What a waste of time!

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Aliceacc, Jan 2, 2014.

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  1. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    I get the people saying teachers aren't expected to grade over break, but I agree that it should have been graded. Waiting for grades was my #1 pet peeve as a student, and I can say confidently, that I have never taken more than 1 day to get a grade back to a student (or posted online at least) as I know I was always anxious. In the past this has required me to grade 80 projects or 120 tests in one night, but I did it. For short quizzes, I sometimes give them their grades back immediately after taking it (i.e. by the end of the period as I grade as they turn them in). I also don't think teachers should give out any new graded assignments until the old grades are given back to students. I know many disagree with me on this, and there are a couple teachers in my school who take weeks to grade (even without break), but I have some sort of compulsion to grade things instantly---hard to explain really :lol:
     
  2. 2ndTimeAround

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    Adding...

    students USUALLY get their grades back the next day after a test in my class. But sometimes that doesn't happen. This time I told the students the day of the test that they probably would not get results until after Christmas. They groaned, but understood. If I didn't have the extra responsibilities handed to me they would have had their grades before they left.

    I'm just saying that the teacher in the OP doesn't need to be lynched over this. There could be a hundred reasons why she wasn't in class today and why the scores weren't updated. Definitely not worth getting this upset over.
     
  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I agree.
     
  4. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    When I first started teaching I LOVED grading. I hate it now...don't know why. I don't mind grading projects/tests/quizzes, but it's the tedium of classwork/homework that aggravates me. I usually have Mondays off from grading because I almost always teach a new concept (informal in-class assessments), so I grade on Tuesday nights and Thursday nights and Sundays. Wednesday nights I have violin practice and so I eat late and go to bed... But if it's a quiz or test, which I usually have on Fridays, I will grade them before I even go home.
     
  5. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Me too
     
  6. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    I very rarely grade classwork/homework---mostly I just spot check it in class for completion and effort. That's the primary purpose of it IMO (practice) so I don't go through and check it for accuracy (unless I announce I will do so ahead of time---maybe once per month)---that would be tedious!
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Agreed here completely! If I graded all math classwork, I'd go crazy... and if I graded homework, I'd just have parents doing it for their kids.
     
  8. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    If this was the 3rd or 4th time grades hadn't been posted, I'd inquire. If it is the first, I'd let it go. Praise your son (again) for his diligence and hard work. The grade doesn't have to be entered for him to try to recognize that working hard has payoffs.
     
  9. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I've had my own classroom for just one year now, effective tomorrow actually. I am starting to wonder if I am doing too much as far as grading things are concerned--I teach math and science. My kids have tons and tons of grades in math. To the point where if they made a 0 on an assignment, it wouldn't affect their grades.

    I'm starting to think I should maybe only grade tests, quizzes, and Mixed Review assignments. Plus grading homework at the beginning of a concept, I'm almost always handing back work for corrections.

    ?? Any math teachers have suggestions ??
     
  10. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    It seems odd to me that all those teachers at the same school would have been able to get a sub day approved that's in conjunction with a vacation. That's a big no-no in most districts/schools I know of.
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I also agree with this.

    And just think, pretty soon he'll be taking college entrance exams. I've taken the ACTs, four Praxis exams, and the GRE. The last was in 2008, so things may have changed, but I had to wait weeks for results...and those are very important tests! ETA: And I paid hundreds of dollars to take them.
     
  12. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I have to laugh at giving tests back so quickly. My tests are almost entirely essay tests. I can grade about 5-10 before I need a break, otherwise I start grading unfairly. It usually takes me at least a week to get tests and papers back. My seniors write a 10 page paper. Those take me two-three weeks. I'm very upfront about it. I've never had a complaint. There are only so many hours in the day. I have a house that needs upkeep, a family to spend time with, meals to cook. Not to mention time to sleep and actually teach.

    I'm teaching six novels when we get back. I could do a whole class novel, but I find reading to be more successful when students have choice. This is MUCH more work for me. But I do it because it benefits my students. Time has to give somewhere.

    As far as class being a study hall, I rarely leave anything for my seniors. They have a calendar with reading assignments. They have independent reading, an ongoing writing assignment, vocabulary, etc... I leave the sub that list. They are very productive while I'm gone. It's not like most subs could teach my content cold anyway. I certainly don't want them working on literature or grammar with a sub.
     
  13. RadiantBerg

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    You are DEFINITELY grading too much! It may be different at elementary than high school, but don't kill yourself over it. I think at the beginning of the concept, when they are still learning, it would be better for you to maybe just check them off for doing it, and then go over some questions as a class.
     
  14. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I know grading essays gets too be a lot. Last year I graded the common end of year exams for 7th grade science and 6th grade social studies (the essay parts) and noticed right away the more I graded, the more lenient I was getting. I had to take several breaks :)
     
  15. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Thanks for the tip!
     
  16. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I only get a planning period every other day. I teach over 225 students. So, if I gave a test Tuesday after my planning period, I'd only have one other planning period before the end of the week. Honestly, the students would possibly not get their tests back on Thursday when I saw them, and I would not grade them over the break/weekend. Our limited planning time is often taken with "urgent" tasks to complete, and I do those first. It sucks, but it's just the way it is.
     
