Saturday, June 18, 2005

We didn't do our job... can we have a raise?


Minimum Instructional Contact Hrs = 946

Total Instructional Hours Student Contact:
Benson = 940.8
Cleveland = 896.63
Franklin = 897.83
Grant = 931
Jefferson = 860.88 (85.12 hours short!)

The list goes on and on. Not a single Porland Public High School met the minimun neccessary instructional contact hours. Not one. Are these days that the teachers are at home or are just the kids?

2004-2005 District Calendar
(ok, this calendar does not match the year for the above report but I can't find a coresponding calendar for that year and I can't find the instructional hours report for the most recent year, but the point remains...)
Sep 1 :Staff Development
Sep 2:District Teacher Orientation/School-Based Preparation
Sep 29:Staff Development
Oct 12:Staff Development
Nov 10:Staff Development
Dec 22:Staff Development
Jan 14:Staff Development
Jan 18:Staff Development
Mar 16:Staff Development
May 11:Staff Development
May 27:Staff Development
May 31:Staff Development
Jun 20:Last Student Day; School-Based Closure
Jun 21:School-Based Closure; Staff Development

I don't neccessarily disagree that meetings are sometimes needed but I wonder what "staff development" really means. Are these the days when teachers learn how to be more sensitive to the illegal aliens? Are these the days when teachers are marching in Salem for more money? Those are a lot of potential instructional contact hours there, I'm just wondering if they could be better used.


Anonymous said...

Let's take a look at that "time off" and start with the fact that several of those are holidays. Many of the others are either state or federally mandated training. I know a number of teachers and this is what they tell me. Frankly, I'm surprsied they're not more under the instiutional hours. It's only because of things like admins. working extra days without pay, teachers doing the same, etc, etc. that they're that close with this inadequate level of funding.

Before you answer with this, I point out that R's proposed 6% hike in school spending from less biennium is 2% less than their "school stabilization plan" proposes. There, 8% is not tennable for a lot of districts (read suburban districts like Beavertona and Tigard that are growing rapidly, and districts with needs of siginificant capital repairs (Portland).

Sailor Republica said...

MAybe they should take some of those holidays and throw them out the window.

MLK Day? No!
NEA Conferences/Workshops? No!
4 days before Christmas? No! Have the last day be Dec. 23rd and go from there.

Secondly, Administration needs to be cut. It's just a matter of fact all over the nation.

Finally, No $300K salaries. 100K is fine for running a district...use the other 200K to hire 6 teachers.

jwalker said...

As a teacher, I would like to throw my 2 cents in. Those districts have 3 more inservice days than my districts have had. 6 has always been the magic number. 9 is over the top.

I would like to list the things I have done on staff development days to shed light on what is done.

grade reports
parent conferences

staffings on curriculum
meetings on mainstreaming special need students which is the law

curriculum planning

disciplinary planning and meetings

Paperwork, filing, classroom projects like bulletin boards, curriculum aids, student monitoring sites, etc

technology inservice

statewide teacher inservices that pertain to our be better teachers.

Calender planning; discussion of things that work and don't work as a staff.

Education on the state testing process and cumulative files.

Special education meetings and staffings which are required by law.

Here is my point: These things cannot be done in the school day. Our half hour to hour after school is spent logging in the day's happenings, meeting with parents, cleaning our area, doing paperwork, etc. We need a few days to get the "extra" required stuff done. Otherwise, we would be spending alot more of our own time away from our families and I know most of us already do.

As far as Christmas vacation goes, by December, there is a certain amount of burnout that starts occuring. When you are dealing with the problems that are built into today's public school class, a break is needed.I know that last comment will cause anger, but it is true. Mainstreaming, abused kids, kids not being held responsible for grades anymore, drugging and drinking parents, bigger classrooms, all these things start adding up.

Teaching used to be a partnership with parents for the well-being of the child. I can tell you through experience this is no longer true.

Those days do need to be put back, but cutting teacher inservices is not the answer. I think looking the mainstreaming of special students and the schools providing what the parents used to provide would be a good start. Superintendant salaries would be another good place.

jwalker said...

Oh yeah, staff development and holidays are not the same thing.

Sailor Republica said...

I can see the point, but the NEA days need to go. The NEA (Union) is not necessary for doing the job, especially in today's teaching environment (where they try to control a teacher's curriculum. This I know, I've seen the results back in my former school district.)

I agree that there are some days that are needed for teachers to catch up on work, but they don't need as many of the days that are given. State Education Association days are ok...but it would be better to combine the information that the state and the feds have.

Another thing I didn't mention earlier is the regulations that the state has on diversity, CIM/CAM/ETC, and other busy work. If all the junk and busy busy work would be carted away, it'd be better for teachers. Of course, here in the state of Oregon, Susan Castillo won't do such a thing (GET HER OUT!!)

OSU Hooker said...

