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Lunch break?
Old 08-02-2011, 06:35 PM
 
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Our principal is enforcing a new schedule. With this schedule, we can not sit and eat with our classes. We must stand and walk around and monitor. We have lunch duty and recess duty. We do have planning daily, but its often taken up with parent meetings, meetings with the principal etc. And besides that, I don't feel it's right to tell us we must eat during our planning time. What do you think? We are a no union state.


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That sucks!
Old 08-02-2011, 06:50 PM
 
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Without someone fighting for you it may be hard to change a principal's mind about a lunch break. You are entitled to a lunch break by law, but unless it's in your contract you aren't legally "entitled" to a planning break so he could just call your planning break lunch and get away with it. Maybe the newspaper needs an anonymous tip.
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What?
Old 08-02-2011, 06:58 PM
 
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I'd be eating lunch at 9 in the morning if I had to eat during planning. I like the OP idea, someone needs to know, the newspaper, the super, the news.....
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That's horrible!
Old 08-02-2011, 07:01 PM
 
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I was all fired up to tell you to contact your union until I got to the last sentence. I have a friend who is in a similar situation at a charter school. What they did was each day at recess, a different teacher took that 30 minutes to have lunch while the other teachers covered for them. She only got a child free lunch once or twice a week, but that's the best they could do. Maybe you and some of the other teachers could work out a schedule for yourselves where everyone gets a break at least sometimes.

Good luck to you.
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lunch cont.
Old 08-02-2011, 07:09 PM
 
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There are four teachers. She wants two in the lunchroom and two "off." We would alternate. So two or three days a week, I would be "off" at lunch. However, I have to take my kids and then pick them up and lunch is only 20 minutes. I imagine I would actually only be "off" for about 15 minutes. If you are off for lunch, you are also off for recess that day. Sounds great if its your day to be off, but on the 2 or 3 days you are NOT off, your only choice to eat is at your planning time. Normally, we have to give up planning at least a couple days a week for meetings, etc. So, how are we supposed to eat on those days? She said we can eat in the lunchroom if we want, but we have to walk around and eat while we monitor. Bring a sandwich and eat it standing up, walking. I'm just really somehow bothered by this. I know of no other job where a person can't have 15 minutes to sit and eat. Thanks for letting me vent!!


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Garlic and onions
Old 08-02-2011, 07:18 PM
 
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I'd take the nastiest, smelliest lunch I could find on meeting days and I'd sit right there and eat it. When asked, I'd simply refer back to the principal's directive that we eat during our planning time and that if it bothered anyone I could always leave and come back when I'm finished.

Quote:
However, I have to take my kids and then pick them up and lunch is only 20 minutes. I imagine I would actually only be "off" for about 15 minutes.
I get a mandatory 45 minutes of planning and a 30 minute duty free lunch every day and it still boils down to the same 15 minutes to actually eat for the exact same reasons that you mentioned.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:27 PM
 
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Even without a union this should be against state labor laws!

Generally you should have a 10-15 minute break every 2 hours with a 30 minute minimum lunch break between 4 to 6 hours!

That really stinks for you and I am sorry to hear this; but, I have to say that it makes me feel MUCH better about my situation. But empathize with you greatly!!!
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A Couple of years ago....
Old 08-02-2011, 07:49 PM
 
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I had the same thing happen to me. The 3rd through 5th grade teachers came together and came up with a schedule...1 week on, 2 weeks off. In that case we had 2 teachers for each grade level.

In your situation, why can't you alternate recess and lunch duty on a weekly basis, rather than having both breaks taken up on your scheduled days?
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:50 PM
 
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I can't imagine this is allowed. I would contact somebody...labor, congress person....and find out if this is legal.

In Georgia, a non-union state, we are allowed by state law to have 30 minute duty free lunch.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Even without a union this should be against state labor laws!

Generally you should have a 10-15 minute break every 2 hours with a 30 minute minimum lunch break between 4 to 6 hours!
When I worked in California at various jobs (non-union) I NEVER got what you are saying. I was told if I don't like it quit. I was told just work through lunch today and we might let you leave early (nope they never did).


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Old 08-03-2011, 02:32 AM
 
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Your principal is giving up her lunch time to help out too, right? Just another example of the lack of respect for teachers.

Is there a reason you can't sit and eat with the kids? Are they throwing food and misbehaving so badly? Perhaps the principal should make it clear to the students what kind of behavior is expected in the lunch room if that is the case. Is it all grade levels this is now required?

This is where the grade level chairs need to band together and go talk with the principal. If a secondary principal tried this (I highly doubt they would) the teachers would laugh about it. Elementary teachers are seen as easy prey because we are mostly women and women often do not want to rock the boat.

I'd somehow let parents know this is happening too. Community support is helpful.

