As an educator, I need more time to plan lessons and teach – not test – my students.
From when I arrive at 7:15 a.m., I have 30 minutes during the entire day for planning providing me with time to make copies, check email, use the bathroom and phone a parent about their child’s behavior. But that does not leave me enough time to grade papers or plan for instruction, which are the most important steps in preparing Prince George’s County students for college and career.
Breakfast duty, lunch duty, dismissal duty, staff meetings, Leadership Committee meetings, and the million other burdensome and unnecessary documentation processes required should be streamlined to provide for more instructional time.
At the end of my contract day, I don’t stop the planning and grading that needs to get done. No, I continue to work … for free. Often my workday extends to 10 or 12 hours. This is how long it takes me to do what my students deserve — for a salary that is less than I deserve, for a salary that is annually $20,000 less than I would be making if I worked less than five miles away.
I ask that the community support adding more planning time to educators’ days, especially elementary educators, and providing funding to restore all educators to our full steps to reward us for all we do, instead of punishing us for remaining loyal to Prince George’s County Public Schools.
The writer is an educator at Thomas Stone Elementary School and Mount Rainier Elementary School.
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