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Oh boy - hold me back!
Old 08-06-2022, 11:15 AM
  #1

I just had a friend text me. She taught for a few years in a well-off private school before staying home with her kids. Her kids go to a public school in an affluent area. The district is known for being a great district.

She is upset that the school is not doing a supply drop off. I understand that. I told her that it might be a contractual issue with getting teachers to come in in the evening if they aren't getting paid. I get this text:

"I'm worried that many teachers only care about the contract. It feels like they are only there for the paycheck and not the kids. They show up at the last minute and leave right after school. Do you agree?"



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Old 08-06-2022, 11:34 AM
  #2

Last year I had a parent in an IEP meeting say this. She actually wasn't saying it about us- she was saying she really liked our school but that her daughter's previous teachers (at a different school) were "just in it for the paycheck."

My teammate and I actually both said at the same time, "Oh, they must have been pretty disappointed then!"

My first thought is wondering how a parent knows when teachers are showing up and leaving. My second thought is wondering if other professions are supposed to work for free and why it's okay for teachers to get paid in "good feelings."

But, depending on my relationship with the friend, I'd probably just respond with a joke about how they're going to be disappointed if they're just in it for the money.

I actually did lose a close friend many years ago over this exact issue, though. I can handle comments here and there if we have many other common interests, have a good time together, etc. But this "friend" seemed to have a personal vendetta against the profession and would even post long rants about it on FB. I tried to have a couple of "heart to heart" conversations with her about it and she did not back down/insisted it was within her rights to blast these opinions. So I told her that I couldn't continue being friends with someone who had such a lowly opinion of me.
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Old 08-06-2022, 11:41 AM
  #3

You’d have to hold me back, too.
Quote:
…her daughter's previous teachers (at a different school) were "just in it for the paycheck."

My teammate and I actually both said at the same time, "Oh, they must have been pretty disappointed then!"
This made me laugh and laugh.
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Old 08-06-2022, 11:42 AM
  #4

I would respond with teachers are contracted employees and although others want to think of us as salaried,we are not. Wage theft is real and some people want work but don't want to pay for it. Of course one reason we work is for the pay.
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Old 08-06-2022, 11:50 AM
  #5

So much of what we do is voluntary. And we do it. Coaxing, choir, clubs, etc. I really donít think many parents understand this.

May I ask what a supply drop off is? That term is new to me.


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Old 08-06-2022, 11:59 AM
  #6

That's hysterical, Haley!

A supply drop off is usually a day or two before school starts. The parents and kids come in and meet the teacher during typically a 2-hour window and can see their classroom. We do it and I think it's nice for both the teacher and the students. It settles nerves and can avoid the kids needing to bring tons of supplies on the first day. But it's not necessary.

I'm surprised she had the nerve to say it. I'm not exactly offended as I know she has very high (and often unrealistic) expectations of others. I know that that is just how she is. I texted back a list of ridiculous things we deal with every day at my school as well as possible reasons a teacher may be leaving early and reminded her we often work at home. I don't think she'll bring it up again.

In all fairness, I do think her son has had a few less than stellar experiences.
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The contractÖ
Old 08-06-2022, 12:01 PM
  #7

Regardless of what this woman thinks, teachers are not available at the publicís beck and call and for their convenience. They have lives like everyone else including after school appointments and childcare needs. The contract provides the legal framework including working hours. It is not this personís place to judge what a teacher cares about and to assess why a teacher is coming and going within the terms of the contract. .

I have noticed many parents only crawl out of the woodwork when they have something to complain about. During contract negotiations, very few appear to support even teachers they feel are wonderful.
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A tangent of sorts...
Old 08-06-2022, 12:03 PM
  #8

Decades ago, when I was a newer teacher and was working in my first district, the powers-to-be decided that the staff needed to clock in and clock out. They even had one of those clocks where one shoves a card in and it prints the time!

