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Specials and the last week of school
Old 05-12-2019, 05:54 AM
 
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We have no specials the last week of school. No PE, no music, no library. They get 4 days to clean up and work in rooms.

We, on the other hand have to do cums, report cards, clean up our rooms and we get no time to do it without students.

What happens at your school?


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Old 05-12-2019, 06:08 AM
 
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Art, music and PE go until the last day with us.

The library closed this week (and we still have 3 weeks) which I think is bs. She always closes insanely early.

Iím waiting to see what Sped and bilingual do since theyíre new. My kids see 2 different Sped teachers. One is good and the other is a joke so I think the joke will stop seeing kids earlier. Iím ok with that. The less interaction I have with him, the better.
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:23 AM
 
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If my class had PE or Music during the last period on the last day, they would have it. Same for older grades and spec ed. We are entitled to our prep time.
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:24 AM
 
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Library closes 2 weeks early, but the other specials go until the next to the last day of school.
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:28 AM
 
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Same thing happens in my school as the OP. However, we do get out about over 2 hours early so a) that's where they would say our prep time comes from (teachers stay till our normal contract time) and b) it would be a struggle to schedule a way for all classes to get to specials and lunch within such a short day.


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Old 05-12-2019, 06:29 AM
 
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At my former district, students had all specials until the last day of school. Our schedules were modified the last (half) day but teachers still got a break. The library was closed to checkouts the last 2 weeks but there was coverage for that time slot so teachers still had their conference time.

No SPED or Rti classes the last week.
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:41 AM
 
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I'm the librarian at my elementary. The last two days of school are half days- no resource classes those days. The last Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday there is no library so I can complete inventory.

Since I see some of you have your library time stopping so early, I wonder why? I do have a lot to do, but to close so early?! I do stop student check out 2 or 3 weeks before the end of school to hopefully get books returned for inventory. I don't get closing 2 or 3 weeks early. Or in April(!) I'd be raising all kinds of hell.

As for what I have to do:
-scan/inventory approx 13k books
-inventory all AV equipment in the building- Smart boards, AV carts, doc cameras, etc.
-account for any missing/lost inventory items
-meet with office mgr for in-house audit of library finances
-prep for said audit
-book next year's book fair dates
-calendar mtg with admin for summer reading events, next year's bookfairs, and monthly library events
-clean and "wipe" 10 desktop computers so they're ready for remote updates this summer
-create annual report by pulling circ history reports, spending data, profit data, purchase orders, fees paid by students for lost/damaged books, event attendance data
-meet with admin and library super to present annual report
-pack up my desk and circulation desk so areas can be cleaned over summer
-compile supply order for next year
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Last Week of School
Old 05-12-2019, 06:44 AM
 
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At my school specials are held through the last full day of school. The final day is an early dismissal one, and specials aren't taught then.

One year the specialists wanted to stop teaching a few days before school ended, and there was a big uproar from classroom teachers. The principal ended up telling specialists that they needed to teach through the end of the year.

Last edited by travelingfar; 05-12-2019 at 10:00 AM..
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Almost the end
Old 05-12-2019, 06:52 AM
 
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That stinks! My school still has all the specials even the last day of school. In fact, all special teachers (PE, art, etc) have extra duties. Our administration wants extra eyes the last days for any end of the year pranks at our elementary school. So the coaches, art, and music teachers have a few extra days of bus duty, yard duty, and recess duty. 💕
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:15 AM
 
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Our entire staff works to the end. Our special teachers are amazing and will often take them for longer the last week of school. They will combine classes and take 2. Sped teachers will often take our duties the last week.


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Old 05-12-2019, 07:17 AM
 
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We typically have specials until the last day. I will see my regular sped groups through the end of this week. Next week, I wouldn't see students anyway on Monday due to IEP meetings, and then all we have is a full day Tuesday and a half day Wednesday. I will send an email offering to see my kids on Tuesday and Wednesday if their class is not doing a special event. Typically, maybe 1 teacher of the 11 I work with will take me up on this.

