Teachers are off of work at 2:30.

by Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] on March 14, 2011

in In the News,Observations

In my defense of public school teachers, I’m starting a multi-part series on just what teachers do. What DOES a teacher do when they’re teaching school?

As a “retired” public elementary school teacher with a Masters Degree* in Elementary Education, I’m here to expand your brains.

With the teacher pay budget-cutting goings on in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, New Jersey, and now coming to Florida, many untruths about teachers are being spread.  There are some fartknockers out in the media spewing drivel to the masses about what public-sector teachers are being paid and how much time they have off from work.

It’s downright laughable if it wasn’t what was actually being said and believed by the viewers of these mouth-breathers.

One such mouth-breather I happened to see was from a clip on The Daily Show. Check in at about 1:20 to see the best of the drivel this douche spewed.

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.

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To paraphrase…

Teachers are off of work at 2:30.

Teachers get 3 months of vacation.

When you count in all of their benefits, teachers make over $70,000 a year.

The students show up, sit in their seats, and teachers collect their paychecks.

Now, I present to you the truth, as told by Pangie (me), a “retired” public school teacher and friend to current working teachers.

“Teachers are off of work at 2:30.”

Excuse me while I laugh my fat ass off at that comment.

bwaaaaaahahahaha*piddle*hahahhaahhaaaaa…

I’ll use the example of the elementary school at which I worked: Students were at school from 8:45am-3:00pm every day (Wednesdays until 2:00). Teachers are required to be in their classrooms or working at school at 8:00am and are allowed, by union contract, to leave after 3:30pm every day of the work week. During the school day, teachers are scheduled for 22 minutes for lunch, and have a 50 minute planning period.

Now, just imagine the amount of papers to grade, detailed lessons to plan, papers to copy, bulletin boards to decorate, learning centers to prepare, documents to complete, books to read, spreadsheets to enter, department and school-wide meetings in which to participate, statistical information to compile, parent-teacher meetings to hold, and in-service classes to attend.

These cannot physically be done in that one 50-minute per day planning period, and 30-minute** span before and after school that’s provided for the teachers. (**I’m being generous with the 30-minute spans before and after children are in the classroom, because in my case, our principal required us to keep our classrooms open and available for students to enter, thus making teachers responsible for the students.)

I’ve not ever met one teacher, good, bad, or ugly, who can complete all of their required work in that 50-minute planning period and 30-minute span before and after school.

None.

I encourage you to visit an elementary school parking lot to see just what teachers are carrying in and out of the school. The bags of papers and project to assess. The rolling carts they pull behind them as they walk to their cars in the afternoon.

Yes, teachers are “allowed” to leave at 3:30 as agreed to by the union contracts and school board. But they aren’t leaving school grounds without their work. Their extra work happens late at night when their own children have gone to bed and on the weekends when their kids are playing. Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled before or after school time. Mandatory in-service training happens on Saturdays and evenings. PTO/PTA meetings are scheduled at night.

All of these things are “off the clock” for the teacher. She is on HER time, committing time to her students.

I challenge you to find a teacher who leaves at 2:30 every day to go out shopping. Please. Find her for me, and you’ll win 144 internets.

Next in my series, I’ll discuss the LMFAO aspect of teachers getting 3 months of vacation time a year. Stay tuned!

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*I get to mention that I earned a Masters Degree any chance I can without sounding douchey because I’m still paying for it.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Robin March 14, 2011 at 11:41 am

“*I get to mention that I earned a Masters Degree any chance I can without sounding douchey because I’m still paying for it.”

Absofrigginlutely. Me too. No job is typical 9-5 anymore…NO JOB.

People kill me with this mess.
An Awesome post on Robin´s blog … Bibbidy Bloggidy Boo…

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2 OHmommy March 14, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I am a “retired” teacher with a Masters degree in Education however not a fan of unions. I’ve seen far too many tenured teachers that should not be teaching – and nothing can be done about letting them go. No other field has the benefits and vacation times as teaching does which is why I choose it on top of my love for children. And yes, a teacher’s workday does not end at 3. But whose does? I can’t think of any person on my street that doesn’t bring work home with them at night.

If teachers, in their own districts, were “reviewed” every year just like nearly every other profession in the world (and in private schools) maybe schools would be better. Maybe. There are tons of unemployed teachers, like myself, that WOULD LOVE TO WORK but because there are tenured teachers who really do leave at 3 and don’t put give a shit and nothing can be done… well. I am not a big fan of teacher unions, for many reasons. Lots of teachers at charter schools are refusing to be part of unions.

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3 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] March 14, 2011 at 1:26 pm

i’ve not started in on the right & wrongs of unions yet. that’s for another time.

but to give a heads up, i’m not a fan of automatic tenure, but unions do have a place in the school system. one reason i can think of off the top of my head is limiting time principals can require teachers to attend off-hours meetings.

