What a waste of time!

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

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  1. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    While I have a folder containing emergency plans, they were not used as another teacher took care of things entirely.
     
  2. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    We really only know that subs didn't USE plans, Do we know that teachers didn't LEAVE plans? This has happened at my school. My district has made it harder and harder for us to choose our own subs, which is a shame as having a sub we actually get to know or who at least gets to know our school, is SO important.

    also - I know my principal has a copy of my emergency plans but I also know that I better have a copy VISIBLE in my room because my principal isn't always available.

    Thank you for bringing all of this up - when I get back I need to find visible spot for my emergency plans.


    Oh my heart goes out to you...it's the only part of me that hasn't already dripped out my nose. All I can say is emergen-c and LOTS of sleep. (and licorice tea if you can find it)
     
  3. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I find it hard to believe that 4 of his teachers were sick. Perhaps they were, but that is hard to believe. I would be irritated. My DD´s teachers sometimes don´t post grades for a month and it upsets me beyond belief.
     
  4. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    There's a really bad flu going around. My husband got it. One day he was fine(ish) and the next day he was in so much pain he needed a Vicodin just to sleep. Headache, achy joints, cough.
    The reason I mention this is that 9 out of the 16 guys on his shift called in sick at the same time. So having 4 teachers out sick is totally plausible.
     
  5. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I was on the calendar committee at my old school. Due to the insistence of the high school teachers, parents, and students, they went back Thursday. I would have been there despite driving from Michigan the day before, but I wouldn't have been happy about it. My P would grant me the time off if I asked far enough in advance. She was great about those things. However, I think that is completely different than scheduling a personal vacation. (That being single teacher with nearest family member 700 miles away vs. going to Florida for fun)

    Only one district within a 35 minute radius of me had school today. I got called to sub at 8:45. School starts at 8:55. This was the farthest district from me- right at that 30-35 minute mark. Plus it snowed a bunch and roads were bad. It was an automated Aesop call, so I had to turn it down. I didn't want to accept and then call them and tell them that I would be at least an hour. I'm sure it was a last minute call in. People do get sick. And I know a bunch of people that have the flu right now.
     
  6. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

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    I'm sorry but you are coming off rather rude. You don't know the personal lives of those teachers. They may have had a loved one pass away, or they may have been fighting a terrible flu. How dare you even be up in arms over this. You don't know what these teachers may be facing in their personal lives. Please chill out.
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Yes, they are grown ups. That doesn't prevent them to stretch the boundaries of rules to ruin a good thing for others. Often administrators punish the "class" for the actions of a few or more than a few that break the rules.

    If all teachers only took sick days when they were truly sick instead of stretching the meaning of sick, all grown ups could be trusted. Unfortunately, not all adults can be trusted to abide by the rules.
     
  8. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I do not think that Alice is bring rude--I think that she has a legitimate concern. If the teachers knew they were going to be out before the holidays and if the school approved it then there should have been a requirement to have work left for the students. PEOPLE IT IS 2 WEEKS BEFORE MIDTERM. They could have left something--a review guide, make a test based on the material from the beginning of the year, anything would be better than nothing. Our study guides are due to students 2 weeks before exams. If the teacher is sick and too sick to send in something, then administration should have stepped in with a review assignment. Even if you do not know the subject matter, as a good teacher or administrator you should be able to come up with a generic assignment. Is this busy work--probably, but it is more productive than telling a teenager to study and be quiet.
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I agree. There is nothing rude about Alice´s conern about this. I would be very upset if I found out my daughter had study hall for four classes too. That´s the majority of the school day and it´s not a good message being sent either.
     
  10. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

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    I think the problem lies in the fact that we do not know whether the teachers had a planned day or not. And honestly, who are we to judge the basis for their absence? You are all right that emergency sub plans should have been used.

