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NewCAteacher NewCAteacher is offline
 
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“Best for the kids”
Old 06-07-2019, 10:26 AM
 
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Does it ever occur to a school district that if they do something they think is “best for the kids” but completely burns the teachers out, that this might NOT be “best for kids” after all? Example: our district is implementing this new program where a grade level of students goes to an hour long music class, and then the teachers of those students have to go teach PE to a DIFFERENT grade level, instead of prepping during this time. Thus, the teachers get absolutely zero prep time during the week. It is “best for the kids.”


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Old 06-07-2019, 10:57 AM
 
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Agree!!!!! I said that so many times last year!!!! The “latest and greatest” is such a drain on teachers, so is that really much of a payout????? One thing my district decided to do last year, caused some of us to lose our planning. Not everyone, just some. So it was sucky enough we lost it, but we felt like a select few who were getting royally screwed.

I’m sorry your district thinks that’s a great thing.
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:56 PM
 
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This is crazy! How can you be expected to teach PE if you are not certified in that area? How can you plan and prepare for your own classes? And how can you go to the bathroom?
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:18 PM
 
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I'm 100% certain that at least some people at my school would quit over this. No prep time and you suddenly have to be a PE teacher, and not even for your own students? And how exactly is not having a certified PE teacher better for the students?

My previous admin used to love saying "It's best for the kids" when people would complain about things. Except most of the time, it wasn't. Like moving someone who wasn't comfortable with intermediate from Kindergarten to 4th grade (and no, it's not like she was a bad K teacher). She said, "It's not about our comfort level, it's about the kids." How is having a teacher who isn't good with that age level and doesn't know the curriculum best for the kids?
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:58 PM
 
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That stinks!

I always have to teach my own PE, but I hate it and sure as heck wouldn't want to teach another class PE.

Also I have never had a prep time, but I think if I had one I'd be royally pissed if someone took it away. Without a prep I work pretty late to get my stuff done, if I was used to having a prep, getting stuff done then, and gong home before 5 it would be a very hard transition.


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It sounds like
Old 06-07-2019, 09:32 PM
 
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your contract doesn't specify prep time for teachers, but you might want to read the contract or call the union to be sure. I'd also contact the negotiating committee to ask that prep time be specified and guaranteed during the next contract negotiation.

I'm also curious about what the teachers of those kids are doing while you are teaching their students PE.
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Teaching science or in meetings
Old 06-07-2019, 09:39 PM
 
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I don’t participate in this system because I’m a specialist. The teachers of those students are required to teach science to another grade level as well and do recess duty.
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Best for the kids
Old 06-08-2019, 08:32 AM
 
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Principals often use this justification for taking an action the majority of staff oppose. And it’s almost always BS. Grade changes are the big one. Sometimes the odd grade/level change is needed by virtue of enrolment shifts, retirements, etc. But then you get the heavy-handed principal (usually new to the building) who comes in deciding everyone’s gotten “too comfortable” where they are and who is determined to force people into grades / divisions / subjects that are unfamiliar or unwanted. The “best for the kids” line is often trotted out in these cases. In other cases, they keep moving the same people back to testing year grades and/or blocking others from those grades. Everyone can see what’s going on, and it has nothing to do with what’s “best for the kids” and everything to do with the numbers.

In some cases, they force a radical change on a teacher who is past their eligible retirement date as a way of motivating them to pull the trigger. For example, my wife’s school had two long-term primary teachers who were older and past their date, and the P forced them both into the middle-school division, claiming this was “best for the kids” (she claimed the MS kids, a difficult group, needed experienced teachers who had long-standing relationships with them — hence two teachers who had known and taught them years before) but the real purpose was to make the teachers so miserable they would put in their notice and the P could bring in her own people (friends from her last school) to replace them.

In some cases, principals will haul out the “best for the kids” line but then act evasive and authoritarian when asked to explain their rationale and show exactly why the change will benefit students. “I’m in charge. I don’t have to explain my decisions to you. You need to trust me to have the best interests of the students in mind. You’re qualified for that division, it’s what I think is best for the kids, and that’s what we’re doing.”

It usually backfires, which is the funny part. When my wife’s former P did this to their staff a few years back (everyone in the building had to move grades and classrooms in the same year), most of the staff pulled back from coaching and offering after-school clubs and activities. The person who used to direct the play declined to do it. The P accused the staff of being petty and taking their upset with the staffing decisions out on the students. The fact was that most of the staff had to adjust to a change and do new planning and preparing, so simply had less time to devote to coaching and moderating clubs. They weren’t pulling back out of spite but out of necessity.
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Yeeeaaahhhh....
Old 06-08-2019, 02:21 PM
 
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I've been hearing for the past 5 years that I 'll be staying in the same grade level because it's "best for the kids". Never mind the fact that I hate going to school and had a huge mental health "event" 2 weeks into the school year. It may be best for the kids but it's breaking me down.
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:49 PM
 
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Exactly what Kinderkr4zy said-- I've always had to teach my own PE (and art and music) and no prep time during the school day, but I'd be pretty ticked off if I had one and it disappeared. I have no idea why it would "best for kids" for you to teach PE to a different class.

Our district technically gave us "prep time..." It was after school and we were required to stay for it. Yeah. Great. I wonder if your prep time isn't required to take place during the school day and they are still "giving it to you" -- but after (or before) school. It's not the same. At. All.


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Old 06-08-2019, 04:33 PM
 
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Quote:
I have no idea why it would "best for kids" for you to teach PE to a different class.
The only thing I can come up with is that kids tend to have a more relaxed relationship with the PE teacher than their classroom teacher. Because PE is naturally noisy and full of movement, they feel like they "get away with" more there. - I would think that if you taught PE to your own kids, they might try to push those blurred lines over into class a bit?

That said, it's still not right to take away your prep, and still not "best for the kids" that there isn't a certified PE teacher in the first place!
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:45 PM
 
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Seriously? They think you all are actually going to buy the notion that it's "best for the kids" for teachers to have no prep time and for kids to have PE with teachers not certified for PE?? I had to teach PE one year on an "emergency license" (in addition to music) but our district administrator wasn't foolish enough to try to make anyone believe this was "best for the kids." He put it forth as a necessity due to budget constraints. He was trying to get a referendum passed to exceed the revenue cap and was trying to show the community just how BAD it would be for kids if he had to make further cuts in staffing.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:25 PM
 
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Best for the kids usually means they are going to ask for your input so they can say your had a “voice” in the decision but in reality they are going to do what they want. That’s how it worked in my previous district.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:23 PM
 
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Whaaaat???? Are you in a union? That would never fly in my district.
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