What is your state's policies regarding lunch? Even if it is not a union state, state education agencies have laws that protect teachers. You need to find out what these are. Good luck!
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TeachNut is right....
Old 08-03-2011, 03:58 AM
 
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I am in NC and we are not Union. Although I am required to sit with my students (teaching 8th grade I take my class to lunch that I have 4 that period) I do get to eat. I also have to agree with the others posters......go to the papers....I am never above dropping an anon bug in the ears of reporters.
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:30 AM
 
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Our state gives us a 30 min. duty free lunch, and 45 min. conference time per day, like one of the other poster's had. This is just madness that your school P could do this to his teachers. Don't we have any rights at ALL, now?
I hope this gets FIXED! It is slave labor.
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:49 AM
 
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In my old school each grade level had to cover lunch and recess duty, but there were six of us. One would cover lunch (we had an aide that would help us) and two would cover recess. You never had to do lunch and recess on the same day. That way you always had at least some time for lunch. We ended up having duty 2-3x each week.
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:01 AM
 
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Quote:
In your situation, why can't you alternate recess and lunch duty on a weekly basis, rather than having both breaks taken up on your scheduled days?
Has this been proposed? Why isn't this an option?

Quote:
We are a no union state.
There's no such thing. You can join a union in any state.
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Lunch for teachers
Old 08-03-2011, 06:22 AM
 
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We are required to eat lunch in the cafeteria with the students. One teacher is on duty while the others sit at the teacher table. The duty teacher can walk and eat or eat during recess since she is off duty for recess on her lunch duty day. But if the kids are all quietly eating the lunch duty teacher can sit with the teachers to eat......Yesterday a teacher suggested that all the teachers sit with their own class and not sit with the teachers anymore - Shut your mouth!!! I spend time with my students all day and this is the ONLY time to visit with my team mates. I do not have a planning period with my grade level - not last year, nor this year. So there is productive planning going on during lunch.
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Before you do anything...
Old 08-03-2011, 06:29 AM
 
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I would check your state's education code, district policy, and labor laws. This just doesn't sound legal. I knew someone that went to the powers that be about not having his 15 minute break and 30 minute lunch, and he got it because laws were not being followed. By the way, he worked at Popeye's Chicken. Two P.E. teachers were paid over $1000 in overtime because their principal made them do professional development/duties during their planning time. They filed a grievance and won. The principal was not allowed to get rid of them either.
I am of the belief that people will do what you allow them to get away with. Before I would try to work any schedule, I would check the laws of your state and the policies of your district.
With teacher jobs being scarce, I know that this is a scary thought, however, this is the worst type of exploitation.
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:45 AM
 
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Quote:
I would check your state's education code
New Law Provides Teachers with Instructional Planning Time and a Duty-Free Lunch
Beginning with the 2007-08 school year, North Carolina public school teachers will have access to an instructional planning time and a duty-free lunch period thanks to legislation Gov. Mike Easley signed into law. House Bill 1151, "An act to provide for instructional planning time and a duty-free lunch for teachers," mandates all North Carolina public school improvement plans include providing duty-free lunch periods for every teacher on a daily basis and duty-free instructional planning time, with the goal of at least five hours per week. With this new law, North Carolina becomes the first state in the nation where a team of teachers decides how and when to establish planning time, according to the National Governors Association.
http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/principal...006/20060803#3

Shall include a plan to provide a duty-free lunch period for every teacher on a daily basis or as otherwise approved by the school improvement team
http://www.wakencae.org/laws.shtml#housebill
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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Quote:
...We have lunch duty and recess duty...
I thought lunch breaks came under federal labor laws, but I looked it up, and it seems they don't.

Can you divide it up differently, so you have lunch and recess duty on different days instead of the same day?
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:12 AM
 
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I wonder if the Principal in question will also be on this rotation, spending his lunch walking around while eating at least one day a week?

Somehow, I doubt it.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:56 AM
 
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Quote:
I'd take the nastiest, smelliest lunch I could find on meeting days and I'd sit right there and eat it.
nicksgirl, . Love love love this and fully agree. I would do that too. I can just see sardines, gumbo, tuna, etc. Phew. That would be quite a meeting.

To the OP, I cannot believe that this is yet another requirement put on us. If you could contact someone, like others mentioned, then please do. This is not ok at all.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:55 AM
 
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I am thinking that feeling weak due to lack of food might be in order. I would then follow that up with a trip to the doctor and possibly filing a workmans comp claim. it is really not healthy to be walking around, talking and eating at the same time... you might choke.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:46 PM
 
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not good for your health if your blood sugar would drop from not eating. Just a thought.
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:08 PM
 
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I'm wondering if there is some law in your state that allows you duty free lunch and breaks? I know in my state there are laws that say if one works X amount of hours they need to have a 10 minute break.

I can't imagine why your principal would make this new schedule. Did he/she say when you were supposed to eat lunch?

Okay, if you have a planning meeting with the principal can you eat your lunch during the meeting?