    I was in a similar situation recently where I had to call in on a Monday because I had food poisoning. My Principal said okay and that she would give my sub the emergency plans that she kept in her office. Well it turns out that my principal had a 9am meeting and forgot about the plans. As a result, my poor sub had to wing it ALL day! Thankfully I kept my weekly plans posted on my desk so she could at least see what parts of the textbook we were in and the objectives! Now in that situation, yes it does sound bad that my students had no real plans for that day but was that my fault? No. My point is, sometimes things happen. If the OP's son attends a school like my previous one, then all emergency plans are kept in the principal's office and is the principal's job to make sure the plans are distributed in case of an emergency absence.
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm required to have plans complete and on my desk a minimum of 3 days in advance. If, for some reason, I couldn't make it into school until Thursday next week, my sub would have plans to follow and my class would move forward. I'm not out often, but when I am, I would never include independent study, unless it was on a list of things a student could work on if they finished all of the assigned work.

    As far as the point that teachers should not have to do any work over the break (which I agree with), I wonder how teachers would feel if students returned with work not completed because they were focusing on time with their families?
     
  12. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I agree as well! I've seen too many colleagues use sick days to take or extend a vacation. When I suspect it's one of my children's teachers, I get annoyed and frustrated. I completely understand where Alice is coming from.
     
  13. 1stGradeRocks

    1stGradeRocks Comrade

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    I think you need to refrain from judging the teachers so harshly until you know the reasons that they were out. They could have been in the hospital, an immediate family member could have been in the hospital, or they could have experienced a death in their family. You simply don't know...
     
  14. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

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    Exactly!
     
  15. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    My wife had to go in yesterday even though it was already snowing. Her commute was doubled (not to mention how dangerous it was) and just 1/3 of the student body showed up.

    They finally decided to have half a day because the snow got worse. So even though all the teachers went in, what good was it? With 2/3 of the kids absent, the teachers will have to reteach everything anyway.

    Poor planning on the part of the administrators.....
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My school requires me to enter grades within 48 hours of receiving an assignment or assessment from a student. That is well within the time frame mentioned by Alice, especially for a scantron that doesn't require further analysis.

    As for the question of substitutes, even if all four of them had legitimate reasons for being out, they should have had legitimate lesson plans, even if it was a refresher of the material covered before the break. Heaven knows, I spent yesterday dragging back the distant memories of what we covered on December 20th.
     
  17. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jan 3, 2014

    I'll comment on this...one year, my daughter came home on the day of Christmas break with a HUGE project to complete. That year, we had a break same as this year-school started on Thursday and Friday. It was due Friday. It required a three-poster display, pictures, graphs, a two-page essay, artifacts and items to display, a food of some kind, and a 10 minute presentation.

    This was third grade.

    I was LIVID! We did it, but it was all we did over our break. Plus, I had to go break into the school because we didn't have a color printer at that time, and (surprise, surprise), she had left some of her materials at school.

    They were supposed to be working on it throughout the semester, but they "ran out of time". I am fairly certain the teacher did not stress as much as we did that break.

    That probably doesn't add much to this conversation, but oh well. I will say, the differences in expectations for teachers and other working professionals are amazing. My break was scheduled to be Dec. 24 3:00 pm-Jan. 2 7:00 am. I took Dec. 23 and 24 as vacation, and my son was sick yesterday so I stayed home an extra day. No questions asked.
     
  18. 2ndTimeAround

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    Jan 3, 2014

    I don't assign work over holiday breaks.
     
  19. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    I think we all understand that things happen. The biggest issue is how the subs had nothing to do with the students. That is wrong. The teachers should have had the first day back planned so why weren't there any plans? If they went away for break then I doubt they took their plans with them, so that excuse doesn't fly with me. Even so, what about an email to a coworker to give them some clue as to what the sub could do all day. Something should have been planned. Were the real teachers just going to wing it their first day back and see how it went? I just don't understand how the regular teachers could go on break with nothing planned for the first day back whether they were going to be there or not.
     
  20. MsMar

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    True, we don't know. But as both a 5th grade teacher and high school teacher it has always been expected that I have work for my students to do if I am absent, even if my absence is an unplanned emergency. If a teacher for some reason doesn't leave plans, then someone (department head, team leader, coworker) figures out something for the students to do. They would never get a study hall for the period. In my hubby's old district they were expected to have 5 days worth of plans made available for any unforeseen absences. We both thought that was rather excessive (I mean really, how often is someone out unexpectedly for FIVE days?), but my guess is the district put it in place due to the exact same issue Alice's son had yesterday - a wasted day for students due to no emergency plans being available for the subs.
     