Our intervention teachers stopped seeing kids approximately one month before school let out. The classroom teachers are actually annoyed that I'm still seeing my kids Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I sent out an email with my schedule (I do have to miss some time due to end of year transition meetings) and said that while I realized other intervention groups weren't meeting, I can't stop IEP minutes a month before school gets out. One of the classroom teachers ran and told the intervention teachers that I was "badmouthing" them and they work so hard, blah blah blah .
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Depends
Old 05-12-2019, 07:24 AM
 
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It really depends on the special. Our school counselor (who teaches classes) stops 2 weeks before the end of school, as does our librarian. We still have P.E., music, chorus, art, foreign language, orchestra, and band up until the last day.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:42 AM
 
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I donít see why specials teachers should not have to teach until the last day like everyone else. Teachers need their prep time more than ever at the end of the year.
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Specialists also have end of year tasks
Old 05-12-2019, 07:44 AM
 
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I also did cums, end of year progress reports, clean room, inventories. But I am doing it for 150 students, not 30. I had to update computer files and input data for new students. Roll over files to the next grade level standards.

I also had to take over administrative duties during graduation since our administrators were off campus at the ceremony.

I had several reports that had to be sent to the state by June 30th.

And I watched most of the regular Ed teachers leave at the end of their student free last work day knowing that I would be there at least another week beyond my contract time.

If you have not worked as a specialist you have no idea the amount of paperwork it involves.
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Specials
Old 05-12-2019, 07:56 AM
 
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I am retired but there would have been an uproar from classroom teachers if specials were cancelled. The contract calls for breaks for everyone, not just specialists. As for library, we may have had to return books by the two week mark but librarians worked until the very last day just like everyone else. I am sure the list of what a classroom teacher needs to complete is just as long, if not longer...our PE teachers would actually take the kids for an extra hour when they could fit it in that last week to help the classroom teachers. We were always very grateful.
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Too early here!
Old 05-12-2019, 07:57 AM
 
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We have a regular schedule until June 6th. Some years specials ended on the last day of May.

Our music teacher is great about continuing to teach, as is our computer teacher, and P.E. teacher. Art and Library end early. They do have a lot to do, but we also do not get any extra time. We do have a few half days and that helps.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:04 AM
 
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Library takes the last week "off" (from classes), but we have the rest of our Specials.
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Four days? NINE days???
Old 05-12-2019, 08:24 AM
 
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Wow! No, I've never had the entire last week free of classes. Sometimes the last day, depending on what has been planned. Often I'm expected to play some role in last day festivities as well, though. What do they do all week? You didn't mention art, but I can see how art teachers might need a lot of clean-up time. I can see how librarians really need time to inventory. I taught PE one year and clean-up was pretty minimal, although I had lots of grades to assign. When I was a full time K-12 music teacher, I definitely appreciated some extra time since I usually had quite a bit of music to inventory and file, 2 classrooms to clean and anywhere from 200-400 students for whom I needed to assign grades. It wasn't uncommon for me to stay and finish filing and cleaning after most of the classroom teachers had left on the last day. I wouldn't have needed 4 days plus a 1/2 day work day to do it, though. I, honestly, would have been bored to death if I had had 9 days with no students. This year, as a part time (2 days/week) teacher, my schedule will be normal til my last day and I will have to do most of my clean-up on my own time.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:05 AM
 
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Elementary specials start on day one and continue through the next to last day (except for library which has no classes last three days).

I've been both a classroom teacher and a specialist (whose job included two schools). And while I can't speak for other school systems, in mine the end of year
closing is much easier for specialists.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:28 AM
 
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My husband is an elementary specialist. His class schedule gets a little wonky at the end of the year with testing days and special events. So he usually ends "regular" classes 2-3 weeks before the end of the school year. But at his school, the specials teachers are majorly involved in testing and all those end-of-year events. They plan and run field day, water day, and award ceremonies. They are also the ones pulled for one-on-one, extended time, and make-up testing. And any time there's a regular day, they work out some sort of schedule for kids to come to specials (although sometimes that looks like the whole grade level in the gym doing something for 20 minutes while the classroom teachers get a break).

