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[teacherartexchange] Class Schedules/Load


Date: Sat May 24 2008 - 11:21:48 PDT

Hi all:
I'm a primary and middle school teacher at 2 bldgs. Currently, I teach K-4 classes once per week(from a cart), then go up to the MS, where I have 3 classes - 5th, 6th and 7th, daily for a quarter, then switch to a new group. All my preps are at the primary - I have NONE at the MS, and, as a result, am usually there until between 5-7pm each day, prepping for classes for the next day, photographing projects for the web pages, loading, unloading the kiln, grading, etc., etc., etc. - you guys know all the stuff we art teachers do (that no one else seems to realize!).
Now I've been told for next year my primary classes will be on a 6 day rotation, and, except for K and 1, will be 5-10" longer. At the Middle School, I've been told I will now also have 8th grade art. I don't really have a problem with the primary additions - at least I hav a prep there. But thinking about adding the 8th grade - and still, NO PREPS in that bldg. will result in making my days even longer.
Anybody got any ideas to help me plead my case? The guy who was teaching 8th grade used to be the MS art teacher, is now a 5th teacher, and will be teacing a Lit. class next yr. instead of 8th art. Our new hire, a K-8 Spanish teacher, is also an art major, but I've been told her schedule will parallel mine, so she won't be available(although I know at the primary, she'll only have 30" classes, unlike mine, which will be 45"). The HS teacher is on a block schedule, but only has 3 classes and an 86" prep every day, but I've been told he's not available either.
I feel like I'm getting dumped on. I try to run a quality program, have an art club, a yearly show, get some of my students work in the state traveling exhibit each year. With my "cart mornings", I already feel like I'm running through each day, and am exhausted at the end of the day, even though I consider my self in pretty good shape. At the MS, I see aides and teachers visiting, or stopping in the office to chat - I only see these things when I'm whizzing into the office to run something off, etc. - I don't ever have time to just relax a bit.
I don't think our MS principal really understands that teaching art is not just going into a classroom and opening a book, or just getting out paints and paper, and telling kids to paint. I typed up a sheet showing him some of the things I need to do in my curriculum that require extra time outside of class time, and in some cases, are not practical or safe for students to do. He wasn't even interested in looking at it - just basically gave the indication that the schedule is "sacred".
I've been told by a lot of subs that they realize after subbing for me, how hard my job is, but that I make it look easy. Any ideas or "ammo" I might use in pursuing my argument for getting either an aide, a prep at the MS, or someone to teach one of the MS classes? I'm thinking maybe my next step is to talk to our Supt. about it.
Sorry if this is too much whining - I'd be happy to teach all those classes, if I just had SOME time to prep for the MS classes during the day!

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