Reality Check: The 300 Minutes of Teaching per Day Proposal
The district found a loop hole in the teachers’ contract and wants to use it to cut costs in order to make good on a promise to raise teachers’ salaries. The proposal will result in reductions in the number of general education and special education (ESE) teachers at the secondary level. The trickle-down effect will mean less effective instruction and attention to the needs of ALL students and far fewer inclusion opportunities for ESE students, which is why I have stepped in to comment. If all of this goes through, the district will, once again, spend money before they get their “check,” and we’ll be in the same position next year.
When all of the effects of teaching 6/7 or 6/8 periods become known to the community, parents will demand that teachers be given the time to plan effectively, help maintain the safety of the school, provide all of the extra curricular activities, and attend to students’ individual needs. And, they’ll demand it through the media, legislators, and the legal system. We must have the time and resources to be able to provide an effective, inclusive, growth-focused curriculum and learning environment.
The proponents of teaching 300 minutes for all teachers have not realistically calculated what the teaching demands are today and what high schools are really like now. Their decision making is based on their own experiences in the classroom 10-20 years ago. I do not want to believe it is devious thinking by our district level administrators.
I cannot realistically add to these points the demands of teaching honors, AP, and dual enrollment courses, but please give the following issues your consideration.
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