The stakes just got higher. Union leadership has decided that between now and spring break (March 31) that we should be working to the rule. Essentially, we should work only our contractual day (7:30 am to 2:45 pm). The idea is to show the district and the community how much extra time we actually spend outside of our day doing our jobs. As a school we have a different situation then the rest of the district. Our WASC review is during that time. There are after school meetings for various groups and individuals, in addition to two whole staff meetings. We are not getting paid for this time. If we don’t go, it could hurt our evaluation, however, by not going we could show our dedication to our cause and make a very strong statement.
I am also having a personal dilemma. I just assigned another essay in my AP World classes. I do almost all of my grading at home. Do I not grade it? I usually use my prep period to figure out my lesson plans for the next day, write quizzes, communicate with parents, and do any other smaller tasks. If I do grade these essays (and the next set), I am essentially undermining myself. If I don’t, I am hurting my students’ chances of passing the AP exam.
We have already started debating the effectiveness of working to the rule. If a strike is imminent (which it is) shouldn’t we be at 100+% before it occurs to show our professionalism and to make an even greater impact when do actually leave the classroom? It seems like the public relations aspect could swing either way. Parents and students might appreciate our dedication more if they realize how much we do outside of the contracted day. OR they might side with the district because we are withdrawing our services, while we are still being paid.
Teaching Advanced Placement classes also puts a new perspective on all of this. These students and these parents care. My students are stressed that I may be on strike in the weeks before the AP exam (as am I).
Time to make some big decisions. I wish the district would stop this ideological battle and treat me fairly. I want to do my job. I want to spend extra time teaching my students. But, I will stand up for my self. I will take a stand. I demand respect because I have earned it – don’t believe me, look around at my web site.
Is anybody who matters listening?