Friday, August 02, 2013

Fat Tuesday vs. Skinny Friday


Athena Class Schedule Rotation:
 "Can Be A Little Overwhelming"!!!
 
Not To Mention It Lacks Continuity & Is Confusing!


 

The New Athena High School Schedule - Student Version from Greece Athena High School on
Vimeo.


 

The New Athena High School Schedule - Teacher Version from Greece Athena High School on Vimeo.

SCATS ~~ THANK YOU to the person who brought this to my attention :)

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

A whole new meaning to "fat Tuesday" especially in a school setting. Sometimes you can't make this stuff up. The blind leading the blind. Could it be the reason every administrator is in summer school these past ten days, trying to learn this new schedule? It looks like a nightmare.

SCATS said...

To 12:04PM ~~ You think "blind" ... I think "deaf & dumb" ... ;)

Anonymous said...

To refer to days as fat or skinny is not only foolish (no where else in the business or real world would they have that reference)but in addition how are kids with weight problems going to feel? Skinny or fat are offended. I would feel better with full days and partial days. 47 minute classes?? why not 45 minutes. Lets make this more difficult than it needs to be. Why not go back to the mod system of the 70's where each mod was 15 minutes. At least it divides into an hour.

SCATS said...

To 6:27PM ~~ Don't look now but "Fat Tuesday" is the designation for the day before Ash Wednesday. It's also called Shrove Tuesday ;)

Anonymous said...

The use of fat and skinny is offensive...was this brought to us by the same high school principal and administration that let those kids run afoul in the school as a prank? No respect for others.

Jeff said...

A few observations from the presentation on new teacher's scheduke:
1. Total hours scheduled per week: 27.5 hours (30 if you include lunch)
2. Total time scheduled to teach each week: 20.5 hours (including "advisement" - not sure what that is)
3. Total time scheduled for planning per week: 7 hours

Anonymous said...

If you were a school administrator, whose job it is to understand and create schedules, you'd get it. Just like accountants, lawyers, doctors, etc. have their own processes and lingo - so it goes in schools. Unless districts lengthen the school day, they have to get creative about increasing instructional time within the days and hours they are allotted. Is it clean, clear and easy work? Absolutely not. Imagine trying to increase instructional contact time when the hours of your allotted work time don't increase....and to that for over 1000 students. This work isn't easy, folks. Try to settle down and find the positives in such a move. Simply because you don't understand it doesn't make it wrong.

Anonymous said...

If you truly want to educate yourself to provide an INFORMED opinion on the schedule being proposed....do some reading.

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov95/vol53/num03/The-Power-of-Innovative-Scheduling.aspx

Enjoy

SCATS said...

To Jeff @8:22AM ~~ That certainly puts it into an entirely new light! Thank you.

To 10:42 & 10:51AM ~~ It shouldn't require a PhD to "understand" the schedule our children will be required to adhere to! I'm pretty sure a PhD isn't required of most administrators we hire, anyway ;)

Now, onto reality ... and what has been conveniently NOT mentioned: The scheduling becomes a nightmare not because we "want to increase instructional time" ... but because THE TEACHER'S CONTRACT MAKES SCHEDULING SO CONSTRAINING!!!

It also PREVENTS US FROM LENGTHENING SCHOOL DAYS, WEEKS AND/OR YEARS!! Any of those would provide the desired increased instructional time, right??

Anonymous said...

This is a schedule like the one that is used in Hilton. Let's ask the Hilton people if it works for them and what are the pros and cons to such a switch.

I did read the article and it is interesting to see that there are such innovative practices to provide instruction without increasing the time of day.

As for the amount of time that teachers work, come on, you can surely do better than that with your argument? The amount of time spent in a classroom in front of students is not the only time a teacher is working. Teachers put in many many more hours. There is an old saying that says "if you are going to tell me how to teach you should at least be able to teach yourself". And I doubt any of you would last one week in a classroom.

Anonymous said...

it actually looks pretty straightforward to me. what I object to it the use of the terms skinny and fat.

SCATS said...

