Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Do you Want to Keep the 37.5 Minute Small Group Instruction Sessions?


Randi reported at tonight's executive board that elementary school teachers are leaning toward wanting to keep the 37.5 minutes of extra time for the small group tutoring and they do not want to see it eliminated next school year. Is this true?

ICE would like to hear from members from all divisions (elementary, middle and high school) on how you would like the time used.
Please tell us the type of school you work at.



1. Would you prefer six hours and fifty minutes in an eight period day Monday through Friday with no 37.5 minute small group instruction sessions?

2. Would you rather have six hours, fifty seven and a half minutes Monday to Thursday spread into nine periods with the 37.5 minute small group instruction sessions and six hours and twenty minutes on Friday?

3. If you are in a seven period elementary school, would you prefer six hours, fifty-seven and a half minutes Monday to Thursday with the 37.5 minute small group instruction sessions and six hours-twenty minutes in a seven period day on Friday.

We would like to hear many comments so we know what to push for when we meet with the leadership.

Thanks.

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

Told you that something is going on with negotiations. That's why some CLs wrote letters about the extended day without a valid survey.

I am NOT an early riser and would hate the day to start at 8:10AM.
I long for 8:40 when I could have a leisurely breakfast and get some work done.

What I liked about the extended day (I'm elementary level) is that I ask the students to pick the topics they would like me to review. It does give me the opportunity to give one on one instruction and zero in on things they have problems with. Children who are relatively quiet in class are more prone to get involved during extended time.

Now shouldn't Randi be asking us about other problems with this contract?

Anonymous said...

I am in a seven period elementary school. Personally I would like to see the 37.5 minutes spread throughout the school day so that all the children have the advantage of extra time. We already had intervention built into our school day (which still continues in addition to the 37.5 minutes). We also have after school programs that have continued. (We start our day at 8AM (8:10 for Special Ed M-F)

Unitymustgo said...

I am an elementary teacher 2nd. year and although I do not like the 37.5 sessions I fear that to accept an extended day is to play into the DOE's hands for the next contract where they are likely to push for more time and and an official extension of the day.
I say we are stuck letting the status quo ride and hoping all these after school sessions fail. I know how sad that sounds but I hope test scores go down. Don't get me wrong I am dedicated to my students and put in more than my fair share of MY TIME, but face facts the DOE has no respect for us, and absolutely no idea how much of our own personel time must be used to accomplish all the "required" elements of our jobs. We all know we work way more than 40 hrs a week, yet the vast majority have no understanding of this truth. Why in the hell isn't our leadership spending our money explaining this to the masses. The DOE and the mayor do a great job twisting the media to blame every negative on us, why aren't we fighting back. I have still to meet a parent who doesn't blame us for all the after school confussion. Further to meet anyone who realizes how crappy this contract is for us and that many techers are not happy with it.
In the months leading up to our new contract we had an opportunity to get parental support on our sides and save ourselves all this garbage, but of course we did nothing and our leadership turned on it's own and sold us down the river. It's been little more than a month and not only am I tired, but I'm saddened by the effect this contract is having on my ability to atleast maintain the level of teaching I was at. Atleast before if you were willing to put in the time you could grow as a teacher, now it's almost impossible to just maintain. Very, very sad. UNITYSTINKS and it must go!!!

Anonymous said...

Let's put our faith in democracy in action!

Why only offer these two options?

What about asking the readers for their ideas about other options?

If after a reasonable time there are no other idea, or they turn out to be the two most popular one, then fine.

We've been living in a "paternalistic" system: for too long already.

Cheers and good luck to us all!!

ICEisMelting said...

I don't understand why you ICErs wine so much. Randi noes what she is doing. I for one love teaching. You guys don't even teach right. I volunteer my time. The 37 minutes is great.

northbrooklyn said...

I think Randi's comment is very odd. Seems to me she is pitting elementary against the other branches of schools. I'm going to try and find out what the teachers think in my elementary school this week.
My personal experience in my elementary school is that I run up and down the stairs for 37 1/2 minutes dismissing, delivering and retrieving students.

Anonymous said...

