Monday, November 23, 2009

Procrastination Station

It's amazing to me that I am able to rate my undesirable tasks in such a way that I finish a number of "white goldfish" (not whales) that I've been trotting about with, while never finishing the one I set out to complete.

For example, tonight I renewed a prescription online, photocopied my car title for my refinancing paperwork, and found cocktail recipes for my grandma's Christmas party next weekend.  I'm now considering whether I would rather write a test on Modernist American short stories or grade Lord of the Flies essay tests.  At school this evening, I worked on unit objectives rather than lesson planning; I made myself leave my planning materials at school so I would only have the tests to deal with, but now the interwebs are oh, so attractive, and there is still that test to write.

Where does it end?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Since Teachers Get Paid Sooooooo Much

 Mrs. Mimi brought this ridiculousness to my attention (original article).

Apparently, teacher's compensation is so out of control that districts are trying to claim a right to funds teachers earn by selling their lesson plans.  Below, I respond to comments on the article, as well as comments on Mrs. Mimi's post.

Without specifically stating it in the contract, the districts don't have a leg to stand on. 

The professor on the article upset me.  I'm still physically ill at his reaction, actually.

While some college professors split intellectual property rights with their college, it's not as if any and all work they produce becomes automatically and permanently the possession of the university.  In addition, those professors are frequently publishing the products of their work at the university, e.g. experiments and research, which is actually what they are there for--for some, teaching is something they have to do to support their research. 

If lesson plans aren't the intellectual property of teachers, then let's seriously consider work to rule.  Counting an hour of lesson planning a day (with my previous experience and curriculum I created at previous schools) along with my English teacher's paper load, I wind up with at least 10 hours of work that cannot be completed in 40 hours a week.  I'm not interested in trying to remember if I wrote a quiz at 8am, 3.20pm, or 4pm.  Let's just say it comes out in the wash.

What about the lesson plans I wrote to fill requirements in my Master's program and then used in my classroom?  Do I get no cut, since the university should get half and the district should get half?

It's important to remember that teachers are being paid to teach--the product is kids who know what we were supposed to teach, not lesson plans.  If I were being paid to produce lesson plans and not to teach, I would have far less stress in my life!  Also, I could probably teach by regurgitating whatever Houghton Mifflin the district shelled out for, and kids probably could still learn.  To me, this means that the work I decide to spend time on is mine.

Jimminy, I'm getting carried away.