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Sunday, December 13, 2020

Why isn't planning fair across grade levels

 If you follow my blog, you know I am not happy with the new contract offer; however, the district's disrespect and playing a shell game with money, moving it around to keep it out of the hands of teachers who should be getting it, aren't my only concerns; another is why isn't planning equitable across grade levels? Why in some schools do teachers get 90 minutes, others 45, and in more than a few practically none. That's not fair, and it has to change.

Full disclosure I work at a center school, and we get ninety minutes a day and I will be honest when IEPs are due, and now that I am teaching five different classes instead of two, sometimes that's not nearly enough.   

Middle and high on block scheduling were getting a ninety-minute period a day. When some of those schools switched to a 7 period day, they lost half their planning. 

I have written about going to a seven-period day for years. I think 90 minutes is too long, but when I did so, the idea was for teachers to have two planning periods. Also, do my friends at those schools think they are going to get that 90 minutes back? My bet is no; the district has seen a way to save some money. 

Then in elementary school, and please forgive me if I get something wrong, Teachers would get 40 supposedly duty-free minutes in the morning, good luck in the age of covid when many students are eating in the room, and a second period based on electives. If the kids went to art or music, etc., the teachers would get that time to plan, and herein lies the problem. Some schools have plenty of resources, where other schools don't. I have read online about teachers getting that extra period every three days and six, and people being out of luck if there is an absence of a resource teacher.     

How is that fair? With elementary school teachers, the district isn't even pretending they don't expect teachers to work untold hours of their own time. That's not fair, but one possible solution would be to pay them for an 8 hour day and let that last 40 minutes be flexible. 

Another would be to make sure there are enough resource teachers to have that extra period each and every day.

Teachers who get 90 minutes a day have to worry about those that don't because it's not right and next because if the district can figure it out a way, they will be next.

Every teacher should get 90 minutes a day in planning, and we shouldn't settle for any less. 

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