Saturday, June 16, 2012

Teach one

Teach one.

Teach one class. Please. Just one.

If you work anywhere in PPS and hold a valid teaching certificate, please volunteer to teach one class next fall in a school that really needs it. Help reduce overcrowding in the classes. Volunteer to pick up a section of history. Or math. Maybe Spanish?

Almost 300 of our colleagues have received furlough notices. What a sad era this is. We all have to sacrifice. We all need to stick together. Teachers are being told to expect increases in class size. 35 in a class. Maybe 37 or even 38. Yet somehow we're supposed to reach every child, differentiate, give detailed feedback and regular meaningful formative assessments, maintain up-to-date grades and attendance, address racial equity, learn all names within the first week, be empowered and more.

We're already struggling. Next year will be worse. Help. Pitch in. Please.

Teach one class.

Devote an hour of your work day to teaching a forty minute class, prepping, and grading. Choose the school. Ask the building leadership team where your efforts would be most helpful. Ninth grade mainstream bio? Seventh grade language arts? Fourth grade phys ed?

Building principals, please join in. Teach one class.

Central office administrators, please do your part. Teach one class.

Union officials not still in the classroom, please help out, too. Teach one class.

Dr. Lane? Will you teach one?

Dr. Otuwa and Dr. French? Will you teach one?

Dr. Lippert? Will you teach one?
Sam Franklin and Kim Basinger? Will you teach one?

Nina Esposito? Will you teach one?

Who else will help? Is it you?

Help alleviate the burden of next year's budget cuts. Let's all work together. We're all educators. We're all in this together.

Please. Just one.

Teach one class.
What do you say?


Questioner said...

What are the chances PPS would go for this idea?

Anonymous said...

It would be excellent. Even for those who struggled when they were in the classroom, teaching ONE class, and a smaller one, theoretically (if everyone did this, instead of 35, you could have a class of 18!)

Yes, you'd have trouble scheduling meetings, trouble finding time to make the necessary phone calls. You'd be irritated when you got to the school and found out that something else had interrupted and no one remembered to tell you. And all of those things might make you think.

In most of these classes, your "prep" time has theoretically been done for you -- though you'll have to follow the script you're given and then be responsible for the results. Maybe current teachers would volunteer to spend a prep period observing you and your fidelity to the curriculum. I'm sure they'd be happy to help.

Maybe your performance in the classroom could be used to determine part of your bonus, or create a VAM.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful idea!

How will you spread the word and manage a sign-up campaign?

Certainly, there are many certified people who could step up to the plate. WILL THEY?

What better way to highlight the Pittsburgh Public Schools?

Anonymous said...

I love this idea! How do we spread the word? Yinzercation? Eleanor Chute?

Questioner said...

Isn't part of the PPS plan to put students into as few buildings as possible? If schools are designed to be filled with classrooms of 30+ students, there may not be an empty classroom for a volunteer teacher to use. Obviously at some schools like Westinghouse there are lots of empty classrooms, but class sizes at Westinghouse will probably be small anyway due to low enrollment. In contrast, will there be space at Perry for a volunteer teacher?

Anonymous said...

If they teach a full class rather than using this to reduce class size, they would just use the classroom that would be used otherwise.

It would certainly be easy enough to use a classroom during another teacher's prep. Scheduling could work to make sure that a couple of teachers get their prep when their classroom is needed.

I don't like calling them "volunteers" either. Volunteers choose and can leave and can not show up. These administrators make MORE than the teachers, so they're not volunteers!

Anonymous said...

My first teaching assignment in the city was a small middle school where I taught in the classrooms of several different teachers during their preps or duties. It's not ideal but it's a reality many teachers face every day of their work.

Interesting proposal. Now how do we get this beyond the walls of PURE Reform?

Anonymous said...

The PFT would never allow this

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? Foget the PFT not allowing it. Those who never touch a student as a classroom teacher would never even consider it in the first place. It would open up their practice to the eyes of many. Now how would it look if any of these folks were unsuccessful in growing their students academically yet alone being unable to manage the classroom environment? If our beloved PFT Leadership was smart (most of us know that Nina is not the sharpest knife in the drawer), step aside and let administrators roll up their sleeves to teach one class a day to help reduce class size. I'm willing to bet that success would come in limited pockets at best. A revision to RISE competencies through the documentation of evidence just may need a bit more tweaking. It would throw a spin on the number of unsatisfactory ratings that were delivered this year. Just look at the number of resignations and there's many more to come. Let those in charge show us the way.

Anonymous said...

Friend, teachers will be doing six period days shortly. Their classes will have 30 or more students. This question should be confined to the latter half of your posting.
Lane, French, Lippert? No way.
Otuwa? Are you joking.
PFT leadership? Outrageous.

It's become obvious to teachers that there are those laughing all the way to the bank in education. They conduct research. They write tests. They administer school districts.

They make more than teachers and best of all, are immune to budget cuts.

They ignore or are insulated from media scrutiny and public outcry.

What a great fraud is being perpetrated on the sleeping masses.

Anonymous said...

I don't know the intent of the original poster, but I assumed it was written with some irony? While I think the idea has some merit -- everyone should bear the brunt of these budget cuts, not just the teachers -- I can't imagine it's lost on the original poster that the educators mentioned haven't been in the classroom for a long, long time. It would be a humbling experience for everyone who sits in a position to say what "effective" teaching is and isn't.

Anonymous said...

NO WAY NO HOW! Time to cut administration starting with Broad Residents, Directors, and Assistant Superintendents. Lets burden the teachers even more? Get rid of theses do nothing administrators thats the real problem. Why to we need more people in HR, Office of Teacher Effectiveness, and other B.S. postions. These Jack Asses keep cutting real jobs and protect the fake jobs they have created. WAKE UP PITTSBURGH

Anonymous said...

That's because MR and LL have turned PPS into a BUSINESS and Board Members permitted this to happen. PPS is no longer a school district whose #1 purpose is to educate children. Instead we served as a breeding place for PELA administrators who cannot manage student behavior yet alone increase student achievement.

Look at the PPS Home Page and Board Member, Colassi is most proud of the impact the PELA program. Too bad she isn't working inside a school under the failed leadership of PELA principals. I wonder when was the last time she or any other Board Member just dropped into a school unannounced? They would get a wake up call.

Remember businesses always protect those at the top of the food chain. Positions at the bottom are always terminated even though these are the folks who really do "THE WORK!"

Anonymous said...

Many of those folks have never even walked into one of our schools, let alone classrooms. I think they should HAVE to teach. Then maybe, just maybe, they would begin to make intelligent decisions.