  21. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Exactly - regardless of if the teachers knew they would be off or not, something should have been left for the sub. Obviously sometimes a sub can't be expected to teach the exact lesson the teacher planned to do (Spanish teacher is absent, sub doesn't speak Spanish, can't really teach the planned lesson on subjunctive conjugations!) but then there should be an alternative plan for the sub. (Spanish class students make up a play using the latest vocabulary they learned, or write sentences with their new vocab, or play Spanish word Bingo with the emergency Bingo game the teacher has on hand for a sub, or the students create a board game based off the current vocabulary....) There really is no reason for 4 teachers to all have not had plans of some sort available for the sub.

    I guess what surprises me the most is that this school has no expectation of emergency sub plans. I've worked in 4 different districts if I count student teaching, teaching kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school, and at all 4 schools it has been clearly stated that you have emergency plans available in case you are ever absent and unable to provide plans for a sub.

    I taught foods classes and if I was absent on a food lab day I certainly didn't expect the sub to teach the food lab. But I made sure to have a project or assignment of some sort for the students to work on.
     
  22. 2ndTimeAround

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    At the high school level, with year-long classes, "study hall" is often an accepted plan for subs. It wouldn't fly where I am but I know it is done elsewhere.

    As a parent I would much rather my child have study hall than a worthless packet of busy work. I would rather my child have study hall than have a sub muddle through material she wasn't qualified to teach. Ideally the teacher would know far enough in advance of her absence that there would be good quality work left for the students. But if that is not available my vote is for study hall. Ideally emergencies would occur early in the term so the emergency plans would be relevant. If not, I would prefer my child have study hall.
     
  23. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I refuse to assign work over break for this reason. It's time to relax, see your family, etc... I never had work over break when I was in college either, so even my AP class gets two weeks of freedom.

    This. I left a grammar worksheet one time. The kids were supposed to complete it, and we'd go over it when I returned. It was commonly confused words. The sub taught it to them all wrong. I don't know why she was teaching it in the first place-the instructions were clear! The worst part was she was a recently graduated English teacher! I've never seen more confused kids. Now I try to leave nothing that can be screwed up.
     
  24. Jerseygirlteach

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    An unqualified sub trying to teach material or study hall (nothing) are not the only two options. The teacher can leave a review assignment that students should be able to do independently. I can't think of a single reason why that would be detrimental to students or why nothing would be preferable.

    Also, if emergency plans are no longer relevant, shouldn't they be updated?

    When I think of the hours I've put into sub plans (sick or not) on the very rare occasions I've been out, it shocks me to think that any teacher would leave no plans whatsoever. I remember being in HS when that would happen and hating it due to the boredom and noise level.
     
  25. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Do teachers assign work over Christmas break? I assure you that would not be tolerated here.
     
  26. Loveslabs

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    I don't assign work. I do ask parents to try to carve out some time each day to read with their child or play a game such as monopoly. I do preface it with the fact I know things are busy during this time of year thus I am emphasizing the word try. I don't see anything wrong with this since reading to or with your child isn't really asking for a huge time commitment each day. I say this though as a parent that thinks reading to or with your child is something that no one should have to ask you to do. To me it is just a natural part of parenting, however many parents in my system have to be told to read with or to their child.

    Years ago I worked in a different building with a different type of parents. I asked one year that the child or child and parent try something new over break. The child could then share their experience when we returned to school. I stressed this wasn't a requirement, but rather just something fun to do.
    I was amazed at the results. Everyone in the class tried something new. For some it was a new food, while for others it was a new activity or adventure. I had two parents write and thank me because they really enjoyed the activity. Nobody complained. The kids were excited to come back to school and share their something new. There were no sleepy heads that first day back from break.
     
  27. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Blech, NO! Extended breaks are for recharging and spending time with family and friends. At the most, students can use that time to complete late work, but at their own discretion (with it being my discretion whether I grade it during my break).
     
