Safety Quality Equity
ONE JOB ONE EDUCATOR
Imagine this scenario:
Partway through the school year, your child’s 2nd grade teacher has to retire. What a shock, but the children are resilient and they will soon adjust to a new teacher. Yet, instead of hiring one person to fill this open position, the school hires 3 people to fill the position. Teacher #1 is there on Monday and Tuesday, Teacher #2 is there on Wednesday and Friday, and Teacher #3 is there on Thursday. You can imagine that as a parent of a student in this class, you would be frustrated and upset at this proposed change. Why? The students are still getting all their appropriate instruction in all subjects, they still are in school for the same amount of time, and each teacher is appropriately certified, and the students are not left unsupervised or subjected to a long-term substitute teacher. Now what if I tell you that Teacher #1 is also working at a different school on the other days of the week, as is Teacher #2 and Teacher #3. Are you even more frustrated and upset? Why? None of the teachers are working more than full time jobs and they are given time for traveling between schools in addition to their usual planning time as well.
So what is the problem?
The answer is the intangible that everyone subtly understands. Don’t these children deserve the consistency of having the same teacher every day? How can 3 different teachers effectively communicate their students’ academic learnings to each other in order to support further growth. How can they communicate their students’ social emotional stretches to support the whole child. Which of these 3 teachers will be responsible for communicating classroom and school events to the parents and families? Which teacher is responsible for the classroom organization? Which teacher will organize the field trips and other special activities? Which teacher communicates the behavioral needs? Which teacher is on the committees for which school and who serves as the special education advocate for IEP meetings?
You might say that this is ridiculous and that this would never happen. Yet, in a way, it has happened and is continuing to spread throughout our district. If you think about each grade level as a “Classroom”, depending on the school different classes have different specialist teachers. There is no equity of instruction within the school in these areas.
We've changed tools, but continue to advocate for working conditions which allow for the safety of staff and students, high quality instruction, equitable workloads for staff and equitable access to instruction for students.
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