Teaching zero period?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ms.irene, May 5, 2015.

  1. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    May 5, 2015

    I may have the opportunity to teach a "zero" period for next year (7:20-8:10) and in return to have an "extra" period off during the day, meaning I would be done at noon 2-3 days per week. (I would have to stick around for meetings on Wednesdays, though). I'm torn because I love the idea of being done early, especially during the winter when it's getting dark already at 3:30. Plus, it would be like having a prep period every day, and no long days with three blocks in a row.

    On the other hand, I am not exactly a morning person, and already have a tough time getting up at 6am (again, especially during the winter darkness). Plus, I currently like having 30-45 minutes in my room before students arrive, and I don't think I would be up for getting there at 6:45 :eek:

    What do you think? Do any of you currently teach 0 period? Would you go for it or not, and why?
     
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  3. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I have no idea what a "zero period" is, but our school day starts at 7:25 and we must be in building by 7:10. Most of us are there by 6:45. I;m also not a morning person, so I struggle at times, but it's so worth it to walk out at 2:30 every afternoon.
     
  4. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    I taught one and it was the reason I left my last job. It is awful to teach so early in the morning and the absences and tardies are out of control. Parents expect you to catch them up even if they simply overslept and still made it to school by the start of the regular day. I only got to leave early 2 days a week and it wasn't worth it with the number of ssts I had to wait around for afterschool on those days. If a student has a melt down or behavior concern, no one will be there to support you. I had an autistic student who had temper tantrums and there was nowhere I could send him. if I were sick, I had to cancel class by contacting parents myself and no sub could be had. Many furious parents would be upset if they missed the robocall and didn't check their email and showed up with no one there to supervise their child. Also, the quality of the class was terrible (insane number of sped students in a regular class) since it was filled with kids whose parents just wanted to get to work an hour earlier or have an extra hour off from parenting...to them I was a babysitter. Normally those kids would get a para but since it was before school it was out of the question. Do not do it.
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 5, 2015

    I am very much a morning person. I would jump for the chance to finish early a few days per week. Staying later on Wed would allow me to get all of my weekly planning, copying, phone calls, etc done.
     
  6. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    My first class starts at 7:40, and I have to be at school by 7:35. I get up at 5am. I hate getting up that early and even after ten years, I don't like it. If I were you, I would get there later if I could, but that's cause I envy the choice! I have to stay at school till 3:20 regardless!
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I think the main reason that would stop me would be the examples Daisycakes listed. At this early hour, you will have many absences and tardies, and a lot of those students will never catch up, bringing down the grade average for that class, or the students / parents will want make up work on the constant bases.
    My first period is small and has a lot of absences, and it just doesn't feel like a class.

    Another reason, is if you won't have support staff there at that hour, you could have some major problems.
     
  8. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Thanks for the input so far..."zero" period in CA-speak is an optional early period that meets every day for 50 mins instead of every other day for 100 mins on an A/B day block schedule. I am currently thinking that if getting up 30 minutes earlier is my only reason for not doing it, then that is not a really compelling reason! I'm leaning towards giving it a try.

    Daisycakes, your previous situation sounds crummy, but I am pretty confident that it wouldn't be like that in my current school...as far as I know, the students who sign up for a zero period tend to be the more motivated ones who want to be able to fit in an elective (band, language, etc) and who are willing to get themselves up early. In theory, that is...
     
  9. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Here are the cons from my coworkers that do it:

    - absences and tardies are out of control.
    - many students are half asleep or actually asleep in class
    - the free period sometimes ends up being in the morning so getting off at 12 doesn't always happen - even though that is the carrot that is promised.
    - teachers are still expected to attend after-school meetings so 1-2 days a week they have to come back or just stick around if they do get released at noon
    teaching zero period means you aren't teaching two periods (block schedule) that most people are. At my schools this meant you shared a room with another teacher. Not they floated into your room, but it belonged to both of you. So desk arrangement had to be agreed upon, decorations, storage, even Kleenex had to be discussed.
     
  10. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I start teaching at 7:30 anyways so I would love that option! However, I hate waking up at 545 every morning...although I do love being done early. Because I have a child, I would take an option to work earlier, but otherwise I wouldn't.
     
  11. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    May 6, 2015

    We have morning meetings every morning from 7-7:30, so I'm usually here at 6:45 anyways... Our school day starts at 7:45. I wish I could leave early!

    At my old school, only higher level electives were zero hour, like AP Stats or German 4. I would do it, especially if it's an elective, like upper level foreign language.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I've taught early bird every year it's been offered to me. I LOVE being finished early! Unfortunately my school no longer has an early bird option so I can't do it anymore. I would if I could, though. I definitely recommend it.
     
  13. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Thanks again for all the ideas! I hadn't thought about sharing a room -- I would ask if that would be an issue since I'm currently sharing a room and don't like it (the other teacher's kids mess with my stuff on days I'm not there...).

    My other question is how much would this impact my planning load? I am so excited to be down to just TWO preps for next year...for those of you who do teach a zero period, how much do you have to plan differently for that class than your block classes of the same subject?
     

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