  28. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Here it is a common practice. It is rare for a teacher to not assign homework over break. Some will give something out early so those that want to do the work ahead of time ON TOP OF all of their other work can do so making it seem they aren't giving work on break. It is the top performers that tend to be more overloaded than the gen ed kids although they usually get something over break. Forbid they might forget over 3 day weekend breaks or over the winter or spring break.

    15 page packets of math problems, reading entire novels, or projects tend to be fair game because the kids have "more time" because they are on break.
     
  29. Go Blue!

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    I don't think teachers should assign work over break. If you must, assign it the Friday before the last Friday before break (Dec. 13, in this case) that way students can get it done before break begins. I don't understand teachers that assign projects or lots of work over break. Some kids really do need a break.
     
  30. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I don't really agree with this either. For many of our HS kids that take advanced classes, they already have hours of homework a night because each AP class gives about 1 1/2 - 2 hours of homework per blocked class. Do you think it is fair to make kids double up on work just so they don't have to do it over break when they should be having a break?

    In MY district we should just call breaks and summer school away from school because there are always assignments. There is no real break. The kids that get the biggest break tend to be the kids that are academically at the lower level. The mid and upper level kids just get slammed.
     
  31. Go Blue!

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    Exactly. How do we know that the school does not allow teachers to use Study Hall as their sub plans? I'm sure so many teachers would not assign Study Hall if the school did not allow it.

    If the school does allow this, then parents cannot get upset at the teacher.
     
  32. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Absolutely not--I don't assign homework on weekends, either.
     
  33. RadiantBerg

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    We are not allowed go give any form of work over break (unless it is optional :lol:), and we aren't allowed to test or quiz until we've been back for at least 1 week.
     
  34. Go Blue!

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    I said I think kids SHOULD have a work-free break and that teachers should NOT assign work over break (unless they are forced to by Admin). I said if the teacher MUST assign work, they should assign it a week early so students can get it done early if possible. I was talking about those teachers who act like the world will end if they don't assign work over break.

    Also, I think 1.5 -2 hours of homework a night is crazy and unfair to students. I only assign one homework assignment a week for my HS students (given Monday, due Friday) that should only take 30 minutes top. Giving no daily homework or little daily homework is common where I teach since its only worth 10% of the student's grade. I think slamming kids with nightly homework is insane and a waste of time.
     
  35. RadiantBerg

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    Wow---I am not saying this to imply you're sick, but that practice is sick. The parents in my district would have a teacher's head if they tried to assign even a 1 page worksheet over break.
     
  36. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Since I stopped assigning so much homework, my grades have gone up and cheating has gone down. I'm also less stressed about keeping up with missing work.
     
  37. a2z

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    My feeling is if you MUST, meaning are required by the administration, instead of giving a meaty assignment ahead of time, make it a quick and easy one. That way, you assigned something but it isn't taking away a lot of time from the break.

    For example, instead of assigning an entire novel, have the kids read the introduction.
     
  38. a2z

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    I don't do this, but it is relatively common practice in my district.

    I agree, it is sickening. Of course, it is in the name of being able to get everything done by the end of the year.

    AP and honors kids typically have 4-6 hours of homework a night. That's the price they pay for being achievers. Of course, many would say they know that going into the class, but if you saw the quality of the gen ed classes....
     
  39. Go Blue!

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    My school has a "give as little homework as possible policy" and they promote this by making homework only worth 10% of the students' final grade. Or, Admin prefers that you allow kids to start/complete the homework in class because our students won't do it at home. At best, they will do it another teacher's classroom but few of our kids actually take their binders/notebooks home at night; many come to and from school with an empty backpack (except for snacks and drinks).

    My district (especially at the secondary) has district-wide problem with students not doing homework, so most school don't require that teacher's assign it nightly.
     
  40. Go Blue!

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    Last year, my Admin made each grade-level team in my school assign a very in-depth, cross-curricular project with all the requirements. I really, really hated this - especially because I hate planning projects or assignments with other teachers. But, I need my job, so I did it.

    This year they dropped that because of the teacher backlash from last year.
     
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