So they may not be teaching regularly, but he's packing up his room and doing paperwork on workdays like the rest of us.
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Last week
Old 05-12-2019, 09:33 AM
 
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We have the same issues as you Kahlua. In our district all of our specials quit teaching the last week of school, library was done this week and we have 3 weeks of class left. I appreciate the long list of duties that was posted by another teacher and I understand that your work takes time. However, a classroom teacher has just as much to complete and they have to do it without time given, often with a room full of students excited about the start of summer vacation.
In my case I have to:
  • inventory everything including science kits, all text books, manipulative, and other various teaching materials such as flashcards and games both personal and school owned. Basically, anything that is in my room I need to record somewhere on an excel spreadsheet.
  • inventory classroom furniture including technology devices
  • update and file any last minute forms in each student's cum files and prepare the files to be passed to next grade level
  • order necessary workbooks and other teaching materials for the next year and fill out forms justifying the need and cost
  • clean and organize all shelves and storage areas, including student desks and lockers
  • remove all posters and other items from the walls
  • clean and cover computers, Activeboard, and book shelves
  • finalize grades with comments and input into online grade book as well as sign final report cards
**And we are expected to teach content even on the last day! No Movies.

Classroom teachers have just as much to do as other areas and it really bothers me that the non-classroom staff get so much extra time. We do not have a day at the end of the year to get this all done. Our summer vacation starts the exact same minute as the students yet most of our classroom staff will return the next day, maybe two, to get their rooms ready for checkout. Our last day this year is on a Friday because of storm day make-up days which means we will all be back on Monday. The specials staff will not be seen until the first day back in August.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:46 AM
 
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Our specials usually start up right away. Library doesnít even give grades. I donít know why they couldnít have an activity for the last week. They do inventory all year long. Ours are not responsible for media or tech, so the library books are the only thing they have. Music has to move schools, so I get that, I guess. I have had to move schools, though and I didnít get help or time for that.

PE gives grades to everyone, but doesnít do cums or SAT, or interventions. What is there to inventory? Balls? Count your balls...

No reason why they donít do classes. Next year I will be a special. I will have to give one grade to everyone. I will have class the last week because otherwise what in the heck would I do? If I donít do class, maybe I can push in to classes and give classrooms teachers a special that way. There is a huge amount of work that canít be done with little kids in the room, as helpful as they want to be.

Thanks for all the input! Interesting seeing how others do it. Zia is in my district and they close shop a week early. I donít know if I could stand for that...
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:04 AM
 
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I'm amazed that there are schools where specialists don't teach for a week or more at the beginning of the year and a week or more at the end.

Why do principals allow that?
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Specials
Old 05-12-2019, 10:17 AM
 
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Maybe a week off at the end of the year is excessive. I can see that.

HOWEVER...

More teachers need to stop viewing us as their babysitters.

I'll say it again, a week is excessive but there are teachers in our building who are in an uproar when they miss one planning.

And every school is different, but I know administration protects classroom teachers planning, yet thinks it's not a big deal if we don't have any.

Just my take on things.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:21 AM
 
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Ours are on regular schedule just like we are, day one to end.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:29 AM
 
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Wanting specials to take our kids doesnít mean they are our babysitters any more than we are babysitters. Our specials get planning, same as I do. When they donít have our kids, then we donít have that time. At the end of the year there are a million things to get done, and without that time, we not only donít have time to do them, we also have to have activities to cover that time period. We get paid the same amount of money.
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:15 AM
 
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I couldnít help but think of the school nurses, who may have the worst deal of all. No plan time. Preparing medications for end of the year field trips and field days. They see students up to the last minute. They have to convince parents to come in and pick up unused medications. The documentation and inventory they are required to do for the entire school is unbelievable.

I really donít know how school nurses get it al done. The office is seriously a revolving door of students. So many students come each day for asthma or other daily medications, on top of illnesses and injuries.

Didnít mean to hijack this thread. I am frustrated hearing about all the year end obligations imposed on school staff without any regard to the time needed to actually perform them. Itís just not fair.
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:38 AM
 
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We have everything but library, until the last day. Library prep ends the Friday prior to the last week of school. Iíve done some long term sub positions at the end of the school year and itís always been that way. Report cards are due May 27, and school ends June 5 this year.
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:16 PM
 
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Our specials will go up to the second to last day of school. (The last day is a half day.) our library will close several weeks early, but she will still take the students during her special block. She usually takes all the first grade classes (3) and watch a movie. 9:45 to 11:15 and then the day that we have our library special we wonít have it. It is fair.
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:45 PM
 
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I never worked in schools that had specialists like art, PE, music, so I'm not sure what that would have been like. In one place I worked, the Sped teachers were all either inclusion or self-contained (no resource model), so they worked to the end like everyone else. In the one place I taught that had resource, I think sped closed up about a week before school ended, but the teacher was happy to take kids if teachers requested. Library also worked until the last week of school, but no book check out for a few weeks before school ended (but we had to be in the library with the kids during library times anyway).

