In my previous life, one of my responsibilities was to create the master schedule for the school. That would entail creating a Jr. High schedule and then building specials into the schedule for grades K-6 (PE, Music, Art, Library, Computers, Spanish). It was done by hand with multiple edits ( I mean lots of edits). And just when you thought you had it right, a teacher would find an error in all of your hard work. Or even better special area teachers would calculate the number of minutes they were teaching in comparison to their colleagues. It was hard to please people. Even when you gave competent justification about schedule choices they may go to district as if you were trying to commit a personal injustice. No like really I did my best to follow the district matrix that included minutes suggested for teaching, preps, lunch, teacher to student rations and so on (in Ranata’s best sarcastic tone). There are instances that sections are larger. Sometimes they failed to see the bigger picture and all the moving pieces. It’s about more than the PE, Music or Art (etc.) or whatever department is there to support academic achievement and extracurricular advancement. It was about what worked for the whole school. There are times that you can make an change to benefit an individual. However, that is a slippery ass slope. If you start doing that then it looks like you are playing favorites or giving preferential treatment.
So, I always would question myself if I was the type of teacher that would have issues with the schedule or I would just keep it moving. I am a keep in moving person. I am there to educate children. I would trust that my administrative team follows district or school guidelines for schedules. I was chatting with my principal today and he was just checking in and seeing how my workload is going. No complaints here. But why would I? I would look stupid as hell. Even if I did, I don’t want the reputation on campus of being hard to work with or never satisfied.
Take a look at my schedule below. I teach between two-four sections per day. Wednesday is my roughest day with five during the swimming unit. I do not teach Advisory, but I go up to area and hang out with the kids prior to the start of the day so that I can get to know them. I am only required to do that twice a week, but I go everyday. I also volunteered to go into Advisory and teach if coverage is needed for meetings, professional development or any other reason. I actually get to do this tomorrow! I go to the gym twice a week to monitor break time. Again this gives me an opportunity to see the kids in a non academic setting and make those positive connections.
This post is dedicated to all my hard working school administrators. Been there, done that! I appreciate all the work and consideration that goes into creating master schedules. Have a great school year and know that your schedule is amazing; you did what was right for students. You made decisions that were aligned with the mission and vision of the school. #yourock and #iseeyou