would carry magazines and books that I would read when I was finished with the assigned work/test in class. I wouldn't have any problem with a student working on something non-school related if they finished their work already.
     
  34. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    In response to this and your comment that company employees who read, email jokes, etc. should be frowned upon...it is up the business whether this type of behavior concerns them or not. I know at my husband's job, just like another poster stated, that there are hours upon hours where there is nothing for him to do. It's a waiting game...maybe they'll need him, maybe not. There is nothing else productive for him to do...period. That may be hard to believe, but it is true. So, his company doesn't frown upon reading, playing cards, etc. To say that if my husband worked on a crossword during four hours of nothingness is theft is not just extreme, but untrue. Again, it depends on the employer's expectations and rules.
     
  35. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    At my last job before I began teaching we had TONS of down time. I was a manager - in fact there were 8 managers & 50 employees. We were always allowed to do our own work if we finished everything else we needed to do. I would work 7hr days and be able to finish my regular work in 2 hours. The rest of the day consisted of answering the phone and little side errands. My boss had no problem with allowing us to do school work. In fact during Midterm and finals week it was sort of expected. He KNEW we would get our work done so he OK'd it. He knew that if something came up we would STOP our work and do what we needed to do for HIM. Work came first always & he trusted us to know that...which is why he allowed it.
     

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