To 3:21PM ~~ C'mon! Teaching isn't rocket science! And FYI, every parent is their child's first teacher. We taught ours to walk, talk, tie shoes, recognize/recite the alphabet, count and many other things. As for experience, I spent years in the schools. I survived just fine ;)

Jeff said...

@3:21pm

Of course I don't think the only time a teacher is working is the time they spend in front of students(20.5 hours/week).
I also think they work during their "planning" periods(7 hours/week).
And I'll even pretend that some actually work another hour or two a day(for the sake of argument).
Add that all up and one can conclude that teachers work a 40 hour/week schedule. Just like the rest of us.....oh wait....it's only 180 days a year......sorry.
An average of $53k/year for working 3/4 of the year the rest of us work. Not too shabby!

SCATS said...

To Jeff @1:21AM ~~ Well said!

Anonymous said...

And every murder, child molester, criminal, also learned from their parents to tie their shoes and walk etc. What is your point? You obviously didn't last too long in school or you would still be there teaching. My point is that in this culture of teaching that is dictated by the state, it is not the teachers that are to be blamed for the lackluster performance of students but rather the multitude of unfounded mandates, lack of parental involvement, and just downright ill proven programs that promises results but rarely provide any. Ask Olympia's AVID program how successfull it was last year. There is a of teacher bashing on this site, but rarely do I see anyone make any meaninful l comntribution to providing solutions for the said problems.

SCATS said...

To 3:54PM ~~ My God! I do hope you are NOT a teacher!

My point is that anyone, and I do mean ANYONE with an average IQ (90-100) CAN teach kids! Lots of kids are home-schooled, finish the curriculum early and come out of it with MORE than many learn with a college degree! I'll say it again: teaching isn't rocket science.

As for the EXCUSES about state requirements, I'm calling another BS alert!! I've watched local education go from above average in Greece to the bottom over the last 25 years. Guess what? It has never, ever been the fault of any teacher, nevermind the fact they are:
1 - trained to teach
2 - spend regular time each day/week with the expectation that they are teaching
3 - get paid for items 1 & 2 above!

I'm sick and tired of this "blame anyone/everyone (parent, student, administration, NY State) EXCEPT the teacher mentality! They are a HUGE part of the equation so surely an equivalent part of the success/failure of the schools lies with them. (stepping off soapbox)

Anonymous said...

The AVID program is a joke, it is hardly a success. Those kids are pushed through even more so than the rest of the class to make sure it boasts the inflated graduation rate. The parents of these kids call and complain that they aren't given the bare minimum to pass and the teachers are instructed from the higher ups to give them what they need to pass. The graduation rates goes up and makes BABS and the Avid program look successful but it is all just a bunch of smoke and mirrors. Yet the taxpayers continue to spend money on all these avid trainings for no reason.

Anonymous said...

Scats, you are very quick to to criticize and pass judgement because it is not of your opinion. I just hope your children do not take after you.

Anonymous said...

I cant help but notice the amount of pictures and stories on the front page of the districts website about this 2 week training that was held. Why in the world do we need to look at so many pictures of the superintendent and her following of up and comings at the same thing for two weeks straight! Not only is it boring as heck to look at we all know it is just a bunch of public relations propaganda to convince us that she and others are working their rear end off to better our students. I for one and not buying it. They only thing it has convinced me of is why not to go to the website or information. I do not enjoy clicking on it and seeing a oversized photo of boring trainings with descriptions that mean nothing to me. I stopped following them on twitter for this very reason. Take a survey and see what people really want to see when they do go to the district website, you poll us about stupid crap all the time why not do a meaningful,one, but then again you may not like the responses. If no one speaks it out loud the problem doesn't exist and there are no issues to address.

SCATS said...

To 7:27PM ~~ I've taught my children that having an opinion is not an option. It's a requirement. Maybe your mindset is the type responsible for the fact that so few actually bother voting these days ... ?

