Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Vacation At Last!

I will be jumping into the springs as often as I can!
Vacation at last!  Technically I didn't have to work today and I don't for the rest of the summer!  Those of you who aren't teachers are thinking enviously that teachers have the summer off!  If you live with an educator, you know that isn't true.  If you don't, you should know that most educators will be working for free for many days this summer. If you are a teacher, you already know you do.  

My summer to-do list includes designing the schedule for the 1500 students who must take reading.  This monumental task involves determining their placement as well as ensuring that the each reading teacher will have a decent schedule. I don't want to estimate the days it will take. It also includes facilitating a two-day reading retreat for teachers at my school.  They have decided to come together before school starts to plan our year and improve our understanding  of the small group infrastructure that our district is mandating for all secondary reading classrooms.  Previously I have been able to pay them; in these fiscal times it is not an option.  We have discovered that teaching is easier when we can do this summer work together for pay or no-pay.  It matters.  I will spend at least 2-3 days planning the retreat for my teachers.

The district also requires the reading coach to attend Common Core training for 4 days and I may have to pay for it, a mere $25 dollars, quite cheap compared to other professional learning opportunities that are paid from my pocket.  Of course, I have the added price tag of the childcare that I will actually need for those 4 days.  Maybe I will take her with me.  As the new instructional management system champion, I will also be required to go to training for a day in August. I will be paid, not at my hourly rate, but it should cover daycare.  As I consider this and understand that many people work outside their contractual hours in many fields, I can't help but wonder what is the price tag of this free labor?  We often place the value of mothers who stay at home in the six-figure range.  I am too busy doing the work to take the time to calculate.

In your mind, you are probably saying don't do it.  I can't. I know the impact and the havoc unscheduled kids and unhappy teachers will wreck in the fall.  Struggling readers and their hard-working teachers need to have smooth start to their academic year; they need the least chaos attached to their academic lives.

The good news is that I will do the work on my terms. I will, however, continue to be a truth-teller. If we don't open our classroom doors and our ever-busy teaching lives to the public, no one will be the wiser.

1 comment:

  1. I'm wondering about the cheap factor. Did you get what you paid for?


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