We are all just so damn tired and the 37 1/2 IS an extra class. Unity has already screwed us but I think the only way to deal with this extra time with less pain is to make the classes longer. Yes, that stinks but at least it is not an extra class. This is how many of us feel in middle school.

Anonymous said...

Our principal warned us that we better be in our class by 8:02 with the students, never mind picking up the students at 8:02. It is demoralizing. I have had my regular routine for 12 years and this just blows. After only a month, I'm actually beginning to feel burnt out. I haven't even begun filling out my report cards for my 29 students (due friday to principal). I would personally prefer the time integrated into the school day, but I believe that would play into Randi's scheme of things, regardless of what she has said. How can she agree to this provision in the contract and then begin to wonder what the teacher's think about it? My guess is she'll cry foul when the DOE decides to say we need to integrate it into our normal work day. We'll have no other choice, the scores went up, look at what Bloomklein has done yadda yadda yadda!

Anonymous said...

From what I understand, we are stuck with the extra time regardless if it's an extended day or not. It's harder on the Pre K-2 teachers because they have to work with the older kids. It's hard for clusters with mandated programs because they do not know the math.

For Randi to make the assumption it's working out well is not good either. However, if it means starting the school day even earlier, then it will cause a child care problem for many teachers.

The bottom line is--this whole situation sucks.

Anonymous said...

I believe Randi is meeting with CLs and others the end of the month to discuss this issue. She will be asking for feedback.

Ironic that her own blog, Edwize, isn't addressing this issue.

I wouldn't be one bit surprised if she or other Unity higer-ups are checking out these comments.

I am not a member of ICE, but I appreciate a place to voice my concerns.

Thank you.

Dump Weingarten said...

The extended time sucks. I would rather have it like East Meadow, where 8:30-9:15 is for setting up and preparing that day's lessons, and the students are only there for 6 hours, 15 minutes. Why don't we do the same? Oh, I forgot...the East Meadow teacher's union has leaders with guts.

Anonymous said...

The CL's meeting in the next few weeks will give us an opportunity to tell Randi what our staff thinks. If she is wrong we should let her know. Perhaps we should just leave it as is and those schools that want to create SBO's (including rolling in the minutes) should be allowed.

Anonymous said...

You know there is a great difference between elementery, JHS, and HS. I'm a HS teacher and when I spoke to elementraty school teacher the other day I could see we were in opposotie ends in the use of the time. I don't hink we should use such a blanket for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff, can you only think of 3 options with the time?

Anonymous said...

I teach in a high school. Sometimes kids come to extended day and sometimes they don't.

I like the idea of giving the students the option of being educated or not (on the high school level).

If they choose not to be educated, I don't see why we have to force the issue by including the 37.5 minutes during the day.

Why is it that the DOE and the UFT cater to those resist education?

Anonymous said...

if we are supposed to be on par with the suburbs now, ha, ha, we should use the time the way it's done inthe suburbs, the teachers are in and available in the am, before regular classes, the students that need extra help voluntarily come in and go to the teacher that could help them. this way we have kids that want the help and we can actually do some good. unity stinks!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
if we are supposed to be on par with the suburbs now, ha, ha, we should use the time the way it's done inthe suburbs, the teachers are in and available in the am, before regular classes, the students that need extra help voluntarily come in and go to the teacher that could help them. this way we have kids that want the help and we can actually do some good. unity stinks!!!!

WHAT A GREAT IDEA! GIVE THE STUDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES SOME RESPONSIBILITY!!

I THINK PARENTS WOULD GO FOR IT IT, TOO.

INSTEAD OF FORCING THE UNWILLING TO DO WHAT THEY DO NOT WANT, SERVICE TO THE WILLING WHO WILL MAKE THE EFFORT.

PERHAPS SPLIT IT WITH THE EARLY RISING TEACHERS DOING IT ON THE AM WITH THE EARLY RISING STUDENTS AND THE LATE RISERS IN THE PM.

Unitymustgo said...

Can some one elaborate on the different ways the different school levels (elem, IM, HS) want to use the time. Me, I'm afraid if we agree to add the time into the regular day, then we will never get the time back. I don't think we ever will anyway (not with Unity leading us), but it's a dream I have.

