Monday, September 24, 2012

To Summarize So Far

1) Teachers do not work 9 to 3.  Based on only 6 additional tasks they work at minimum 9 to 5.

2) Teachers "prep time" replaces "break time" instead of adding to it.

3) Teachers do not need to perform extracurriculars as less than 25% of the population volunteers themselves.

4) Teachers do not get vacation pay but receive "sick day" pay instead.

5) Teacher salaries are not eating up the educational budget.  They are the same percentage of the pie as
they were in the Mike Harris era.

6) The media is misleading the public with anti-teacher rhetoric that is factually incorrect

7) Teachers are not allowed to discuss the waste in education as a means to prevent salary freezes and/or reductions

8) Teachers can be suspended without being told of the offense and/or providing an explanation

9) Few educated professionals suffered as a result of the recession, but teachers are expected to give
    back because of it.

10) Teachers have never once raised the notion of a salary increase, but rather, simply want the basic human right to be able to collectively bargain.

1 comment:

  1. Having a son to drop off and pick up from day care I now have a pretty good idea of what my work week is like (and, I now spend less time than I used to since I'm more experienced and I don't have the luxury of devoting more time to my work):

    Work day:
    08:15-16:00 = 07:45
    15 minutes for lunch, the remainder of lunch spent photocopying and prepping. Prep periods are spent, prepping and collaborating with colleagues.
    Net work day without down time like coffee or lunch breaks = 07:30

    After work:
    Prepping and marking:
    20:00-21:30 and 06:00-06:30 (not precise but usual)
    Extra ~02:00

    Total for the week:
    09:30*5 = 47.5 hours

    This is WITH a young child and a number of years of experience. Before child my work week was probably in the mid 50s/week. And, at that point my hourly wage was substantially lower than it is now so I was working for $20-something per hour when peers were working for a lot more already :(

    This doesn't include extra-curriculars which I've had to drop this year because of child care needs. This also doesn't include the fact that my evening prep often interferes with my sleep leading to a nasty positive feedback loop.

    When I will be able to resume extra-curriculars I will be putting in 50-52 hour work weeks.

    I am not alone. When I look at my colleagues (secondary) we all do put in roughly comparable hours. I can't speak to the work day of elementary teachers.

    Compared to comparable white collar jobs outside of teaching my sense (and experience) is that there's a substantially lower amount of down time and a much greater level of physicality to the profession (it's a physically and emotionally draining job)...

    ... which, I guess is why second career teachers often don't survive for long in teaching--they think it's an easy gig to get into after a life in a high stress career but then end up flaming out because they discover it's not any lower stress than what they were used to and it takes many years to get to the point where you can balance the emotional demands of classroom management with preparing for lessons.

    I am fearful for the future of teaching in Ontario. We've got the Western world's best system but there's a corporate education wind blowing across the United States that is threatening Canada.

    The Conservatives would like nothing more than to destroy the teacher unions for ideological reasons. In doing so they'll also hand education over to the for-profit sector destroying education in the process. We'll see a handful of really great schools in wealthy neighbourhoods and mediocrity everywhere else.

    Even the (relatively mild) attack by the Liberals has lead to some of the best leaving the profession--I've seen a number of good people leave* who look at the future of teaching and know they have better opportunities elsewhere :( :( :(

    *I too am going to improve my educational credentials so that I can jump ship if things get as bad as I expect they will in a few years As a young teacher I am bearing the brunt of the wage cuts and only expect it to continue to get worse. I am no martyr... if Ontarians want to pay mediocre wages let them get mediocrity out of their teachers :(