Nothing would have messed with our mandated prep time, since that officially took place *after* the school day was out.
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Always...
Old 05-12-2019, 01:17 PM
 
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Sometimes we have had not had specials the last day or two of school, but mainly we still do.If we don't, it's because of something else like field day, field trip, mass, graduation, etc. At my current school, we may have one less gym time the last week of school, but it's only because our gym teacher is part time anyway, and with other activities, she wants to see every class once that last week. If she didn't, some would have gym twice, some none, and some once, due to all of the extras. To prevent that, she makes it equal, rearranges her schedule, and takes every group once, vs. some once, some twice, and some none. I know when I was in schools where library was a special, the last day to check out was usually the beginning or middle of May, but the students still had library. The librarian was still expected to do some sort of library/media lesson, but the students just didn't check out.
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I am a specialist...
Old 05-12-2019, 01:40 PM
 
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Our last week, we have a full day field day on Monday. All Special area teachers, resource and AIS teachers will man booths. Teachers will cycle through the stations with their classes.

Tuesday is a half day. We will have an assembly. I do not plan on meeting with any classes! I will not be working on my own room, but will help with kindergarten and first grade. We all have a staff development day on Wednesday where we will have a faculty meeting and then have time to work in our rooms.
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I don't make the decisions
Old 05-12-2019, 02:48 PM
 
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This is my first year as a media specialist after fourteen years as a 3rd grade teacher. I get it. Planning time is essential. But my principal decided, without any input from me, that there will be no specials the last four days of school. All of those days are early release days, so everyone has time in the afternoons, including me, of course.

During that "free" time, I will be packing up an entire library and preparing to move everything to a different school.

Anyway, I guess my point is that it might not be your PE, Art, Music, and Media teachers who are calling the shots here. You might speak to your administration about your planning time needs. You might be blaming the wrong people.
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:46 PM
 
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Our specialists see kids all the way through the last day of school. The librarian stops letting kids check out books starting 2 weeks before the end of the year.
No one gets contract time during the school year for that kind of stuff. If you have to move classrooms, you get paid for a day in the summer to pack. We have until a week after school gets out to officially "check out" for the summer, which includes student files, room check out. But most teachers at my school start slowly packing up, taking down bulletin boards, etc about a week before school gets out.
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Not here.
Old 05-12-2019, 03:54 PM
 
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Quote:
And I watched most of the regular Ed teachers leave at the end of their student free last work day knowing that I would be there at least another week beyond my contract time.
Our specials teachers are always the first ones to check out.
Quote:
If you have not worked as a specialist you have no idea the amount of paperwork it involves.
All of our paperwork/computer records are rolled over by administration. Teachers are only responsible for their own files. Our specials teachers have no additional paperwork. They have less to do than the classroom teachers.
I guess it varies from place to place.
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Old 05-12-2019, 04:34 PM
 
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I appreciate everyone saying specialists aren't babysitters and hope I didn't cause any offense. I definitely think a week without classes is pretty excessive. I think it just makes me sad that at my school if even there was one hour where we told the teacher we couldn't do a class because of an assembly for upper grades (that we are expected to be at) administration would be on our case. I know this is a very different situation I guess I was venting about some stuff I've seen.
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:03 PM
 
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Specials all end up at least a week early AND they are also making us turn in our Chromebooks tomorrow. This means that we can't do any of the Google projects I had planned for this last week. Ok.... Going to be a very long 8 days!!!
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Grass is always greener
Old 05-12-2019, 06:22 PM
 
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Iíve been on both sides. A classroom teacher and then an enrichment teacher.

My former Headmaster used to tell us not to waste time comparing because in the end, it all shook out. He was right, but itís hard to see that when youíre knee deep in the crud and someone elseís grass looks so much greener.

As an enrichment teacher, I taught up until the last day of school....when my kids showed.

Iíd often have lessons planned and no class show up because they had a field trip or an EOY party or some other special event and no one had bothered to let me know.

A couple would stop their party, bring their kids to my class, and then take them back to their party. THAT was fun, too.