Anonymous said...

I agree with those who state that "one size does not fit all".

For instance, now that the tests are over, I still do math, but once a week I help children with their writing or other projects and give them more conference time.

They are also happy to get a break from the math and appreciate the extra help in Literacy.

As an elementary teacher, I wish each school level could vote for their own needs.

When the 100 minutes PD was voted on, most elementary school teachers voted NO, but we lost to the Jr.H and HS votes. They were able to use the time as "office hours" where we were stuck in what can only be described as "workshops from hell!"

For me, it is not an extra class. We do not have to dismiss and then pick up. Our administrator came up with an alternate where only the PreK-1 teachers have to pick up the older students. Grades 2-5 stay in their room while arrangements for dismissal are made for those who opted out.

I would hate to see additional minutes added to the day. Frankly,
I'm glad to see the majority of my class leave, especially the discipline problems.

That gives me 37 1/2 minutes to review the day's math lesson, play a math game, or do some fun art-related math lessons now that the test is over.

Of course, next year, I could be stuck with the discipline problems.

I voted NO to this contract because of the extra time, not to mention other give-backs. If schools are given control over the extended time, that would really mean "principals" would gain control (that's been Randi's M.O.).
Let's face it--both the DOE and UFT consistently leave us out of the equation.

Anonymous said...

Any changes in the extended time would have to be done with an SBO in which 55% of the staff would have to vote on it and the Chapter Leader would have to sign-off on. It isn't just the principal who "gains control".

Anonymous said...

To above anon 10:32

Your first part of the process is correct. However, the principal has the final say as to sign off or not sign off. Then it must go further up the line--regional and then DOE for approval. I have seen many SBOs not approved by the principal. If that rule has changed, I really would like to know.

Seems to me that the ball is in their court not ours.

woodlass said...

How about giving back the some of the salary hike and GET OUR LIVES BACK!

If the DOE feels some kids are not getting enough education, let them ask who wants to teach those 37.5 minutes and get paid for it. In normal jobs, it's called "overtime" and except for Walmart, it's voluntary and TIME-AND-A-HALF!

Those who can get along without the extra cash wouldn't have to sign up. We could return to the regular evening teaching chores it's so convenient for everyone to forget about (like marking and class preparation) and have enough energy to take on all the other horrors in the contract.

NYC Educator said...

The idea of letting them take back the time is indded tempting. Sadly, I don't think it's realistic. I don't think there's a precedent for giving back the givebacks.

That's why it was an egregious error to grant them in the first place. Without a COLA in place, it's absolute folly to give up time. Unfortunately, Unity seems to place no value on ours.

That's particularly frustrating to people like me who've always had to work two extra jobs to make ends meet. Had I ever been able to make a living as a teacher, I wouldn't be quite so frustrated by our unimaginative and indifferent leadership.

woodlass said...

It's absolutely realistic.

a. We dislike this contract, and it will run out in 2007.
b. We want to improve our conditions next time round and have the right to do so.
c. We've had to tolerate DOE requests for givebacks since time immemorial. With democratic membership approval, it might very well be time to negotiate a giveback of our own.
e. This is not crying over spilled milk. This is restoring what was not broken before the leadership led us down this miserable path.

northbrooklyn said...

Spoke with a number of teachers in my school and then about 20 teachers [elementary] at a meeting this week and they are absolutely furious at Randi for claiming that we like the 37 1/2 minutes.
Most elected officials take great care when pointing to a particular constituency's support. They understand that they could lose their job/power if they misspeak/lie.
Randi is unusual in this regard. She doesn't seem too worried about losing her job and is comfortable with saying whatever comes into her head.
The next ten years are going to be rough on all of us. Our union is going to break apart and come back together as a very different entity.
What our union will look like I could not hazard a guess.

Anonymous said...

This issue isn't whether we like how extended time is being used--it's the issue of extended time itself.

We were forced into a situation that was "time for money" and so our raise is not really an actual raise.

As far as the future of our union, well it's simple: Those in charge have gotten their raises--which they were able to vote for themselves--so, we are really no concern to them.