I would not meet with parents during this time, but then again I arrive and leave after hours so I try and meet with parents then normally. I have found that parents often are late when meeting with me during the day which means I am late picking up my students and then get in trouble OR I can't spend the time I need to with the parents.

Again, I would check out your state government site to see if there is a law about lunch and breaks. You might be able to call NEA for guidance on where to begin to research this information.

In my school we have a 30 minute duty free lunch period, but by the time we walk the students to the cafeteria, go back to our room, leave to go pick them up it actually ends up being 15 minutes, but at least it is our 15 minutes. I often eat lunch with my class. I sit with them and eat.

Good luck.

P.S. I wonder if the school board knows about this rule and agrees with it?

Last edited by Milyn; 08-04-2011 at 02:13 PM.. Reason: additional thought
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???Private or Public???
Old 08-04-2011, 02:18 PM
 
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No union is one thing, but how about consulting a labor relations consultant. This cannot result in a positive outcome if teachers are not encouraged to take a break at some point in the day.

If you worked retail you would be given a 10 min break after three hours and a meal break at 5 1/2 hours.


Get Matt Damon's attention on this one.

You need an advocate on this one!

Outrageous
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Lunch and Labor laws
Old 04-11-2013, 08:46 AM
 
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After looking at labor laws in NC, I found that the law states employees are not required to give breaks or lunches unless the person is under 16 years of age. That so stinks.
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:21 AM
 
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I work in North Carolina and I know that my school does NOT abide by this. Students have a 25 minute lunch period and during that time, teachers have to stay with students through the lunch line, use the restroom and then monitor students while we eat our own food. We operate on the idea that we should eat now and taste later. It is basically a speed eating challenge each day, which is rough. It exhibits an incredible lack of respect for teachers. People in almost all other professions are given time to eat each day, and the fact that we don't is just wrong. I wish that more people would realize how hard-working teachers are and treat us with the respect we deserve.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:47 PM
 
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I feel your pain. So maybe I can help ease that a bit with my own. My schedule is as follows:

Morning:
30 minutes of "gym duty"
10 minutes of (hahahahhahaha "planning time")
4 morning classes, each of them are 50 minutes long (with 5 minutes "planning time" between--- big big big hahah) -

Lunch
20 minutes - not eating! Trying to catch up with classroom needs.

PM
2 more 50 minute classes (with 5 minute "planning time" between.)

15 minutes of (OMG!!) no class.

then....
20 minutes of AFTERNOON car rider duty

Note: The 5-minute "planning" intervals between classes are laughable. The Art, Music and PE teachers at my school have to walk to the classrooms to both pick up and deliver students to our classes. The planning time is spent in the hallways, transporting students.....

And everyone at this school thinks this is just fine.

Please know that I would never, ever begrudge a classroom teacher his/her necessary planning time. My Art and PE teacher friends and I are just in awe that we'd be the sacrificial lambs for it...
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N.C. duty free planning and lunch periods
Old 04-02-2015, 04:21 AM
 
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H.B. 1151 was indeed signed into law.
However, the planning periods were tied to an overall fund line coming from the state. If the state didn't provided funds... school districts don't have to play ball.

With both lunch and planning breaks, both stipulate that school improvement plans are to include a "plan" to schedule either item. If a plan is put forward, and fails, the district is not accountable for ensuring teachers get their breaks.

Secondly, the school improvement plan that governs the adoption of a lunch/planning break schedule by the teachers (and voted on)--most likely isn't being created by the entire faculty. Again, no accountability to ensure principals are making a good faith effort on their part; as the easiest solution is just to keep a teacher tied to their class all day.

For 2015, H.B. 238 will clarify the lunch/planning break laws--but do not have stipulations for accountability that the practices will take place..

In the end, it boils down to resources. As N.C. continues to levy substantial requirements on the school system but fails to fund those routes, the requirements that directly impact testing/ buying new computer crap/ or whatever [insert key word or FAD] will overrule improving teacher working conditions.
I am all about given teachers a fair break and planning period. It is bad enough that N.C. cannot pay their teachers a respectable salary (rural counties are ~33k). When you tie in poor working conditions teachers are voluntarily getting out of the field or moving to other states that 'have it right.'

SUPPORT N.C. H.B. 238!
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Principals aren't always the cause
Old 01-17-2019, 06:17 PM
 
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Principals aren't the final say on many issues. In many cases, its not an issue of changing their mind because their hands are tied by the district. I have a very fair principal, but he has to walk the line as his superiors dictate.
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Planning period
Old 01-17-2019, 06:24 PM
 
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My planning period is 45 minutes for 4 subjects. That's about 11 minutes of planning for math, social studies, science, and ELA. It's unworkable and necessitates actual planning to occur on my time at home. That 11 minutes also implies that I'm grading papers and entering them into the grade book. To top it off some years they force regular weekly meetings with literacy coaches and new initiative experts up to 2 times a week. I can barely urinate on those days. If we keep taking the abuse, it will be taken for granted that we will just play nice and accept it.
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