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Re: Your Weekly Schedule


Date: Sun Oct 10 2004 - 05:47:40 PDT

I teach 5 fifty-minute periods per day, but 9 "classes" per day, in that I have mixed levels in most--Art I, Advanced Art (a mix of Art II & II students this year) and one Independent Study student whose main responsibility is working with me on the yearbook. (I'm also helping him learn html and how to use Photoshop.) I have one period of middle school students.

Period 1: Art I, Advanced Art & the Independent Study/Yearbook student.

Period 2: Art I & Advanced Art

Chapel/Assembly: Morning announcements & the like, we sit with our advisees. (All teachers are also advisors to a group of 5-6 students. We're the liason between a student, parent and school, so we do a lot of calling and emailing and typically do most of this from home in the evenings.) After assembly we have about a 10-15 minute break.

Period 3: My planning period

Period 4: Middle School class

Lunch: With our advisees (ie. not duty free)

Period 5: Art I & Advanced Art

Period 6: Art I (only group that's not currently mixed, but that could easily change)

The schedule isn't too bad in that it's broken up every 2 classes (and rotates....), but this year I've found the mixed levels to be even harder to work with than in other years. So much stuff I'm trying to get across to the Art I kids now so I'm not able to spend as much time with the Advanced Art kids, who have a different curriculum. It will even out pretty soon, but it's challenging now.

The kicker here is that our teaching responsibility is just the beginning of what we do at this small, private boarding/day school. Most teachers are also coaches (working until at least 5:30 pm or later if there are games) and most also do "duty" one night per week until 11:30 pm and every 5th weekend.

I was able to negotiate my way out of "coaching" this year (I've been the drama assistant, fall and winter, for the last 5 years) and instead of regular "duty" I'm responsible for producing the yearbook, with one student as a helper. I do most of the work on it in the evenings at home.

In lieu of "duty" I've also been the school's webmaster for the last several years. I thought I'd negotiated my way out of THAT this year, too, (according to my contract) but the transition that was supposed to happen in July is now slated for the end of this month. We'll see.... All website stuff is done from my home in the evenings.

All teachers are also involved in "service" every other Wednesday afternoon, after a shortened academic schedule. That's my only dedicated, in-school time for yearbook, and right now I'm following the various service groups off campus to get pictures for the yearbook and website. There are about 25 different service groups, with kids volunteering at the SPCA, in nursing homes, hospitals, elementary schools, etc. and other kids are involved in on-campus service. Busy, busy, but a very worthwhile program, in my opinion.

Since the school is up for reaccreditation next year, this year we're doing a lot of committee work preparing for the "self-study." A bazillion reports will be written between now and January and as head of the Arts department (my classes, music, woodworking and photography), I'll need to oversee our very diverse departmental stuff.

I can't imagine what it would be like to come home in the evenings, fix dinner, clean up the kitchen, then kick back and watch TV or whatever until bedtime. Instead, every night involves either grading or planning for 4 very different preps, working on the website and/or yearbook and/or communicating with my advisees' parents. I really love the school, my students and the academic freedom I have, but it does tend to become all-absorbing.

And despite all these extra responsibilities, after 6 years at this school and after 13 years in education, I still earn $5000 less per year than a *first* year public school teacher. As a single mom who will lose the last of the child support in June when my youngest son graduates from high school, I'm not sure if I can afford to continue to work at this school after this year. :-(

All this said, I agree with what others have said about JMJ Smith having to "help" classroom teachers. Not fair at all and it minimizes her effectiveness (and energy!) for what she was HIRED to do!!