Monday, March 5, 2007

50 Ways To Spend Your Conference

I think we need to get as many school teachers as possible to attend and shed light on what they will be "forced" to give up. I think the key word is FORCED... not refuse. My proposal for the next school board meeting is to get as many teachers as possible to stand in front of the school board and say "I am Carla Crabapple and I teach blah blah blah at Blank high school. Because of Ms. Elias decision I will be forced to give up Blank club and I will no longer be able to volunteer for _ _ _ _". Next teacher stands up... "My name is .." I think this is a strong strategy and will prevent us from sounding like a broken record. What do you all think of this idea ?

This deserves its own posting. Let's use it as a good starting point.
I'm not sure about the word "forced". May I suggest that the approach be something like:

"I will have to make some unpleasant but necessary choices. Like any company, organization or family, priorites must be established in order to function efficiently and effectively. We have not been asked for our input in this matter so we are here seeking DIRECTION from those who made the decision without us."

Let the district tell us what is important and set our priorities.

When parents ask us why we are unable to do something (that they have come to expect or take for granted) we can phrase our response in a non-accusitory but truthful "I'm really sorry but there just isn't enough time to do what we did last year with only 1 conference period this year."

A teacher spoke to the board and had the statistics and breakdown of how he spent his conference time. It was great!

When the Southern Association of Colleges gets wind of this I can't help but wonder if our school's accreditation comes into question.

Lets start listing those things we do during our conference time. Things like:

Prepare for between 1 and 3 classes/labs.

13 comments:

kate said...

Great site. I posted about this and included a link.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Calling parents.

Anonymous said...

Reading, correcting and making meaningful comments on student essays.

Anonymous said...

Writing individual letters of recommendations for students applying to college!!!!

Teacher.Tampa said...

Have meaningful communication with ESE case managers that truly helps a content teacher differentiate lessons…rather than the CYA job that will be done next year.

Teacher.Tampa said...

I also like the wording of

I will have to make some unpleasant but necessary choices. Like any company, organization or family, priorites must be established in order to function efficiently and effectively. We have not been asked for our input in this matter so we are here seeking DIRECTION from those who made the decision without us."


I think we need more teachers to attend -- need to show the board that we have more and more support -- more and new teachers need to step forward and speak up and those who have need to continue to speak at board meetings.

Anonymous said...

My normal cohert will be there next tues... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE try to encourage fellow teachers at your school to come out on Tues. Even if they are too shy to speak... they can serve as a warm body and make a statement by being there. You don't have to be there from 5-9! Often, we go out to dinner first, meet with other teachers from other schools and chit chat before we head in around 7:30ish. Round up the troops!

Carla C.
carlacrabapple@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Evaluating books, activities, and potential homework assignments. Looking for and evaluating appropriate internet websites - NOT Wikipedia!

Anonymous said...

Creating or improving PowerPoint presentaions.

Newby 2 said...

I'm new this year. I'm just getting the hang of things in the classroom. I know there is a Federal requirement for a certian number of students per classroom. My understanding is that if this requirement is not met (by 2009?) the school district is subject to lose a lot of funding.
The districts attempt to meet these requirements is why they say we need to go to the new "traditional" schedule. I loose one 45 minute conference period (we have 8 periods 45 minutes each with 2 conference periods)and gain 5 minutes on the one conference period I will have. So in all I lose 40 minutes of conference period time.

My classroom may or may not go up since I do not teach math, reading or science.

Is this tracking on what's going on? It interests me because it affects me but right now my head is somewhat buried in the sand trying to learn the classroom piece and get certified. I will have all of that done by the start of the new school year so now I need to get better educated on this topic. I'll track this site to stay current.
Thanks All

Suzie Creamcheese said...

Welcome aboard newby2. As a new teacher you are actually in the enviable position of NOT being invested in our district or our profession. With open eyes you can get certified and then decide if you want to pursue your career here. We do have some pluses in this county and you will be able to make an informed, experienced decision. The district is big enough for you to really get a feel for things if you are willing to move around. Stay tuned, alert and aware. We hope to make this a friendly place for teachers to exchange info and ideas. Please share this address with other teachers.

Anonymous said...

Applying for, preparing and documenting the necessary information for National Teacher Certification.

Anonymous said...

am sorry to report that I don't actually have a conference period. I am a media specialist (yes, I AM a teacher too) in a large school and I rarely have time for a 10 minute lunch. How can I say "sorry, I'm at lunch" when I see the stressed face of one of my teachers at the door in a state of panic because all her grades disappeared off her electronic gradebook? It breaks my heart to see my teachers, even the most experienced, struggling to keep up with the rising demand of mandates and accountability. And personally, I am sick of district pressure to "do more with less" as they continuously cut personnel, equipment, supplies, space and time.