Today, I will tackle another common myth about teachers: that we get time during the school day to prepare our lessons and mark student work.
The truth is we do. It is called "PREP" time and right now it sits at 250 minutes per week, or about 50 minutes per day.
*Note that the 2012-2013 school year is the first time teachers have had 250 minutes of prep time.
John Snoblen, a former Ontario Minister of Education for the Harris Government, wrote the following in the March 12, 2012 edition of the Toronto Sun about "prep" time.
"The same holds true for preparation time. The Ontario school system now features obscene amounts of preparation time for teachers. There is no demonstrable benefit for students and parents from all of the money we spend paying teachers not to teach. But there is one obvious benefit — you guessed it — less work for teachers."
These are some powerful statements from a former Minister of Education. He clearly believes that teachers should not be allowed time to prepare.
But here is a question: Why should teachers be different from other Ontario employees?
Think about it. Most jobs in Ontario that have 8 hour shifts see employees get 90 minutes off (1 Hour Lunch, 2-15 minute breaks).
For the first time in history Ontario teachers now get the exact same amount of time off. (50 minutes in prep + a 40 minute lunch).
So while teachers do get "PREP" time, so does everyone else.
Of course, there may be some people who do not receive 30 minutes in break. For arguments sake, lets go back to my prior blog when I said that teachers actually work from 8:50 to 5:10.
Lets assume now then that teachers, because of their prep time, receive 30 minutes extra in breaks (90 minutes vs 60 minutes).
Given this situation a teacher then works from 9 am to 4:50 pm (I have taken 30 minutes off their work day).
So, in the worst case, minimalist situation, a teacher works 7 hours and 50 minutes a day.
10 minutes less than a regular "8 hour" work shift.
Is this 10 minutes really an "obscene amount of preparation time" that the former Minister of Education would have you believe?