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Teaching vs Comp Time

February 21, 2008 pm29 7:25 pm
Teaching is hard.

A friend, ATR at a closing school, had a comp time position. Comp time = “compensatory time,” ie, a semi-administrative position that a teacher has in lieu of some portion of their teaching load. My friend, I believe had a “.4” meaning that 40% of his teaching time (2 classes) were replaced by administrative duties. All of his “professional time” (6-R) should have gone to the same administrative duties, and 40% of his preparation time as well.

And then he got a new job in a school that is not being phased out, and he had a regular, full schedule. He claimed to love being back to teaching full-time, but he had a lot to groan about, and I had fun ribbing him about finally working an honest day. Glass houses, though.

Me, I work comp-time. I have a .3, 30% (I teach 3 and a half classes – that half class business is real). If I were Chapter Leader in a big school I would get relieved of 1 class for that, but no, my school is small. I get my .3 for doing the programming (scheduling) in my school, and related tasks. I work hard at it. It’s difficult. And I don’t mind saying that I do a tremendous job.

Until this term. We lost a teacher in my department, and we will be hiring via open-market this Spring for next September, but in the meantime her program got divided up, and I, for this term only, am teaching a full, regular program.

Like my friend said, teaching is far more rewarding than administrative work. It’s great being with the kids. I now have three sections of algebra instead of one, and I can modify what I am doing, I get more feedback, etc. etc.

But it’s exhausting. (more beneath the fold –>) No matter how hard I work at programming, the physical demands of teaching (and I have mostly 9th graders) are far greater. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

My principal laughed at me, kindly. Once, he went from being an AP with no teaching load to an AP with one class. He told me how impossibly hard it was to go back. (and he had started as a 25-period/week teacher).

Boy, am I enjoying doing nothing over February break!

(note: in many schools teachers fight hard to get comp time position, and then bitch and moan about how tough the jobs are, and how ‘regular teachers’ have it easy. Know what I think? I have been trying to get other people to learn how to do the scheduling for a few years now…)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2008 pm29 8:00 pm 8:00 pm

    In my school, the women that do the programming hold onto that job for dear life. One was about to lose her job because of the union rule of rotation and the principal played some fancy game to let her hold onto it.

    These people work extremely hard, I won’t take that away from them. But, in my school, they get big$$$$$ for tons of extra hours. They are also some of the chosen few with a sesk, phone, computer, etc , a “home”. And, while they do work extremely hard several months during the year, there are months when they do nothing.

    I have more building seniority than almost anyone in my building, but I choose to forgo comp positions. Teaching is not easy, but I would rather deal with the kids than the BS from everyone else.

  2. February 22, 2008 am29 4:26 am 4:26 am

    I remember right before I started teaching, I called my mom (veteran teacher) from work one day. She asked me what I was doing, and I said, “Not much. Just waiting for 5:00. All my work is done.” She said, “Well, when you start teaching, you’ll never have that experience again.” and she was so right! Teaching is like a giant whirlwind that picks you up in the morning and sets you down in the afternoon. It’s hard work, but there’s nothing like it!

    Enjoy your break!! I’m counting down to ours – 11 school days till then! :-)


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