Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Teacher Contracts and Hours

If you are a teacher, do you consider yourself an hourly employee?

Most, if not all, public school teachers are salaried employees. Thus, they are not punching a clock each day. However, teacher contracts inevitably make specific mention of "contract time," and many teachers - and teachers unions - are particularly sensitive to rigid guidelines about exactly when a teacher must be "at work." This situation is problematic at times, especially in terms of management and administration. Certainly, teachers should not be expected to work constantly and always be available to students. They shouldn't have to attend all events or be on call at home. At the same time, teachers need to be accessible to students for a reasonable time before and after school. And it really surprises me when teachers are gone from school within fifteen minutes of the bell. I've always been troubled by the issue of contract time, and the idea that teachers supposedly do a lot of work at home and therefore don't need to stay at school.

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