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher in Greece and was begged by someone who reads this blog regularly to comment. I would like to encourage anyone who thinks that educators teach 40 hours a week to visit school parking lots after 3 to see how many teachers are still working. Please ask the kids and the parents in the community if their teachers email back or call after 2:30. Also ask some of your kids' teachers if they attend conferences or workshops on Saturdays or summers. I for example finish work by 4 and bring home a minimum of 2 hours of work to correct after my own children go to bed. I return to work by 6:30 a.m. the following day. I meet with colleagues to plan lessons and units outside of class also. Many of us give up our planning time ot help students get caught up or have one on one time to understand concepts. Many of us eat lunch with students to help them with issues they may be going through. Many of us stay in our rooms late and welcome kids who have to wait for parent rides after sports who come back to our classrooms to do work. Some of us put in 10-12 hour days and a solid 5 hours on the weekend. I also use about 15 hours a week over the summer to improve lessons and start the year with a new perspective. I also attend many workshops over the summer to improve my lessons and to keep current on technology.

Please don't give our profession such a negative reputation. Many many of us love what we do, and go above and beyond what is contractually required on a daily basis. Please feel free to ask back any questions and I'd be glad to reply.

SCATS said...

To 10:12PM ~~ While I know there are a few dedicated teachers, I also know there are some very empty parking lots soon after that last bell has rung for the day. In fact, I have witnessed teachers who appeared to be racing the students for the exit at the end of a school day. Sadly, they represent the masses. Just ask the parents.

Anonymous said...

10:12, you are correct and I will echo the same sentiment. Unfortunately many believe we just collect a paycheck. There is an old saying that says, "do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience". I know that to be the case with this blog, specifically with Scats. So, it truly is a FUTILE attempt at trying to enlighten some people with the emphasis put on futile".

SCATS said...

To 9:47AM ~~ Oh, you poor, poor thing!! Like a former boss used to tell his workers: "Name-calling, swearing and the like are a symptom of mental bankruptcy, used by those who have NOTHING worthwhile left to say."

For those who aren't "on MY LEVEL" that slogan means that those who can't win an argument with examples, logic and facts resort to trying to change the focus to the person they can't otherwise beat in their verbal challenge.

Jeff said...

@ 10:12pm

First let me say that I do respect teachers and the work they do with my children.

I also think my children's teachers respect me and the work I have done and continue to do to prepare them.

Having said that, I think it is ridiculous for you to expect us to believe that you work 65hrs/week.

I have said it before. the school day schedule is 6 hours long(including lunch).

We are to believe that you put in another 6 hours of work on top of that?

As for not giving your profession a negative reputation, I would never do such a thing. I simply pointed out the standard teacher's schedule and compared it to those in the private sector.

I stand by my claim that the average teacher in Greece makes $53,000 / year work about 3/4 of the time of the average private sector worker.

SCATS said...

Jeff @1:04PM ~~ When it comes to GTA members, you are either 100% "for them" ... or you are the enemy.

Anonymous said...

(I am the Greece teacher), in my dept of 6 teachers, only one leaves at 3:00 to get her young kids off the bus and brings home the work to correct. How do you think those papers get corrected? How do you think we correct 120 papers from students in 70 mins a day? When do we email parents, call homes, fill out referrals, meet with administrators to discuss goals and expectations? When do we have parent teacher conferences? All in those 70 mins a day of planning. So, I have to tell you, I welcome you to shadow me not one day but one month and you will realize that perhaps 65 hours a week is a low estimation. Yes, you are right, it depends... some do not put much more than their required time, but their results and evaluations reflect that. Many many of us in my building (which I choose to leave out) come in over the summer weekly, come on weekends, and pack a dinner to work late regularly. I think we need to start putting "timers" on teachers to record anytime we are doing "work"... when you divide that by the number of hours we get paid having a Master's degree, and dealing with uniformed negative community members like many on this blog, I don't think they pay me as much as a corporate job.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Jeff, I easily put an extra 6 hours a day. Count 6:30 to 7:30 as one. I give up my lunch to eat with a group of kids who don't feel comfortable eating in the caf (30 mins), during planning I support the Special Education students who come for extra help. In the afternoon, after my extra help block ends at 3:00, I finalize my planning for the next day. I make copies, set up my agenda for the next day, email parents, students, etc., and by 5:00 I begin correcting all the papers that I received from anywhere from 50 to 82 kids on a given day. Some are long compositions to correct, some are homeworks, etc. We are expected to have on average 3 grades per student per day. A homework, a warm up, a classwork grade and some ticket out the door to show their growth. If I have to do that for 26-32 students per class and I teach 5 groups is a two day rotation, you do the math. It is a whole lot of grading! That is not including longer assessments or writings that are assigned and given every few weeks. Those take me at least 4-5 hours per night for 3 or 4 consecutive nights to get graded. So you ask, do I work on average an extra 6 hours a day? No question! Please please, stop ruining our community with this trash talk. Come in the schools and volunteer and help educate our children instead of attempting to critize something you may not involved in directly.