So we all agreed to strictly abide by it. Every.Single.Time. one of us showed up at school, we clocked in and clocked out. It lasted maybe 6 weeks when we got word we wouldn't have to do it anymore.
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Old 08-06-2022, 12:04 PM
  #9

Quote:
So we all agreed to strictly abide by it. Every.Single.Time. one of us showed up at school, we clocked in and clocked out. It lasted maybe 6 weeks when we got word we wouldn't have to do it anymore.
I LOVE this. Team work makes the dream work!
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Old 08-06-2022, 12:10 PM
  #10

Quote:
the powers-to-be decided that the staff needed to clock in and clock out
We did this one year at my school. They claimed it was so they could see exactly who was in the building in case of an emergency. Obviously there was a ton of push-back. My P/AP at the time had always said they weren't clock-watchers and just cared about people being there and prepared for the kids.

I decided to test it out and frequently would "forget" to clock in until like 9-10 AM (teachers start at 7:30, students at 8). No one ever mentioned it. So I guess they really weren't using it for anything nefarious (although, that doesn't mean other principals weren't).

The following year they got rid of the system. Now if you leave during the day, you're supposed to sign out/sign back in, and that's how they know who is supposed to be in the building in case of an emergency.


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Old 08-06-2022, 12:31 PM
  #11

We were paid for meet the teacher activities and usually it was an ice cream social. It does help with before school worries .
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Old 08-06-2022, 01:06 PM
  #12

At my first teaching position we signed in and out. It was at a Catholic school in 1979 and I was always the first person there. I laugh now because in later years I was one of the later to arrive, but also later to stay. The talkers were there early in the morning and I needed to work.

But I digressÖpeople donít say that comment about about people in other professions so why do teachers have to put in all sorts of extra hours? Does your doctor stay after hours? How about the boutique in town? The restaurant you dine in? Do they not care about their patients/patrons because they do not put in extra hours?
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Old 08-06-2022, 01:14 PM
  #13

I am currently sitting on my front porch. The school I just retired from is right next door to me. Teachers report on Aug 26th. A teacher just drove by my house who has been at school since mid day, so I am guessing at least 4-5 hours....on a Saturday.....in the summer. And she has been a few other days, as have some others. Some parents will NEVER get this part.
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Old 08-06-2022, 01:59 PM
  #14

One of my favorite principals had us sign in and out. The idea was that they woulc know who was on campus. This was the one thing that I didn't appreciate about her leadership. I think everyone signed in but not out.

My last 2 years of teaching I was in the first out of the parking lot crowd. Funny thing was there were 2 male teachers who always beat me.

I would definitely have to be reigned in on a comment like that from a friend.
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Old 08-06-2022, 02:15 PM
  #15

Weird thatís sheís asking if you agree with her. Ummmm no. 100% not. Itís like telling my dentist he should clean my teeth or give dental work for free or at a seriously reduced rate because ďhe should care about my teeth and oral healthĒ. When does that fly in the real world?!??

How close of a friend is she? What did you reply?
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Old 08-06-2022, 02:18 PM
  #16

They call these Open Houses where I'm at and usually they happen in the later afternoon or evening after an inservice day. When we had a strong union, we got comp. time for this, usually by way of permission to leave early or arrive later on some other inservice day.

Without a strong union, though, this is generally just unpaid time. When your plumber or your electrician has to stay after normal working hours you usually have to pay them time-and-a-half. If you need to see a doctor outside normal working hours you have to see someone other than your usual GP. If you fail to pick your child up from daycare on time you will almost certainly have to pay for that extra time. This is because everyone understands that they're all in it for the paycheck as is every other worker. Why are teachers expected to work for free? Why do parents believe that the joy of spending extra time with their (often) spoiled little darlings is compensation enough?