The fact that Randi is looking for some type of redress on issues like this and Lead Teacher is in actuality her acting in the Theatre of the Absurd. It looks like she is doing something and that's supposed to make us feel better.

Can we actually give a give-back back?

Joe Mudgett said...

Wasn't Circular 6R abandoned in a past contract, some ten years or so ago? So there is a precedent for tough negotiating, and redressing wrongs in a contract. The way to do it is called being united, being militant, and jointly pushing for fairness. We can't do it with Randi and her crew in charge. She's got to go in 2007. And to set that stage, we've got to clear out her supporters in this spring's Delegate and Chapter Leader elections.
The power to take back our union is in our hands. The UTP's message is clear: to reform our union elect teachers who care about teachers!

woodlass said...

I don't remember Circ. 6R ever being abandoned, but I do remember part of it was always a sham anyway.

The part that was NOT a sham was the removal of homeroom, cafeteria, hall duty, etc. without your volunteering for it. That part's now GONE, and probably forever.

The part that was ALWAYS a sham was that If the principal didn't agree with a particular professional duty or comp-time position suggested by the chapter/CL, that job could not even be put up for an SBO vote. So much for teachers having any real say in addressing the educational needs of the school.

Circ. 6R was more of a way (a) to force a school agenda on one of your free periods and (b) that principals would LOOK as if they were playing nice. The fact that a teacher could "choose" (in quotes) which job to do was not really a gain. You still lost a prep period, because If I remember correctly, before 6R, onerous jobs like hall duty rotated, so you'd get them one year, but your time was your own for the next couple of years. You didn't even have to make phonecalls, interface with parents, do a school newspaper, etc., etc. if you didn't want to.

Remember also that with 6R, superintendents could always reject SBOs they didn't agree with, SBOs that did get the support of principal and chapter. Lots of SBOs of all kinds have been rejected over the years at that upper admin level.

Unitymustgo said...

In response to Joe Mudgett: My question is how do we go about eliminating Randi & the Unity party of patsies. Who should I be supporting and why? How do we rally the majority of union votes around this person? In a way I'm reminded of how Hitler came to power. There were so many different and fractured parties Hitler just managed to win. Without some kind of united concerted effort it's likely Randi and Unity will win re-election in 2007. I'm new to the NYC educational world. I'm trying to learn, and from what I've heard and read I AM AFRAID! VERY AFRAID!

Anonymous said...

The last comment, comparing Randi with Hitler is so mentally diseased that I'm surprised you guys leave it posted.

Anonymous said...

James, here is an example of people comparing Randi to Hitler. you earlier said that "you" never called anyone names especially not like Satlin or Pol Pot but we can clearly see where the venom is coming from. This isn't about free speech because obviously who ever wants will write or say what they wish. It is about being responsible leaders. I have yet to hear an "ICE" person say that it is wrong to compare people like this and to personalize comments as such. But never at a DA (where I heard people sitting/standing near me curse-out Randi and other delegates who asked to let the speakers speak)or anywhere publicly did ICE denounce these acts. This is why I don't take you serious.

Honest diagreement about union policy is not what the Hitler comaprison, foul language or childish antics is about.

Anonymous said...

At the meetings this week and next chapter leaders hsould make their and their chapter's voices heard about the 37 1/2 minutes. That is exactly what the leadership should hear.

I think if a school has an SBO (which under our contract, has to include the principal's AND Chapter Leader's signature) they should make up their own mind. My school's needs may not be the same as your and instead of being held-back with the one-size fits all which Tweed has tried to do for years.

jameseterno said...

To 11:27 p.m March 20-

Good point, there is no one size fits every school approach to many issues including using extended time. However, if the DOE is not going to give the UFT chapter a veto, there needs to ba a default position if the principal won't agree to an SBO.

We want to know what the default position should be. That's why we wrote the survey and the discussion in the comments section has been helpful.

To 11:03 p.m.-

It would be great if we had civil UFT meetings. However, it is Randi who frustrates people when she talks for an hour at the Delegate Assembly, clearly in support of motions, thus violating Roberts' Rules. Then, she gives an opposition person two minutes to speak and then the Unity faithful shout for the person to be quiet. We get very frustrated and feel quite correctly that the debate at delegates meetings isn't fair.

The chair is supposed to stay neutral on an issue according to Roberts' Rules or she should leave the chair and let someone else handle it. Clearly, that did not happen throughout the debate on the fact finding or the contract last fall.

When people are frustrated and feel that they have no chance of being heard, what would you like them to do? Sit there quietly and respect an orchestrated debate where your side is not given a fair chance.

I'll gladly debate any union issue in a fair way.

As for personal attacks, we're all human and our emotions can get the better of us sometimes but saying people are acting like Pol Pot, Stalin and Hitler is a bit much.

Finally, if you don't want to take ICE seriously, that's a shame because we have a great deal to say on union issues. Also, if you look at our records in our schools, ICEers are doing a pretty good job in chapter leadership positions.

northbrooklyn said...

Two points-
I don't believe the anon. posts are from teachers; I think anyone who reads these posts need to keep this in mind.
My observation of DA meetings is Randi never follows Robert Rules of Order.

woodlass said...

If unitymustgo is "reminded of how Hitler came to power," s/he's trying to figure out like the rest of us what's hit us and how we got here.

There's very little institutional memory in this union. Veteran teachers are leaving in droves and their positions are being filled by so many new people. A huge percentage of this union is now voting without any personal knowledge of the struggle to get where we've got -- and recognize what we've absolutely lost in this last contract. We need all kinds of insight to stand up to these attacks on our profession.

PS: The constant assault on ICE reps is getting really tired.

Anonymous said...

When will the madness end?

Nothing in the school system will ever change for the better until the real problems are addressed.

The 37.5 minute issue is minuscule relative to the tremendous disaster and corruption of the DOE and the UFT.

We can discuss this stuff forever but I see it more as venting than actually insighting change.

If I could have it my way, I would make the 37.5 minutes teacher office hours. Having the teachers available for 37.5 minutes, 4 days a week, for the students and parents who actually care, would be a step in the right direction.

When we start making students and parents responsible for something, then the improvements will begin.

I think this makes too much sense to actually be considered by the DOE or UFT.

Anonymous said...

Randi promised that if LIF increased, that provision would be renegotiated.

What is Randi's position now?

jameseterno said...

I think Randi's position now is that there does not seem to be an increase in letters in the file lately. We'd like to know if that is how you are seeing it in the schools.

Anonymous said...

James, I don't understand about ths SBO "default" issue. Isn't the default simply 37 1/2 minutes?

Anonymous said...

northbrooklyn, thanks for knowing who I am. . . I've been teaching for 5 years!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure of what is meant by having "no chance of being heard" and that "your side is not given a fair chance". If you mean that the vast majority of delegates at the DA do not agree with you, it may seem unfair but that is democracy. Besides I understand several ICE people actually sit on the Exec. Bd., hence another opportunity to have your voice heard.

For your ICErs "doing a pretty good job in chapter leadership positions" some of your cohorts in UTP seem to not want any of these positions according to their blog.

As for "what we've absolutely lost in this last contract", I was at the Chapter Leader meeting last night and that is far from what I heard from the HSs and JHSs.

It is amazing to me that you won't report that or any of the real issues that have been brought up in the last few months starting with Dec.'s DA. I am assuming that is why your website hasn't been updated since.

Although we have all been struggling with the recent changes in the new contract, it hasn't been as horrible as you made us feel it would be. The power-hungry and incompetent administrators will always be that and would torture us with whatever contract. But instead of rallying us for the next contract battle which was passed by the DA in Feb, and my DR came to my school and talked about, which really got alot of support from my staff, you instead are waiting for political manuevering for your next election.

Thanks, but I know who my enemy is (Kleinberg) and it ain't you my brothers and sisters.

Anonymous said...

I wish people who call themselves teachers would learn how to write English.

northbrooklyn said...

Anon-re: CL JH/HS "what we've absolutely lost in this last contract"...well, what was the discussion from our JH/HS CL? Are they happy? or do they think this works?

Anonymous said...

I too would also like to hear about the "happy" reports.

As for getting ready for our next negotiations, aren't you really stealing the advice that was given to you prior to this contract and now taking credit for this so-called new tactic?