SCATS said...

To 9:45 & 9:54PM ~~ To answer some questions ... I've seen kids grade their own or other papers as a teacher goes over the correct answers in class. I hear often from parents who get NOWHERE in either emailing or calling teachers: no response or a response that doesn't begin to address the problem. As for the "Master's Degree" mantra, most are paid for BY GREECE TAXPAYERS ;)

As for "trash talk" ruining Greece, it's much too late. Low test scores & graduation rates already did that.

I've spent countless hours volunteering in Greece schools and it has solidified my views.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait until the new charter school results start coming in. Then we will be able to compare pay scales for results in a union and a nonunion institution.

Private and parochial school teachers don't have to go around telling us how dedicated they are. Why do union teachers?

Anonymous said...

Charter schools have one difference that our schools do not-parents have to WANT their children to go there. Kind of like the whole issue we had with a certain school of choice, that this year became a "regular old school". How did that turn out??? What was the primary difference a year made?????

SCATS said...

To 8:05AM ~~ NOT SO FAST!! Check the stats & you will find that Odyssey's performance began a big nosedive the YEAR BEFORE THE MOVE.

'Splain that one, Lucy ;)

Anonymous said...

Please, let's not forget that Greece teachers miss an average of 16 days each every year for their "sick" and "personal" time. So, it's not even a 180-day school year for them. Closer to 5/8 rather than 3/4 the time of a regular worker. And any regular worker with results like today's test scores show would get fired post haste. Heads should roll, but the union reps we're paying to sit on their asses over at GTA office will just keep on right on collecting their fat checks for continually failing to do the only job they're actually supposed to do: teach children.
You know they're laughing at you, right parents?

SCATS said...

To 11:01PM ~~ Another great point made, TY!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm going to be another pro teacher supporter on here for a couple of reasons:
The new schedule is indeed going to take adjustment. I'm sure it will make sense in the grand scheme of things so I'm going to stay open minded. I'll also add that the amount of time students spend in class is probably going to be on par with their attention spans (the most a class is on a fat day is 55 minutes a piece) which is probably a result of the parents of children letting them spend too much time in front of a tv or video games so they have become incapable, (Most) of paying attention for longer before they have to move on to the next thing.
Also, unless you are a full time stay at home parent, teachers spend the most time with children on a consistent basis- 10 months out of the year, for longer than some parents see them a day, depending on work and other extra curricular activities. And even if parents do stay home during summer months or vacations, kids are always going to some time of camp so parents have a "break" from them for a good part of the day. Parents, yes you are the first teachers of your children (as am I with my own child) but try teaching 30 kids to tie their shoes . Don't forget you will have to make sure you teach them how to tie their shoes based on their own abilities, so some laces may need to be started for them, and others may need 1 done as an example. Oh yeah, and try teaching them when they are HUNGRY because they don't value eating a good breakfast before they get into the building (or they cannot eat because they are on ADHD meds). And then make sure you have their undivided attention because half the time they'd rather be texting on their phones that they are not supposed to have on them during class (and parents you need to stop texting your kids during the day too ...I guess that's another rant for another thread).
If you don't think teaching is such a bad gig, some of you should go back to school to get your teaching degree...but be aware: the job market is kind of difficult right now; once you get a job in a school district these days, you may be on the "chopping block" year after year because you're untenured or don't have enough years as the next guy. So keep your resume handy and fresh. And enjoy those summers "off" looking for a job in a different district thanks to those budget cuts.~ Ten years in