Our PTA lets lecturers babysit
We received an email from our PTA President a few weeks ago detailing an upcoming “parents night fundraiser” idea. How do parents get out of the night you ask? Teachers have been encouraged to sign up for shifts to look after the children in their classrooms at school from 6pm to 9pm. Apparently not many teachers volunteered, because a week later our principal sent us a lengthy follow-up shaming our faculty for “threatening to ruin a fundraiser that ultimately benefits the school.” Are we being selfish , if we assert ourselves? – Not standing to sit
This was poor planning on the part of the PTA. And poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on your part.
The PTA should have carried out this plan by several teachers, each of whom could have pointed out that it is totally inappropriate to ask teachers to work more and for free when they are already doing so much unpaid work.
Personally, I wouldn’t feel compelled to reply to a vague, group-shaming email. But when you do decide to speak up, be strategic. Remember to adopt positive intentions. Your principal is embarrassed that his teachers aren’t on board a fundraiser for the school that he thinks is great, and that he doesn’t try to persuade teachers to do a fundraiser that he knows is highly offensive. Try something like this:
“I am so happy that the PTA has made all these efforts to collect money for school. However, for this particular fundraiser, I wish there had been a better opportunity for teacher feedback during the planning phase. The teachers are already investing so much time, money and resources in the children of this school. Being asked to do extra work for free while my parents dress up for dinner and dance just doesn’t align with who I am as a professional. I have some ideas for redesigning the teacher participation portion of this fundraiser that I think will bring more teachers on board.”
If that doesn’t work, request the fundraiser’s standard babysitting rate. Really go on and give them a special parent discount of $ 10/hour. With a standard class size, you collect $ 750 in one evening.
I recently moved to a rural school with a very small IT support staff and classroom technology that is in dire need of an update. Since our technology fails so often, I teach a lot of offline without devices. I teach AP statistics, so it is tedious to only work on the board and on worksheets, but it is not impossible. My grand annual review was very positive overall, but my principal rated me poorly for integrating technology. Do I have to contest this because the problem was outside of my control? —I’m a statistician, not a magician
You should speak to your principal. You need to know that you don’t have what you need to be successful according to your metrics. However, I would not expect to change the score. If your headmaster did not know why she was not using technology in your lessons and was not notified that your technology is unreliable, I think that the score is fair.
You can say something like: “I wanted to discuss the part” Use of Technology “of the evaluation. I’d love to use more technology, but I’ve adjusted my teaching strategy this year after seeing how much class time I’m wasting fixing problems with devices. Can we talk about how I can improve my score in this area in the future? Can you give me some teachers on our campus that I could watch? “
If you are a good headmaster, you will see your commitment to improvements. If you’re a great leader, you’ll see a structural weakness that’s your job to address, not your job to work around.
In a few weeks we will be running in-service training for faculty and staff on how to respond to active shooters. We were told that blanks will be fired so we know what the shots sound like. I have lost family members to gun violence and know that this part of the training will be very stressful for me. Should I pretend I’m sick that day? – Can’t we?
First, I’m sorry that our training for teachers asks you to hear shots. Sometimes I look around and just don’t understand how we came here.
It is important that you are comprehensively trained for emergencies, but it is just as important that you protect your mental health. If you believe that the rest of the training (the part that is not about hearing empty rounds) is something that you can manage without stress, try to be there for this part and ask you for permission to be off campus when the rounds are being fired.
But if you think that the entire training would trigger, send an email to your headmaster and ask about other options to learn the information. Talk to your doctor, too — they’ll likely have paperwork to excuse you from attending if it matters.
But don’t just call in sick. It’s important to be honest in case this becomes an annual workout (ugh).
Do you have a burning question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I teach our high school basketball star. Earlier in the quarter, he submitted a plagiarized essay, an automatic zero in our school’s grading policy. His parents and my AP urged me to have him redo the essay, which I did, but he never submitted one. I finished his grades with a zero for the plagiarized essay, but later found that my AP had changed it to an 85. When I asked my AP for the reason, he said: “I changed him because I thought he had handed it over and didn’t want to call it so shortly before midnight.” It is little revenge or an ethical obligation, mine AP to report at this point? —Petty Patty and the personal foul
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