Saturday, June 2, 2012

Why I am wearing RED

Just a quick note on the June 7 Strike.

Ted doesn't think we work hard enough because in a DEECD survey of face-to-face teaching hours they found teachers only teach an average 16.3 hours. This surveyed teachers across the state but did not acknowledge time release for additional duties.

At my school, the standard teaching load is 23 x 47minute periods. This is 18.1 hours and does not include home group, assembly or yard duty. My load as a coordinator is 15 x 47 minute periods (11.75 hours) since I also spend 4 x 47 minute periods a week coaching other staff, and have the rest to coordinate 30 staff and 1500 kids.

This week staff at my school did their 18 hours but also completed the following duties:
  • Several took out excursions that took them beyond their usual allotment. 
  • 8 English teachers spent an additional 100 minutes supervising a SAC after school until 5pm on Thursday. 
  • 2 Physics teachers were with students until 9pm the same night.
  • 2 Psychology teachers were with students until 6pm on Monday night. 
  • 10 staff spent all of Wednesday's lunchtime in a trivia contest with students. 
  • PE staff took teams to state championships that took them past their usual allotment. 
  • Music staff ran band rehearsals from 8am to 5pm Tuesday and Wednesday in addition to teaching their usual classes.  
  • 20 teachers supervised the Year 9 Social until 10pm Thursday.
  • With VCE at a peak period a significant number of teachers spent an immeasurable amount of time with groups of students to help them prepare for SACs and exams. This usually occurred during meal breaks and between meetings.
All of this was in addition to mandatory and voluntary meetings. None of this is covered by extra pay, time in lieu, or any proposed performance pay method. It is all unpaid overtime to give students the best chance they have to experience success.

The current system prays on the good will of teachers. To not acknowledge this hard work is insulting. If they want us to teach another hour then it will be harder for us to make the extra efforts described above. The extra hour will come at the expense of more than 1000 teaching jobs. Teachers will be pushed harder for their time. Class sizes will probably be bigger. Certainly I would expect to lose my coaching time to help improve teaching and learning in classrooms. Who is the biggest loser in this scenario?

That is why I'll be wearing red on Thursday.

Feel free to join me.

More on Ted: