Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 30 2011

How to boost employee morale

They told me this was going to happen in my interview, but I actually didn’t believe them. I figured it was one of those promises you make to hire someone and then conveniently forget about later. And it’s true that the school year is still two months away, so there’s still time for this to slip out of my fingers. But today I got to see the Master Schedule for the actual school year (as opposed to summer school, which starts Tuesday) and they’re at least planning to make this happen for us.

This year, I’m scheduled to have TWO AND A HALF HOURS OF PREP TIME… every day.

That’s 150 minutes of time during my work day to actually do my work.

That’s as opposed to staying after school until evening and then bringing the work home. (They are warning us about having so much work we’ll still need to do that anyway, but I’m too giddy with joy to be paying attention to that.) Sure, my school day is about an hour longer than last year, but my prep timeĀ  is also FOUR TIMES what it used to be. I’m still waiting for someone to tell me it’s just a big joke.

I teach three classes. I have a homeroom group I do activities with. I have to be present at some all-school events and run some detentions. And I have time to plan collaboratively with the other sixth grade math teacher. Oh yeah, did I mention that I have 2.5 hours of prep?

Everyone says we’ll feel overworked even with the prep time, but it’s not like that would be a new feeling for me. The point is that someone actually is giving me time, at my job, to do my work. I know that’s normal in other fields, but it’s a HUGE GIFT in teaching. I feel like I just won the lottery.

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