I know how it is, as I, too, am on a cart in a Middle School. It's a
nightmare. I do think, however, you can file a grievance regarding your
planning time. Your contract says you are a teacher and you are entitled to
the same prep time as the other teachers. If they don't have a prep time,
either, then you ought ALL to get together and demand equal rights with the
other teachers in the District. You also ought to teach the same number of
hours as every one else. How unfair. I really empathize with you as I used
to teach elementary and I nearly forgot how nasty it was.
Hang in there baby, take 10. I've learned to give myself breaks. For
example, Fridays I bring in play doh and legos. If they don't like either
of those, they can "free draw". It's a break for me from planning and
teaching a new lesson; and they love and need time to play and just enjoy
art, too. So it's a win-win situation.
I loved the idea about going around the last few minutes and taking a grade
on a clip board. That one idea is going to save me hours and hours every
week. Plus, I can then give them instant feed back and I won't discover too
late who isn't doing their work.
Let's all keep pulling together and UNITED, we will stand up for ourselves.
More and more people are recognizing the value of art in a curriculum. Now
we need to somehow strut our stuff and believe in ourselves.