What would happen if we only worked our contracted hours?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by eddygirl, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. eddygirl

    eddygirl Companion

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    Jul 30, 2011

    Another thread got me thinking about this: It is obvious that there are many hard-working teachers who put an extraordinary amount of time (well over their contracted hours) into providing quality educational experiences for their students. But I wondered--what would happen if we only worked our contracted hours?

    Let's say an "imaginary timer" is set for your contracted hours, and at the end of that time, you MUST stop doing schoolwork: no planning, no grading, no looking for ideas on educational websites, etc. What would/could you cut out of your work week? How would this affect your classes?

    Coaches and activity moderators, leave your extra-curriculars out of the mix--let's just think in terms of the classroom and the educational experiences you provide there.

    Also, how would this affect your school if every teacher in the building did this? Let's pretend that administrators would not expect you to work more than those contracted hours, but would simply accept that you "put in your time efficiently." What differences would you see in your school as a whole?
     
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  3. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    I think you'd see a lot less quality teaching going on, and a lot more "busy work" being given so teachers had a chance to do all the clerical type things that go along with teaching.
     
  4. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Well, if you just continued doing exactly what you do for lessons in the classroom the way you do it now, it wouldn't go very well.

    If you were required to teach and assess the curriculum and do the other clerical work, things would have to change if you were required to make sure students were still learning. How we do what we do often depends on the extra time we plan to spend outside of contract hours. We would have to be much more careful how we assign work, what we teach, and how much grading would be done. However, I think we could astonish ourselves because sometimes we go too big with our lessons and what we expect the students to do when more clean, precise lessons and work product actually will target the skill or the content.
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Personally I would give more busy work to start. During the time the students are doing that I would design more cooperative work for future weeks. There would be a day-long project assigned at least once a week. I would spend less time walking around during that project time (which would require me to have some great rubrics set up in advance, a good thing to come out of it!).

    Students would have to do far more on their own, in their own time. More reading of the chapter at home and answering questions from the back on their own.

    Students would have fewer assessments. The ones they do have would be ones that were built to be easily graded.
     
  6. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    I have a lot of systems and routines in place so that I can leave at my contracted time (need to because of childcare). I do all of the "extras" on my own time between 8-11 pm and 4:40-6:30 am. That's when I get creative and add the magic to teaching. So, yes I could do my job in my contracted hours, but it would be just the bare bones that are required.
     
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I've seen the results of teachers who just work contract hours. It's not pretty and one of the many reasons I have to stay longer.
     
  8. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Dozens of my students would simply never be able to reach me. One of my kids this summer took a fisherman job in Maine for the summer. His hours were 4am to noon. My hours were 8am to noon. We went over his assignments in the evenings before he went to sleep.
     
  9. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    We've done this as an entire district as a protest during contract negotiation times. It's hard on the teachers who want to do their best job. It's hard to be able to contact and meet with parents who also work. It was WAY more stressful for me.
     
  10. janney

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    I would stop spending (wasting) time talking to other teachers after dismissal. I'm sure I would become more efficient with my time so I could get everything done; I tend to be slow without a set deadline.

    On the other hand I would have to find a new hobby since a lot of what I do outside of contract hours is the "fun" part.
     
  11. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    If I only worked during my contract time, students would not receive any grades. They wouldn't have much work to do either, since the majority of my planning occurs after contract time as my "planning" during the day is taken up with meetings of some sort or another. I would also never conference with parents.
     
  12. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    We are doing this! The whole district. The school board won't approve a contract so the teachers union has us working only from 7:55 to 3:25 daily. We have to walk in together and leave together.
     
  13. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    I know for me it would be horrible. I change the environment weekly and only have an hour and a half in my schedule to do it, and usually it takes me about 3 hours. I wouldn't get to change the materials in the environment as often and it would be detrimental to the children. I'm a Montessori teacher, by the way.
     
  14. Silmarienne

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    That's just it, long-term, it's the kids who would lose out since we would have to spend less time focused on them in order to get those assessments tallied, papers graded, and so on. I can't imagine report card time.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    We would have to really work on basics and hammer them hard. Then we would have lessons to put them together, but not necessarily huge assignments to grade. Just enough to make sure they can apply the skills in a cohesive unit.

    I honestly believe we struggle to think differently based on what we are used to - working longer hours. We would have to focus more because the students would still need to learn.

    I would actually do little project work. My time would be spent observing what was being done because the work would be more able to be assessed particularly in early grades by walking and looking at what the students are producing - or not.

    I don't believe project work is valuable when students don't have the basics mastered, imho.
     
  16. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 30, 2011

    I doubt I'd get any planning done - I'd spend the entire prep time returning phone calls. I don't think parents would like me calling them at 6:30, either.

    Which means I'd be winging it. I don't wing things. I plan pretty carefully.

    My day would certainly involve a *lot* more informal assessments; in fact, I doubt I would assign much that had to be graded unless I had a system where I could have the kids grade each other's papers.

    I think I'd be pretty miserable.

    Jamie - that's crazy! Keep us updated on that.
     

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