This Duty Schedule is a pain in my butt (maybe it's from that ball that slammed into me). I joined the committee at the last minute because we only had upper grade teachers on it for this coming year and I wanted us primary teachers to have some representation. Obviously. So we started talking about it right before school started because we needed to have it ready for Day One.
Let me set this up for you. Two primary teachers (my partner and me) and two upper grade teachers talking via Facebook (private messaging, not on the wall or anything like that!) and going back and forth, and back and forth. I am telling you, it was STRESSFUL. Negotiations were breaking down and both sides needed lawyers. I hate conflict - it was killing me. All I kept thinking was that these girls were going to hate me! I started every sentence with "I'm sorry but . . ."
Here's the kit and caboodle of the whole situation. Our school has almost 1200 kids. At one time. We are no longer year round (WAAAH!!!! I am still so bummed over it) and we are all there ALL. THE. TIME. We have to have so many teachers cover so many kids, etc. We have 5 teachers cover recess before school (which is not really recess but grades 1 - 6 go to the playground and play with pretend balls. Seriously. It's hilarious to watch. Now THERE'S a sport I can play!), 5 teachers at primary morning recess, 5 teachers at upper grade morning recess, and 5 teachers after school for bus and carpool. The biggest problem (not for me) is that primary ALSO gets an afternoon recess which is mandated by our district. But upper grades do not get this afternoon recess. I don't know why. Is it because upper grade students can sit still longer? Is it because upper graders rarely have accidents (as in pee their pants)? Honestly, I don't know the real reason but I thank God for it every day. And the best part is that my principal pays our noon supervisors (the brave ladies who cover our lunch recess) to stay 15 minutes longer to cover our afternoon recess. (Basically, after the upper graders finish their lunch and recess, it's time for our afternoon recess so the noon supervisors just stay) So we never have that duty. Ever. Opera singing going on in my head now (Haaaaaalllllllleluuuuuuuujah!!). By the way, after writing all of that, it looks like my kids are at recess all day. I wonder how I even have two and a half hours for Language Arts. I am going to have to get the calculator out and see what's up. :)
SO --- when the committee got together, upper grade (as a whole) basically said they were tired of getting the shaft and that things HAD to change. They said that our afternoon primary recess is 15 minutes a day times 5 days a week which equals 100 minutes of free time that they do not get. I know, my math is off. I forgot to tell you that primary gets a 45 minute lunch and upper grade gets 40 minutes. Honestly, why anyone would even accept an upper grade position is beyond me. So that was their point. We get 20 minutes of free time every day. FREE TIME. Yep. I don't know about you but I am just kicking it during those minutes. Not a care in the world. I tend to take my nap during that time.
Are you still with me? Is this boring??? Because to tell you the truth, I was all fired up about it. I kept trying to tell the husband about it and he just kept telling me to call my partner to vent. He said he didn't understand it. Aren't I making myself clear??? I do NOT want to have recess duty EVER.
Wellllllll, this compromise meant that upper grade teachers were off the schedule every other two week period (our duties last for two weeks). And primary teachers were only off the schedule ONE TIME before Christmas.
Our primary teachers are very strong. They speak up. They went ballistic. The principal got involved. One of the committee members took herself off. The other almost cried. It was awful. I seriously thought we were going to have a rumble between upper and primary on the handball courts at 3:30. It was bad. One teacher called it "a hostile environment". YIKES. I mean, I may kid and all, but I try to keep things in perspective. If I'm on duty, I try to remember to thank God for a job that allows me to be outside watching children play. I'm not stuck at a desk or serving customers or what have you.
My principal told all of us at a meeting that duty has to be equitable and that the primary afternoon recess couldn't count against us. She said she was taking it over . . . and then I got that special email. She needs my help. Can I fix it? Can I send her a new one by the end of the week?
Would you say no??? I already did the first one before school started and now I have to start all over. Granted, I am going to have more time off, but it is complicated to make it equitable and fair. My brain hurts.
So what happens at your school? Do you have duty? Is it equitable? Do you get hit with balls? Is there a height requirement for patrolling the playground where you teach??? PLEASE comment. I am really dying to see what other schools do. I have actually heard that some teachers NEVER have duty. Where is this school??? Are they hiring????
Okay, Big Bro Fans! Let's see what happens tonight. I need Shelly outta there!!!!!!!