Friday, December 4, 2015

Class Size Inequalities

December is one of the times that class size inequalities really, really stinks.

We are in the process of scheduling parent-teacher conferences, which in itself is a nightmare.  We are granted 1 Monday off for conferences and expected to stay late one evening (as one of our contracted times).  Morning meetings are cancelled...but that actually doesn't leave enough time slots for all my kids.  The hour lunch I'm supposed to have on Monday (since I don't have prep) isn't happening.  I had to schedule conferences and work with other teachers.  Lots of my students have siblings and we try to schedule their conferences as close together as possible to make it easier for families.

 The school district does not give me the time needed to meet with my thirty six students and their families.  Logistically, I've been giving an impossible task if I was to stick to only my contracted, paid hours yet expected to meet the goal of 100% participation rate. 

So I have to come in early each day.  I have to stay late.  I love my students and their families, so I'm flexible with staying late for some evening conferences to  accommodate  their work schedules.  

A good part of winter break will be spent compiling data for report card comments (and again, writing three dozen of them takes a while.  We don't have drop down menus with pre-selected comments.)

None of this is financially compensated.  The more I talk to non-teachers, the more I'm horrified that there's a myth teachers are paid overtime for this sort of work.  Do any of you work in a magical district where this occurs? What I'm feeling in this district is that more and more demands are placed on me as an educator, while my pay and benefits are actually and financially shrinking.

This is one of the times where class size inequalities really, really stinks.

Primary grades (K-2) and third grade have around eighteen to twenty students.  Completely doable within the allotted time parameters.  Upper elementary?  Where each class is approaching forty students?  Not doable in the allotted time frame provided by the district.

But we'll get it done.  We'll stay late. We'll be flexible.  We support our students and their families, so we make the sacrifice of time with our own families to meet with our students.  Our administration is amazingly supportive, but the district officials who make these decisions without processing if it is actually feasible for a classroom? Shame on them.

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