I never minded putting in extra hours but I resented not being able to choose when to do it. Entitled parents like this one tended to make me dig in my heels about putting in any extra time that wasn't required by the district.
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Old 08-06-2022, 02:30 PM
  #17

When someone talks about teaching in that way, I almost always say something like, "It's like any profession - there are some with great work ethic and others with poor work ethic". It's really true. I found it in all 4 schools where I worked, and in other professions that I worked before teaching.

DH worked A LOT when our kids were younger, and he's not a teacher. He was salary and got paid the same no matter what hours he worked.

When we have "Meet and Greet" (supply drop off), we don't have to go in until 10am since we're required to stay later for the Meet & Greet. Most teachers go in early anyway, just for last minute touches, but they don't have to.
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Old 08-06-2022, 02:35 PM
  #18

I would respond. Not kindly.

We do supply drop off, but we have to vote on it as it is part of it planning time that we give up to do so. It does help ease students and parent by allowing them to see the classrooms before the first day. It also is an opportunity to be able to store a big chunk of supplies before the first day.
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Old 08-06-2022, 02:44 PM
  #19

Wow, people never cease to amaze me. Why on earth would she think you would agree with her opinion That's just a special kind of crazy.
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Old 08-06-2022, 03:04 PM
  #20

Quote:
How close of a friend is she? What did you reply?
She's a close friend! I really don't know what she was expecting me to say. I explained why I strongly disagreed. She responded and was friendly about it. I do respect that when I disagree with her she really is open and listens to what I have to say. Not a lot of people do that these days! It wasn't a personal attack. I think it was her blowing off steam and being stressed with other things. But it does amaze/surprise/disturb me that she would say that to me....a teacher!
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Old 08-06-2022, 04:53 PM
  #21

I'd be steamed up after hearing comments like your friend's. It sounds like you used it as a learning opportunity.

Where I worked, we had three "call backs" which are days the principal can require staff to work for about two additional hours. These were part of our contract negotiated by our union and school district. One was meet the teacher night the evening before the first day of school, the second was curriculum night, and the third was a large whole school musical where we had the job of supervising our classes before they went on stage. The first two made for long days but directly helped my relationship with students and parents. The last one I didn't much like, but I often went out for dinner with other teachers which made it easier to tolerate.

But I think in general it can be hard to understand the duties of another person's job. Long ago my late husband's dad asked him what he did after the bank closed for the day! (All the reports and work he didn't have time for during the workday.) And now that my own kids have children, I hear comments like, do I have to write her name on ALL the supplies? This from kids who grew up hearing about me sharpening so may pencils before the first day of school my fingers hurt. They even came in to help me set up the classroom many times.

The other thing is most teachers don't mention to parents the time spent before or after our official start time or on weekends on planning, creating learning activities to excite kids, or carefully answering emails so nothing can be misunderstood or come back to bite us, not to mention the nights it is hard to sleep because we are worried about a student.
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Old 08-06-2022, 05:49 PM
  #22

Parents see the days we leave as soon as the kids are collected (rare, but sometimes happens). They don't see the days we're there until 5.30, 6 or even 7 (again, not every day, but it happens).

So they assume we are all ducking out the minute we can get away.

I don't know what a "supply drop off" is but I avoid being at school after dark if I can possibly manage it. My commute is easy i daylight, but after dark, it's a country road where I stand a very real chance of totalling my car and myself on a kangaroo or wombat.
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Old 08-06-2022, 05:55 PM
  #23

This is a huge pet peeve of mine. Teachers do not get summers off. Nor are we paid for holidays. Our contract states we are paid for the days we work. We are not paid for the summer. Itís forced time off, although I donít mind.

If teaching is such a cushy job, please come show us how to do it.
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Old 08-07-2022, 04:00 AM
  #24

Quote:
But it does amaze/surprise/disturb me that she would say that to me....a teacher!
She probably thought it would be okay and that you would agree with her because this is something that teachers have done to themselves.
Quote:
"It's like any profession - there are some with great work ethic and others with poor work ethic". It's really true.
Because remarks like this could lead one to believe that this teacher, for instance, believes that you can show up on time, work hard and do your very best all day, but if you go home on time you don't have a good work ethic. If you think your own family is as important as the children you teach, you don't have a good work ethic. I'm sure that's not what you meant, Susan Teach. I'm just saying that people think they can say these things to teachers because some teachers have drunk the kool aid about having to give over their entire lives to their profession in order to be good teachers.