My parents are retired teachers, my sister is a current teacher, and my wife is a certified teacher homeschooling our hearing-impaired son. I am the Navy's Aviation Training Officer, so I oversee all instruction of the 2000 men and women learning aviation related trades. So with that said, some observations:
1. With the time allotted, teach core compentancies. In our children's case; reading, writing, history, science and math. (Philosophy, if I had my way.) I really hate days with Walkathons or their like. When I was a kid, that stuff happened on weekends. My parents made me go. So, when I find out about a school event that isn't a core compentancy, I take my kids out of school for that period and do a family fun event with them. The schools are wasting my child's time with that stuff during a school day. In my business, if we aren't teaching flying related curriculum, it's wasted time.
2. Set high standards, challenge and encourage the children to attain those standards. In my case, those who don't meet the standards, are sent packing. I have an obligation to the taxpayers and parents to ensure we don't kill their children in an expensive taxpayer machine.
3. Critical Evaluation (feedback) to the student. Instill in the student the process of improvement does require some critique of their abilities. I fly with Students and critique their goods and others, as we call them. Others are not failures, but areas they need to emphasis and improve upon. Instill in our children that the process does not determine their self-worth or self-esteem, but the process should ensure the child maintains the effort to improve. In children, you want to reward the effort. My "kids" get the rough critique, as there is too much at stake.
4. Critique the Process. Here, in my opinion, is the biggest failure of the public school system. I personally inspect all the Navy's Aviation Training Centers. I let the Admiral know how they are doing. Additionally, I fly with the instructors of all my training centers, and provide them with written feedback on their instructional techniques, copying the Commanding Officer. I have an obligation to the taxpayer and the parents to ensure we are extracting the most training out of the money alloted, safely!!! I argue with the my parents that this is the biggest failing of the public school system, Accountibility. Thus, I support proposals which force accountibility and motivations for the public schools to improve.
Now, I am not burdened with the participation of the parents as is the public school system. But, that is an issue because if the parents are participating, how can we expect the child to be motivated.
Now, I will say that the NEA and such, is killing it's credibility with liberal agendas that distract away from the core competancies, ie social justice, gay-lesbian issues and diversity groups. Additionally, the drive to increased administrative positions is a ploy for more money, which does not directly result in increased productivity of the student or for the teacher.

jwalker said...

1. We don't have any NEA days or union days or anything like that. I don't know which districts do these things, but not in the districts I have been in contact.

2. CIMs and CAMs are gone...yey!!

3. Those suggestions you gave are very good and we are already doing those things in our districts.

I sure see alot of critical eyes telling us what needs to be done. That is ok, but I wonder how many of you have been in the classroom to see reality for any length of time! Volunteer. You might understand what is going on. It's a war and we truly are working as hard as we can.

Kate said...

Hey Daniel - fellow right-winger & Lars follower here... ever hang out at the Coffee Station in dt Sherwood?

Sailor Republica said...

It looks like most of us are on the same page, just speaking in different languages.

jwalker said...

I want to apologize for coming off a little antagonistic. I guess it hit a little too close to home. And for what it is worth, I think the political causes of the teachers' union (state and National) is a crime.

One more thing, in reference to the extra activities and walk-athons. I totally agree with you. But there is another side.

1. The administration praises and gives job security to teachers who do these things. Extra activities in this job prove you care.

2.Parents, probably half of them, use the excuse that the reason why Johnny is acting up in class and failing is because there aren't enough fun activities so they don't want to learn.

There is a lot of pressure to do these activities.

Daniel said...

the reason why Johnny is acting up in class and failing

We both know that the real reason Johnny has problems is because his mom was never married and she has no boudaries in the home!

jwalker said...

I don't know if I ever mentioned this, but I am a single mother. Don't cringe....I uprooted my life so my parents could help me coparent my baby.

Alot of my contact with unwed mothers raising kids is pretty discouraging. Often, they go out alot to troll for men. And they would never consider giving up a little freedom to be closer to the grandparents so the kid has a big extended family.

And then there are the 2nd and 3rd marriages, liveins coming and going and the liveins that start abusing the kids.

Daniel said...

Some valuable input here. My respsonses:

start with the fact that several of those are holidays

I did not include holidays in my list. Take a look at the link to the calendar and see the additional days off for holidays.

Secondly, Administration needs to be cut.

Absolutely. Not just salaries but the work force as well. The number of PERS reciepients makes a dramatic difference.

As a teacher, I would like to throw my 2 cents in.

I agree with most of your 2 cents. Some inservice days where teachers do not have kids are neccessary. But like you indicate, 9 might be too many.

With the time allotted, teach core compentancies

My kids school, which is a great school in my opinion, has so many "walkathon" fundraisers a year it gets ridiculous. I hope that those aren't counted as "instructional hours."

Now, I will say that the NEA and such, is killing it's credibility with liberal agendas that distract away from the core competancies

What? Are you saying that abortion and gay marriage have nothing to do with teaching kids?