  17. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    We had the opposite problem. 8 kids absent in my class, one teacher on my grade had 4 students, 12 in another on my grade, 15 in one of the 1st grade classes. It was no snowing here today at all.

    We're in NYC and getting the big storm but school is still open tomorrow despite the fact that most teachers won't physically be able to make it in and more students will stay home. It will be a day of babysitting for the kids who show up and the teachers who are able to make it in. What a waste.
     
  18. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Many, many districts in the NY area were open today and tomorrow and short weeks like this are quite common. In the suburban district where I live there is never a major issue with teacher or students showing up for these days.
     
  19. 2ndTimeAround

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    Agreed.

    Before break I gave a test on Wednesday. I did not get a planning period that day, had a meeting after school and needed to pick up my own child from school immediately after the meeting. On Thursday morning I had a meeting before school, an assignment that I had to complete during that planning period, a department meeting during lunch and an appointment after school. On Friday I was able to scan the answer sheets during my short planning period but also had to finish another project given to me that week. I left the second I could to go home for Christmas break.

    Now, as I see it, I had three choices. I could postpone the test until after the holidays which would not serve the students well at all. I could ignore my family obligations and go in earlier or stay later than I am required. Or I could give the test while the material is fresh in their brains but not give them scores until after the break. I chose what was best for everyone involved.
     
  20. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    My question would not be how long it is taking to return the test but why is he/she giving a math test that is mostly scantron. Is there any room for partial credit for the kid that is starting to get it but is not totally there yet?
     
  21. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    This.
     
  22. RadiantBerg

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    I think this might be an unfortunate product of a standardized testing prep environment.
     
  23. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    4 out of how many teachers? That seems like quite a few teachers to be out.

    It's been standard policy at the schools that I've worked at that you don't take the day before or after a vacation off. I felt guilty leaving an hour early on the day before a break!

    4 teachers leaving no plans? Just study hall? What a waste of time. Something should have been left or emailed in.
     
  24. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    :eek: So now if I take a day off, I have to worry about parents checking with Admin on why I wasn't at work? I can't even take a day off anymore? :rolleyes::eek:
    I agree with everything you've said in this thread. The teachers being absent is not a big deal especially since we don't know why they were absent. I also believe that the delay in the test being returned is normal before a break. There is usually a lot to do before a break and maybe the teacher just did not get a chance to grade them yet. It has only been about 5 actual school days from when the test was given. No big deal or reason to stress (or stress the teacher out).

    I have a big problem with people, especially teachers, judging why other teachers take a day off. Unless the teacher is chronically absent, I don't think its anyone's business why a teacher takes a day off.
     
  25. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    You are right--I teach in private school so the only standardized test that my students take that mean anything are the ACT and SAT. I do do a few mc questions on every test to accommodate that but not enough to give a scantron test.
     
  26. DrivingPigeon

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    I find some of the replies interesting...

    We had school today, and tomorrow, as well. One teacher was out sick, because her 4-year-old son was sick. We aren't even allowed to take personal days to extend a vacation.

    I only had one student out today. His father lives out of state, and he was taking an extra day to visit him for the holidays, but he will be returning tomorrow.

    I have A LOT of work packed into today and tomorrow:
    -Reviewing school-wide and classroom expectations
    -Setting expectations for our new seating arrangement
    -Math pre-assessment today, beginning a new unit tomorrow
    -Reader's theater presentations
    -Finishing up a science project, and presenting
    -Reviewing expectations and building stamina during Daily 5

    I'm just surprised that so many people agree with the absent teachers, and would be absent themselves. I honestly loved going back today. It's perfect for reviewing expectations, and not having an long, exhausting first week back. The day before break was a "fun day," so I can't imagine have 3 "blow-off" days in a row.
     
  27. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    We are required to grade and enter those grades within a week. Our six weeks ended on the last day before Christmas break. We were required to have all grades in before we left. I'm still appalled at the study hall business. I have a co-worker who never leaves plans for a sub, but I step in and leave some basics. I'll teach those kids at some point during the day, and in don't want to deal with the craziness. Alice, I would be as frustrated as you sound.
     
  28. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    My guess is that it has to be snow related or maybe flu related. I know several people who are stranded due to the snow or wind. I don't know about New York, but we have a very serious flu going around that has people completely bedridden if not hospitalized. I would hope that anything that happened to be planned would have left good plans.
     
  29. Jerseygirlteach

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    I haven't read through the whole thread but I can't understand why the two day are useless. Almost all of my kids were in today and we had a very productive day.

    Alice, I agree that there is no excuse for teachers who feel entitled to extend their vacations. I always defend teachers but, c'mon, we get enough days off as it is.
     
  30. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    There could be any number of reasons for taking a day off. Both of my parents are currently sick as dogs. Dad had today off anyway, but my mother who works in sales sure isn't working today. She probably won't tomorrow either.

    I'm glad nobody judged me for missing the last three days of the school year. I doubt most parents knew why I was out-funeral. If they complained, I certainly never heard about it.