But the truth is that giving over your life to your profession does not necessarily make you a good teacher, or a good worker. I knew teachers that practically lived at work but they weren't getting any more done than I was. In many cases they were disorganized, inefficient workers or they were people who chatted away prep time if there was anyone around to talk to. These were not better teachers than those that walked out the door on time, went home and spent time with their families and then stayed up late or got up early to finish work they had brought home with them.

Last edited by Tori58; 08-07-2022 at 07:43 AM..
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Old 08-07-2022, 04:52 AM
  #25

Quote:
When we have "Meet and Greet" (supply drop off), we don't have to go in until 10am since we're required to stay later for the Meet & Greet. Most teachers go in early anyway, just for last minute touches, but they don't have to.
This is how we do it as well…
Our “Meet the Teacher” was this past Friday evening from 4-6, parents come in to briefly meet you and they drop off their child’s school supplies.

We can come in at 10:30 (vs 8:00) on Monday in exchange.
I like being able to meet the parents and kids ahead of the first day back. I also appreciate the time to organize all of the student’s supplies prior to the first day.

Teaching is a job.
Do other salaried professionals work beyond their contract times? Of course they do. Though, most of their salaries are more than what teachers bring home.
At this point in my career I go in early because I want to but I haven’t brought work home with me in many years.
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Old 08-07-2022, 01:15 PM
  #26

Now that I am retired, it has become my mission to call people out on those kinds of posts.
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Teachers who work late
Old 08-07-2022, 02:30 PM
  #27

I had a dear friend who loved to tell everyone how late she worked every day ... most days until 9:00! Her husband worked nights, so she had no reason to go home early.

The kicker, though, is that she would go from room to room and spend up to an hour chit-chatting with anyone she could find, me included. I had my own children in after-school care at another school and often had to cut our conversations short.

So, yes, she was there until 9:00 but not really working.
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Old 08-07-2022, 06:19 PM
  #28

Oh Boy, it would have taken a lot of self control to not bite into that one. You are stronger than I am.

Last edited by all41; 08-07-2022 at 06:46 PM..
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Old 08-07-2022, 06:49 PM
  #29

Quote:
I had a dear friend who loved to tell everyone how late she worked every day ... most days until 9:00! Her husband worked nights, so she had no reason to go home early.

The kicker, though, is that she would go from room to room and spend up to an hour chit-chatting with anyone she could find, me included. I had my own children in after-school care at another school and often had to cut our conversations short.

So, yes, she was there until 9:00 but not really working.
I used to work with a friend who was JUST like this. She taught K and insisted that it required "14 hour days" and that the rest of us couldn't possibly understand, because it was a "kindergarten thing."

But, she spent all of her free time, including after school time, chatting with anyone who would listen. During her lunch/plan times, she'd seek some student out, hold a student back, decide that she needed to talk to specialists (me, the psych, the counselor, the nurse, etc.) about some "pressing issue" and would not spend any time actually working on planning. She again insisted that this was a "kindergarten thing" and that she just couldn't count on those times as work times because her students needed her.

Yeah, she was putting in those hours, but it was because she was horribly inefficient.

Her last year there, we were both involved in a thing that required half day morning off-campus PD monthly. She wanted to carpool. I assumed she meant from school and said okay. Turns out, she meant carpool from our homes (which were pretty close) to the PD, then to school. I told her no because I wasn't going to wait hours in the evening for her to be ready to go home. She was VERY miffed that I "couldn't even put in those extra hours for one day." Nope. I'm extremely efficient, use my time wisely, and have no reason to spend 6 extra hours at school in the evening.
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