I will hopefully be retired before the new contract--meanwhile--I am forced to live with this one. How fair is that for me?

I do recall seeing an article in NY Teacher which alluded to the increase in LIF.

jameseterno said...

To Anon March 23 11:38 pm-

We are asking for a fair debate at the DA where Roberts Rules are followed and the Chair stays neutral. I conducted such a debate at my chapter meeting today. As the chair, I didn't speak on the issue being debated until someone asked me a question after about twenty minutes of discussion. It's not that difficult to keep my mouth basically shut.

I don't like losing votes. But it should be a fair debate and then I can accept being on the minority side. A chair speaking for an hour in support of a motion and then allowing two minutes of opposition and then having another supporter speak is not a fair debate. I don't think you will convince me that the contract debate was in any way done properly.

UTP people are in chapter leadership positions. I think one of their goals for building the union is to get people involved at the chapter level. That is a worthy goal. As long as a union is a top down organization, it will have very little chance of success.

Someone on Long Island commented recently that the current NYC Contract set city teachers back twenty five years. The people who I have talked to feel the current contract is terrible. The Union gave back so much.

One of the words I heard a few times at the Chapter Leader meeting on Wednesday is that we are "resigned" to what is happening with extended time. It seems to me people are saying that there is nothing we can do about the contract so we have to take whatever is thrown at us and try to survive. I don't believe that we have to take it. We have to start fighting back. People like Bloomberg and Klein will not respect us until we are able to stand up and defend ourselves.

I think an organized and motivated UFT rank and file could make labor and education history. I'll do what I can to accomplish this goal.

Finally on the political posturing issue, in some ways it doesn't matter who the leadership is. The members in the schools need to win the battle for better working conditions. Good leadership would inspire them to take up that cause.

To 11:10 p.m.-

The current default position is 37.5 minutes. We were asking what you think the default position should be.

jbrace said...

The UTP position--for now--is to work within the DA to try to bring about some of the reforms mentioned in our ideology. Although we consider this a rigged forum dominated by an undemocratic single party, we hope to create a groundswell.

Right now, for example, we are working on the issue of getting DR's elected by the people they represent. Our members are pursuing this issue in two different ways: at the DA, and by Constitutional reform.

We do, in fact, hope to organize at the chapter level. We have done so in our school and hope to help others do so, as well.

Just because we are not seeking elected offices, it does not mean that UTP members shirk responsibility: we are, indeed, Chapter Leaders and Delegates.

johnnycrappleseed said...

...and of course we (the UTP) would all sell out at the drop of a hat if we could get two salaries and the ol' double pension. We might just see the light, then.
Hail UTP! Unity must go!

Miss Malarkey said...

It sucks. It's a pain and it's not working.

Sorry to not be more eloquent.

Anonymous said...

Unity knew there would be problems with this provision and so did many teachers.

I hope those that knew did not vote for this contract. But, the question is, Why did Randi accept these terms? I am sick of hearing about the so-called "political climate" that surrounded this deal.
We had the pre-election advantage and made it slid down the drain.

Randi knew that. Could it be there was some sort of deal in this for her personally?

woodlass said...

That's what I've always thought, that there's "some sort of deal in this for [RW] personally." Well, maybe not a deal, but a goal that has nothing to do with us.

In the current climate, from the federal govt right on down through corporate/Republican mayors who hire outsider chancellors, to the newly trained administrator "yes"-people at the bottom: merit and skills don't get you your job. Having a willingness to circumvent people's needs for fiscal or political ends and a certain ruthlessness in your character are the current premiums in the job market.

With regard to top union leadership, any elected official who can't over time make members feel they are being listened to much less protected must be in it for their own ends. What other excuse could there be for this deafness -- except, of course, incompetence.

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/23/education/23detroit.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Detroit teachers at least stand up for their beliefs.

Proud to be "Whining" said...

