Google+ Badge

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Realistic Expectations: A Teacher's Day

As I think about a teacher's day, I wonder about realistic expectations. As it stands now, educators have about 45-60 minutes of planning time a day to plan, prepare, and respond to student learning. Of course teachers do lots of work on their own time too. As I thought about the expectations, I recognized the following:
  • preparing for and writing report cards - about one hour per child twice a year - 50 hours a year
  • ordering supplies and putting them away - about 20 hour job
  • classroom set-up and clean up - about one hour a week - 30 hours a year
  • lesson planning (about one hour of planning/prep per lesson, about 4-5 lessons a day - 25 hours a week.
  • student response (about 5-10 hours a week)
  • planning for and conducting parent conferences about one hour per child, two times a year so about 50 hours of teacher time per year.
  • IEP, PLCs, and other committee work - an average of one hour a week - 30 hours a year
  • mandated trainings and email work - an average of one hour a week - 30 hours a year
  • teaching and supervising students about 5 hours a day.
  • evaluation system - about 30 hours a year (I believe this can be streamlined)
  • substitute plans - sick teachers at the elementary level have to set up plans for the teaching/learning day which takes about two or more hours. 
  • parent communication - about 5 hours a week.
Of course there isn't the time in a week to do all of this so some areas of teaching life get cut out simply because teachers have families, need to sleep, and have to complete other personal items and chores. 

As I think about this and think about our upcoming negotiations, I'm wondering how this could be more reasonable and doable. 

Fortunately our system has inservice Wednesdays for professional work. I believe those Wednesdays can be better used to meet the planning and preparation needs teachers have to teach well. More time to work with hour professional teams will be positive in this regard.

We can also reconsider the structure of our roles, the assistance of support personnel and administrative assistants, report card and conference time and how we might meet those needs in a better way, and look at streamlining professional responsibilities such as the evaluation system. 

Greater use of technology in effective ways can help as well.

It's important for educators to think carefully about the demands on their time and how those demands are met in reasonable, timely, and effective ways. Recently when I attended a meeting with educators, it was inspiring to hear educators focus on what they need to teach well. Clearly these educators were very professional and dedicated when expressing ideas for betterment.