When teachers cancelled for events like that, I didnít even attempt to find a time to schedule a make up class. There just wasnít time.
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:35 PM
 
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I'm in the same district as Zia & Kahlua. Specials either have 4 days to finish up, or 9 (9!) days to finish up. I do it on my own time, or the 3 hours I have after the kids leave the last day!
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:10 PM
 
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Although I retired this s year, it has always been specials from day one until the last day. If we had an assembly during one of our specials, the specials teacher would come sit with your class so you could still have plan time.
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For us
Old 05-13-2019, 08:30 AM
 
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Specials start on day one, and end on the last day.
As the librarian I do not circulate the last two rotations (six day rotations) instead I am focused on getting books back in the library, in the correct place on the shelf, and preparing overdue notices to those still having Library books checked out.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:55 PM
 
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Here our specials also start on day one and go until the last day of school.

We have 11 school days left, with kids, and 2 planning days after the kids are done to finish shutting our rooms down.
Our librarian does not have any classes and is not in charge of technology, student’s last day to check books out was this past Friday.

It looks like responsibilities for special teachers are all over the place. Our specials teachers do not ever cover admin duties, participate in testing, or many of the other things listed.
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Electives
Old 05-13-2019, 03:21 PM
 
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We stop early, BUT thatís due to the insane amount of special events the last 7-10 days of school. And the electives teachers definitely get the burden of running, organizing, and/or supervising all of those things - career day, field day, art gallery, penny carnival, etc. over the years! It ends up being a decent trade off.

I say that as both a resource teacher who had to do that and as a classroom teacher who did not. I donít envy the electives teachers, as they are the ones who have their classes canceled to sub when none can be found at yearís end, or who are forced to stop early to organize an EOY school activity.

As a resource teacher, I used to stop seeing kids the last 2 weeks of school, because I could never find them. Teachers never told me where they were, when there were schedule changes, etc. so I started freestyling - I stopped formal services, but I was available at any time for any student. It ended being more if a study hall but it sure beat running all over trying to locate one student only to be out of time when I finally found them!

As a classroom teacher now, I try to communicate more and try to remember what it was like in their shoes.
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been that way
Old 05-14-2019, 12:29 PM
 
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Seems like it's always been this way. Doesn't make sense to stop the electives. Seems like it would be best to keep the students' routines the same up until the end. I wish the admin. would change it!
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:18 PM
 
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Quote:
I'm amazed that there are schools where specialists don't teach for a week or more at the beginning of the year and a week or more at the end.

Why do principals allow that?
It's probably not the case in this particular situation but you'd be surprised what principals don't know. I'm a vocal-general music teacher and I worked for years with an instrumental music colleague who taught a 5-12 band program. She had one high school band and one middle school band and the rest of her time was, theoretically, filled with lessons and elementary band. Only, she never started the elementary band program until 2nd quarter and, if she even made a lesson schedule, she didn't start lessons until 2nd quarter either. So, she had 9 weeks at the beginning of the year in which she worked 2 45-minute periods per day. There were years when she didn't even bother to make a lesson schedule for middle and high school students and even when she did, half the time she'd let them sit in the band room and work on homework or play games while she stayed in her office. It took years before we finally got a principal who actually knew enough about what was happening in the building that he realized he had a teacher who just wasn't doing her job. Of course, I knew what was going on but I have a policy of never snitching on colleagues.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:28 PM
 
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Our ESE students are pulled out for services and I donít think theyíve been seen since the beginning of April.

Also... our specials teachers are not in charge of any events at the end of the year. It sounds like some of you have a lot of extras that my school does not have!
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:08 PM
 
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I always did PE to the last day. Usually early release so I would give the teachers slots they could request that day as most were busy cleaning or having snacks and a movie. So I might have different classes together those days. I like saying goodbye to the kids, also. I used to go get some older kids that liked to clean and organize and put them in my PE equipment room. And then reward them with snacks.
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speci als
Old 05-15-2019, 07:52 AM
 
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Our very last week of school is always half days. P.E., music and computers go to the last day. Our library shuts down the last 2 weeks of school. Our resource classes are done the week before school is out. We are responsible for teaching our ELL students 30 minutes a day 5 days a week.
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:22 PM
 
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I"m a resource teacher. Unless the kids are having a class party, I take them up until dismissal as usual.
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