If some perceive whining as thinking independently and speaking the truth free of deals and the need to preserve power, so be it- I'm a whiner. At a recent SLT meeting my AP, like Randi, announced how well the 37.5 minutes was working out. The teachers were in shock!
Unfortunately, our school has over 1,000 mandated students. While each general ed teacher is assigned only 10 kids, they meet in a room with 10 other kids and another teacher. 20 kids and 2 teachers is not the same. If that teacher is absent, we have 1 teacher and 20 kids- it's clearly not small group instruction. Many of us were assigned kids we don't teach. It is difficult to know what these kids need. If you want to get involved in an afterschool activity, paid or volunteer, the non-mandated kids have to leave and then return 37.5 minutes later. I worry about them. Many don't return- how is this helping those children who have personal needs as important as the others?

Anonymous said...

The 20:1 ratio is a violation of the contract. What has your CL done about it?

17 more years said...

As ridiculous as I thought this entire 37.5 minute sessions were, our middle school kids seem to like them. They tell me what they would like to review, and I work with them to strengthen their weaknesses.

Having said that- I would love to start earlier (we start at 8:30, and the majority of staff would like to back it up to 8), get out at 2:57:30 M-Th, and 2:20 on Friday. Other than time changes, I would STRONGLY advise any school to play too fast and loose with the extra time, because somehow, it would end up biting us all in the behinds.

We all need to adopt a new mantra- not "this is a waste of time" but instead, "we are doing the best we can under difficult circumstances".

NYC Educator said...

Check out what the
administrators
are doing since the new contract began.

(link stolen from Joe Thomas at Shut Up and Teach)

http://www.shutupandteach.org/blog.shtml

Anonymous said...

Hey I don't agree with alot of what NYC Educator says but this is funny!!!Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Great conspiracy theories! Next we can imagine what Randi's next meal "really" means.

Anonymous said...

HEy woodlass, the union is only as strong as its membership. Evrything else is meaningless regardless of political posturing.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon "March 25, 2006 2:00:57" isn't that the question that was brought before the DA in Feb? Should we got to "no contract, no work policy"? (Despite the fact the Detroit is far from being NYC under Billionaire Bloomberg).

Anonymous said...

"17 more years" may have it more on the nose about what was said on Wed. from Chapter Leaders (not to spoil it for elmentary schools). The 37 1/2 minutes is the DOE's mess not the UFT's (despite what the NY Post said last week)and we are doing the best we can under the circumstances. Is it paradise? Most of our schools in NYC were far from being ideal even before this contract but the question is is as horrible as ICE has made it our to be before it was even implemented?

jameseterno said...

To Anon Above-

The contract is every bit as horrible as ICE said it would be. C6R with the hall patrols and cafeteria duty, the extra 37.5 minutes and the lack of ability to grieve letters in the file all add up to one big nightmare for teachers. We still have not yet had to endure school on the last day of August and the students returning the day after labor day.

What did we get for all of this; less than a cost of living adjustment.

Anonymous said...

17 More Years:

I advise against starting the school day earlier for several reasons.

First, it is inconvenient for teachers who must commute, especially those with childcare issues who cannot leave any earlier. One accident on the road, or a tiny drop of rain, and you're late. After several latenesses, you are at the mercy of the DOE.

Secondly, since the new teachers, primarily the Fellows, voted overwhelmingly for this contract, let them be the ones to sacrifice. It's better to let them be late for college classes than to have commuters be late, jeopardizing their careers in the process.

Militant Action said...

Of course we have to try to make the best of this bad situation. One of the laws of nature is adapt or die.

But what about that other law of nature: fight or flight? We gotta fight to take back our union so we can fight city hall for a better contract!

Anonymous said...

When is the flight?

Anonymous said...

If the circular 6 stuff and 37 1/2 minutes were so bad why didn't they report that last Wed? only a couple of schools said their were problems so where is the hype? Is every school in the system part of the conspiracy also?.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what was said at that meeting. I do know that all the teachers I know hate the provisions in this contract. Some are resigned to their fate, and some want to storm the palace walls.

Anonymous said...

Remember: Some CLs were reporting no problems WITHOUT CONSULTING WITH THEIR MEMBERSHIP FIRST!

It happened in my school and when we found out, we were furious.

I for one do not trust what is said at these meetings because Unity makes sure what is said is what it wants to hear.

Anonymous said...

I hope you guys plan to do a thorough job of Spring Cleaning.

17 more years said...

