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extra planning time and free teacher web sites

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From: Jeryl W. Hollingworth (holl5_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Sep 05 2002 - 18:11:00 PDT


There seem to be two interesting threads going-someone has some
unexpected extra planning times and people are talking about priorities
and not spending so much time at school. Due to a "policy/budget" thing
last year my contract got increased from 3.5 days to 4 days. We are a
relatively small school that built an addition. The silly principal
thought that since we added rooms we would add teachers. He put in an
increase request for my time to accomodate the new classes. With tight
budgets, his request for more teachers was denied but my time increase
went through. So I teach 6 classes (elementary art) on Mon through Wed.
and only have two 45 minute classes on Thurs. When this happened last
year I also felt guilty. Then I wised up and began using the time to my
advantage. I cleaned files, cleaned and organized my storage rooms, do
my lesson plans for the next week (usually did those on Sundays), make
up power points, etc... I'm able to pull classes or groups in to finish
things up, do screenings etc..Surprisingly(haha) most teachers love to
have some extra art time once in awhile! Sometimes I even come in my
back door and keep my door closed so people forget I'm there! My
principal is so great, he said I need the time because of all the prep
work involved and hanging artwork etc.. Also I do our school web page
and use those mornings to work on that. Believe me the time is filled
up. At the end of last year we had a severe budget reductions and were
not allowed to have subs from Feb. untili the end of the year. We had to
cover classes from within our school. So I really tried to do a good job
of staying out of sight.
     Now, I have a web question. Some teachers at my school were using
Teacherweb.com. I put a link on our school webpage for them so parents
could access their site. The teachers could update it themselves for
homework etc..and also use it from their homes without having to ask me
to change things. Beginning Oct.1 Teacherweb is going to be charging for
this formerly free service. Does anyone know of any sites that are still
free where teachers can set up a web page and easily update it?
          Thanks for your help--and isn't it great that Melissa is in a
new country that we can all learn about? I can't wait until she starts
sending pictures!!
            Jeryl in SC

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