I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How We Are Crushing Teachers......

I've been contacted by several current and former teachers about a new job requirement that has been added to the already massive work-load these employees are dealing with at one of our extra hour elementary schools.  This new job duty is an online program called "Plan Book."  From what I have been told, the problem is that teachers who have been teaching for years and years with great track records are being required to electronically submit their detailed lesson plans following a highly structured formula, every week.  I'm told that the process to do this is excruciatingly time consuming.  Compounding matters is the fact that the online portal where these plans have to be submitted is down frequently.  From one frustrated teacher..

"With the hostile environment we have been subjected to and the crazy amount of paperwork and not being able to do what we need to in our classroom for the students we are given, I’ve decided to look for a job outside in either XXXXXXXXXXXX or in the XXXXXXXXXX. It’s not worth my integrity or sanity. I have spent countless hours in tears over the frustration and confusion. I’ve watched students who are not ready be forced into transitioning.
In the XXXXXXXXX I’ve been in this county, I’ve come to realize there are few people who are advocates of teachers. I consider the most important part of my job the safety and education of kids. I’m no longer in a position to provide that second part, because I have no voice. I am so sad, but apparently, not alone. A new hire resigned this past Friday to take a job in XXXXXXXXXXX. There are many of my fellow teachers who are feeling as I do, and some who are making the same effort to leave that I am. I would have never anticipated this. However, as it was put to me when you are between a rock and a hard place, what do you do? I. "

another frustrated teacher wrote:

Tons of us have cried every day, working 12 hour days and then going up on weekends to get things done. I am trying to work at home right now after leaving school and plan book is down.

another frustrated teacher wrote:

" I cry going in and I cry when I leave.
I cry most of the afternoon and I've cried both weekends since school started. This is the most miserable I've ever been in my life. There is nothing fun, fulfilling, or remotely satisfying about my job."

Failure to deal appropriately with destructive and disruptive students at some schools, combined with these new demands for 40 page written lesson plans to be submitted into an online system that is frequently down, combined with the other onerous documentation mandates placed on our teachers--- is totally crushing our teachers.  I will be asking a lot of questions about this at the next workshop.  I hope something can be done to ease up on this.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing this problem to a public forum. The general public needs to be aware of how these teachers are being treated at this school. The entire school is being punished and someone needs to get a handle on the administration that is treating district employees in this fashion!

Anonymous said...

I agree. One reason administrators may require this is that they want to make sure that teachers are creating a pretty cohesive, and coherent lesson plan. We need to weigh what is practical, given the circumstances, with what is ideal. In an ideal world, teacher will create and write lessons, and I am all for that (especially if you are new and dont have a full grasp of what you are doing). But this isnt an ideal real world, this is the real world, you gotta give and take.

A better alternative, if that is the reason for administrators requiring this, is to do classroom runs every few weeks or so to see how things are progressing. I agree it's really helpful in creating a plan, but it is too much work, and many veteran teachers have a plan of action in teaching the standards.