For the record: I feel the need to clarify my feelings about the new contract. For one, I didn't vote for it. Although I only have 8 years in, I come from a family of teachers, and remember well the Al Shanker days. He, and Sandra Feldman, fought long and hard for the rights afforded teachers, only to have that sycophant Randi give it all alway (with help, of course, from countless naive teachers who voted for this sham). The extra money I'm making has not made any sort of significant change in my lifestyle. BUT- I am on our school's consultation committee, and I am committed to making this contract work in my school to the benefit of all the staff members- not the DOE, not the UFT, not administration, or the parents. People who will be late will be late no matter what time the school day starts. I have a life outside of school;hence, my life is structured around a certain time schedule. Leaving at 3:30 every day does NOT work for me, nor does it work for most in my school. The DOE wanted school group instruction, and as far as I'm concerned, it must stay that way. As teachers, we all talk about overcrowded classes; with the small groups, we have the opportunity to send a powerful message that reduced class size is key to student success.

I apologize if this is a bit rambling, but the anger I feel over this contract tends to consume at times.

Richard Skibins said...

One thing: If the DOE and Randi want to make the 37 1/2 minutes part of the regular school day, then we will be working with triple the amount of students in that time. Therefore, they should triple our pay for the 37 1/2 minutes.

Anonymous said...

The 37 1/2 minute has completely drained my energies each day,because I am unable to leisurely review notes, research projects, homeworks, tests or quizzes. Consequently, it has been difficult to keep up with the work load and it has soured my view on our leadership's ability to improve our working conditions.

Anonymous said...

I would hate to see this time added to the regular schedule. (Unless preps and lunch times are also increased). It so much more relaxing to end the day with 10 attentive students than 30.

jameseterno said...

To 5:19 p.m.-

Lunch and prep times are increased when a school adds the extended time to the day. In my school we have a six hour and fifty minute day on a daily basis that is divided into eight equal periods. The periods, including lunch and prep, are forty four minutes long. We don't do a ninth period.

Anonymous said...

When I get a coverage in a day with the 37.5 minutes in my single session high school, I am teaching eight periods out of nine (five classes, small group instruction C6 plus coverage). My only break is lunch. This is inhumane.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add the 37.5 minute small group period in the last comment to make eight teaching periods in a day.

Unitymustgo said...

Anyone else get annoyed when someone says well it's not so bad in my school, or my principal isn't so bad. I happen to work in a nice school, and my principal really is a nice person. I even sent her that video link on this thread and she laughed her ass off, but if we don't start caring about the teachers who are suffering under this contract then we all deserve it.

For the record I did not directly compare Randi to Hitler, but hey judging by the reactions atleast some see the similarity.

Last, I agree that we must find a way of shifting public perception of this fiasco away from teachers. Most parents I speek with think we asked for this!! We need some real public relations help.

Anonymous said...

Hey if we want to speak for those that "are suffering" then why is it that we don't hear it from the CL's? People should tell the CL's and it should be clear as to how members feel. Unfortunatly for ICE's political agenda, that is not what has been reported. So what is the truth?

Anonymous said...

Hey ICE. This posting is more than 2 weeks old. Don't you have anything creative to say (in a posting). Or are you just going to personalize your attacks in this thread?

Anonymous said...

Many Chapter Leaders are bought and paid for by Unity so they won't complain about conditions. They have an interest in the status quo.

Anonymous said...

Interesting conspiracy theory. I guess everyone is "bought and paid" including the guy/gal standing next to you. Look out!

Anonymous said...

Only Unity people are bought and paid for. Go to the UTP blog to see the Unity obligations. The guy sitting next to me is fine. That's not a conspiracy theory; it's reality.

JustdaTruth said...

I don't like the extended day. I believe it's only going to lead to another full working period. So let's leave it as small group instruction or test prep.

Anonymous said...

Hey, guess what? The extra 37.5 IS a working period.Has anyone been napping during it? I work. I'm tired enough already and I don't like having to do it. I'd rather give back the money (how much is it after taxes?) and go back to my old schedule which was not easy. OK, maybe I deserve the pittance they've added to my salary, but the 37.5 stinks and our day is too long.