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4 LeSombre March 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm

My brother is a teacher. I’m sure he would nod in agreement at your post.

;-)
An Awesome post on LeSombre´s blog … With a little help from my friends

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5 Kristin (MamaKK922) March 14, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I agree 1 million percent with your post. Not a teacher have never been a teacher. But I know they work hard. My uncle was a teacher, and when I considered it he begged me not to because he said it was a thankless job besides for the kids most of the time. But that BS about teachers being off work at 2:30 insane and stupid. I will admit there are bad teachers but I had a few but I think they still even had to work past that 2:30 to be the asses they were.

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6 Val Payne March 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm

My baby sister is a fourth grade teacher in NC and doesn’t even get her 3 months “vacation” (full year school) and she has never earned $70,000 a year. These asshats need to leave their golden neighborhoods and travel to Snow Camp, NC and check out the school situation there.

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7 Issa March 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm

*stand up and claps for Angie*

I have two cousins who are teachers (elementary) and a close friend who is a HS teacher. They are harder workers than most people I know.

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8 Sarah March 14, 2011 at 6:36 pm

When I go to pick my daughter up from her after school activities at 5:00 her teacher is always still there.

So is my son’s teacher.
An Awesome post on Sarah´s blog … He Tweets Just Like He Writes Lyrics

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9 ~A March 15, 2011 at 2:03 am

“Off at 2:30″?! Ha!

The school I work at has class in session from 905-335. (1010-335 on Thursdays) Teachers have to be there by 815 and can leave at 345. I have never once left at 345. More like 5. I have never once got to school at 815. Usually 745ish. And even then I usually have work to bring home. We have 2 45 min preps a week, a 30 min “duty free” lunch and NO breaks on Thursdays in 4th or 5th grade. There is not near enough time to get everything done that needs done.
An Awesome post on ~A´s blog … End of a season

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10 Neeroc March 15, 2011 at 7:29 am

I’ve heard that being a teacher in the US is looked down on and I’ve never understood that, but actions are certainly speaking louder than (all those shrill) words aren’t they?
Here’s the thing I don’t get – teachers are responsible for the education of your children, of the next generations of a country. Shouldn’t they have every support available to them? Not a free ride, but support (and admiration – I mean there are days when I can’t put up with my one kid, let alone hundreds of strangers’ kids).
I don’t know which Daily Show clip you linked to (blame Canada!) but he was so spot on with the Wall Street/teacher comparison ‘$250K a year isn’t rich’ vs ‘lazy teachers getting $45k’
An Awesome post on Neeroc´s blog … The world may have ended a little bit

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11 Stacey March 15, 2011 at 9:24 am

My boyfriend is a middle school math teacher and he brings home work every.single.night.
An Awesome post on Stacey´s blog … Your bra is not a wallet

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12 roo March 15, 2011 at 10:09 am

My ex-MIL was an elementary school teacher. She worked nights, weekends and a good bit of the summer. These ridiculous salaries the airwaves are toting include benefits as you mentioned. These hard-working teachers are not pocketing that money. A majority of the teachers out there truly DO care and don’t get paid near their worth.

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13 Josefina March 15, 2011 at 10:21 am

I become irate when people begin to talk about how cushy a teaching job is. I am not a teacher. This is my first year homeschooling my children. Until this point, they were in public school and I was at the school a lot of the time as a volunteer.

I don’t even know where to start, but yes. Yes to everything you said.

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14 Super Mommie March 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm

My aunt is a retired high school teacher. On her behalf, I shall mention a few other goodies you forgot.

Bus duty – twice a week 3:45 until the very last bus left the grounds.

Teach the Teacher – poor Auntie. She went to more classes than I can remember — week nights, weekends, summer classes.

Saturday school – more Saturdays than not, there was a language this/test prep that, that required her to be there from 7:45am to 1pm or 2pm or 5pm.

Parent night/conferences/phone calls to parents – parents can be meaner than the kids – nuff said.

Now that she’s retired, she helps my daughter with homework after school everyday. When they don’t have homework, they bake together or play smarter than a fifth grader on the computer. She says the pay is better now. Hugs and kisses from her fave great-niece beats all.
An Awesome post on Super Mommie´s blog … A Dental PSA

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15 alisha March 15, 2011 at 10:27 pm

yeah, come on. i’ll add 350 more internets if they find *that* teacher. can’t wait to read more of this series!

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16 Sunday March 20, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I’m curious how teachers are supposedly getting 3 months off for summer if my kids are only getting 10 weeks?!? Are they trying to say we’ve got subs for the first two weeks of the year? And I know the teachers were there a week before school started and at least 3 days after school was let out for the summer. 3 months off…whatever!!

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