    I then had to miss our first teacher day of the year when I had another funeral. My P was extremely accommodating. Again, I'm very sure most of the staff had no idea why I was out.
     
  31. 2ndTimeAround

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    But we don't KNOW that it was due to extended vacations. If all four were out for that reason, there would be a problem in my book. Someone that had a huge family reunion scheduled, won a cruise and had mandated sailing dates and such would be okay in my book. Those would be rare things that would not take four teachers out at once. Wanting to spend seven days at Grandma's upstate instead of four? That would be inconsiderate in my book and would not be approved by admin.

    But I could see four out of six of his teachers being out sick on the same day this time of year. I could see three being sick and one having a special, planned circumstance keeping him/her away. We just don't know.
     
  32. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Thank you GoBlue. Who the heck am I to judge why another person takes the day off that they are allowed to take off. I get a certain amount of sick days. I usually only use a small fraction of that amount. But when I do use them, I have a reason. I know some principals in my district do require doctor notes from teachers who are out following a break, it depends on the principal. Also some principals require teachers to submit emergency plans at start of year.

    And if they are ill, do I want them spreading the flu to the kids?

    I know many of you will disagree with me, but one day of subs isn't the end of the world.

    And on a personal note. I'm still on vacation, but I've had the flu for two weeks now. Hoping it's gone by school starting AND hoping all the stranded in other parts of snowed in country manage to get back in time. ...Happy new year all!
     
  33. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Agreeing with this.

    If the students were missing we would be hearing about those irresponsible parents and the fact that they are the reason students are doing so poorly. Here we have 4 teachers leaving students to sit for hours on end and posters blaming STUDENTS for not making their day productive by determining what they might need to do to prepare for mid terms that are probably weeks away. Those lazy students. They should know the plan and what the mid term might consist of because it is really the students responsible for learning.

    We wonder why the public is so down on teachers. :rolleyes:

    Again, it is possible that some are missing due to cancelled flights, but 4 is a long shot.
     
  34. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think it's appalling that no work was left for the students, regardless of the reason for the teachers' absences. If I were in your position, I'd call the principal and mention that I was unhappy at the instructional opportunities lost due to lack of appropriate planning. Even a generic practice activity or reading assignment would have been more beneficial than a study hall in four classes.

    I think that the test issue shouldn't be an issue right now. I agree with others who have said that it has only been a couple of days (school days) since the test was administered. It's reasonable that it might take a week to grade a test and return results. I personally like to have my tests graded within a day or two, but sometimes things come up during my prep periods and it doesn't happen.
     
  35. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Just stopping by...there is flu running thru the northeast currently. Perhaps thats why teachers were out. I had 4 out of 18 kids absent from my class today...it would have been difficult to move on with too much new with more than 20% of my class out and the near certainty of a snow day tomorrow. (they called it at 5:30 tonight).
    I didnt grade papers over the holiday break, but if I had to be out today I would have left plans that were productive...again, nothing new, but definitely good review things and extension activities.
    On the rare occasion that a grade level colleague is out on an emergency and plans are sketchy, my team is awesome about sweeping in with writing plans, math activities, etc that are productive and easy for a last minute sub to implement.
    I'm sure things will be back in full swing next week.:thumb:
     
  36. DrivingPigeon

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    Yes, this is true!
     
  37. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't think it's such a long shot. In my school, of 130 teachers, about 10 of them are native to the state. Most of the teachers come from elsewhere, so their families are elsewhere, so they tend to travel during longer breaks. I could definitely envision a scenario where many, many teachers at my school missed flights due to weather. We've also got some nasty bugs going around the area right now, so I could see illness as a valid reason for being gone. Of course, I could definitely believe that some teachers just want an extended break.

    In any case, the parent can't really control or do anything about why the teachers were gone, but the parent can complain about the lack of appropriate lessons left in absentia.
     
  38. 2ndTimeAround

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    Oh, I'm the first to admit that I get frustrated when parents want to take students out for extended vacations. Because they want to get a jump on traffic or such. But if there was a great opportunity that would not cause me additional work, I would be perfectly fine with it. But again, we do not know that the teachers were taking extended vacations!

    And I do believe that if a child is soooo concerned about his grades that he checks PowerSchool daily, he should be concerned enough to do a little review on his own during study hall time.
     
  39. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    If I had to guess, I would 1 is probably sick, 1 is caring for a sick child, 1 is stranded somewhere, and the other may have extended vacation. The odds are AGAINST all 4 extending vacations. Like you said, there is a nasty flu going on and people stranded due to storms.

    And I HATE it when people go to work sick, with every job I have had. They ALWAYS get everyone else sick. Who all go home and get everyone at home sick. This is how sickness spreads, Healthcare 101: stay home if you are sick. I'd rather have a wasted school day for my child then a flu-ridden teacher spreading germs to the students.

    What if these are the ONLY four teachers out of 60 in the entire school out and they all happen to teach Alice's son? Are the teachers rarely absent or is it a regular thing. If they are rarely absent I would venture to say it's a fluke and get over it.
     
  40. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Regardless of why they were out, it was irresponsible and lazy to leave nothing.
     
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