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Wednesday, July 27, 2022

DCPS pours gas on its dumpster fire!

 I want to point out that the state has done DCPS and public ed no favors. A large amount of the blame for where we find ourselves should fall clearly on their shoulders. That being said, Greene shouldn't get a pass. Her "teachers are easily replaceable cogs" policies of the last few years have exacerbated a terrible situation, and she deserves criticism too. With that out of the way, let's try and come up with solutions that don't make teachers miserable and put more on their plates, or you, the only solutions that DCPS ever comes up with. 

First paras, my para can't cover my class when I am out; nope, I have to get a sub, or another teacher has to.  This has never made sense to me. We have a lot of excellent paras that could cover for a class or a day or heck in this climate where wives of veterans with 60 hours can be teachers, an extended time. Ask for volunteers and pay them a little more and, hopefully, more than whatever terrible stipend they give to teachers now is.   

Retired teachers, let's bring them back and set up packages. You commit to just one period a day, get this, two, you get more, and so on. With inflation, I am sure more than a couple might want a part-time job, but the thing is, we have to make sure all that extra stuff like common planning, complicated lesson plans, and all the other BS that really makes teachers hate their jobs, never gets on their plates. Remember, friends, we are doing triage here.

Then let's go to the colleges and bring in what few colleges of ed kids there are and offer them a similar deal. They might as well learn now, and easing into teaching may be a better plan than shoving them into the deep end and hoping for the best.

Finally, and this one makes me cringe a little bit, offer signing bonuses to teachers from the surrounding counties, and instead of sending them to where they are most needed, let them pick their spots. I get it, this will not help at all our neediest schools, but if it fills some slots, it's a win. 

I have to believe there are better solutions than jacking up class sizes, and nobody believes it will be just one or 2 kids here or there, putting more on teachers' plates and surplusing an unlucky amount to fill holes. What I don't believe is the district is trying to come up with them.

Any suggestions? Let me know, and in a day or two, I will compile them and send them to the district, where I am sure Greene will promptly ignore them. The thing is, I figure I can't just complain. I have to try and be part of the solution even though, as a teacher, I am always the last one asked.



  1. Transitioning from an A/B block schedule to a 7 period day requires fewer teachers at each school. Was this offered as an option to schools with vacancies? Was it ever discussed as a solution district-wide? If not, why not? Greene is lying about the small increases in class size. Most of us are seeing an increase in at least 5-7 students per period. Also, core teachers are now required to teach an elective class. Electives are exempt from the class size reduction amendment. One of my colleagues has been assigned an elective class with 120 students. I’m not sure what other solutions there might be, but I wouldn’t be surprised if teachers throughout the district show up on the first day of pre-planning and don’t show up come the first day of school.

    1. It’s definitely not going to be “one or two” per class. But, parents are going to believe it no matter what we say.

    2. 7 period days suck for teachers and students, in different ways, and don't really save teachers. They just load up teachers and students in different ways.

  2. As improbable (and impractical due to the fact that school starts in two weeks) as this suggestion might be, perhaps an emergency, temporary 4 day week for students would be in order. Hear me out: the levels (elementary, middle, high) would be “closed” one day per week and teachers could alternate and “sub” at different levels.
    For example: k-5 closed on Tuesday, middle on Wednesday, high on Thursday.
    I have a 6-12 SS cert and I teach high school. I’d be perfectly willing to sub at a middle school (even elementary), of my choice, on a Thursday when high schools are closed. There’s something like 42 high schools in Duval county. For round numbers, let’s say there are 50 per school. That frees up over 2,000 teachers to “float”.
    Now you’re only looking at a shortage for 3 days a week instead of 5.
    Teachers unwilling to float can conduct virtual classes. So, should a teacher at my high school that teaches my subject opt to stay on-site, my students could attend that class from home while I’m filling in elsewhere. What do my kids do if there is no virtual teacher available? I assign them work like I would if they had a sub (it’s not like most subs “teach” anyway).