Monday, December 15, 2008

Relief Classes

In the last weeks of term, senior school teachers tend to do a lot of relief. I don't actually mind doing a little relief as it is a chance to meet students in the lower school.

What gets my goat is when I am asked to come down to senior school and I'm not needed. If I am needed to teach, great, give me a class and a lesson and away I will go.

Ask me to come down when all you want me to do is be present in the room while a teacher runs a general knowledge quiz and watch my blood boil. We had a team leader, team assistant and two teachers in the room and a quiz running with about sixty kids. If you can't run that without extra help split them into three classes of twenty and do it. Put the team assistant with the most difficult class.

I have work to do people!

You are saying to the senior school teacher, "my need for behaviour management assistance is more precious than your preparation time for 2009". I know the general belief is that because senior school teachers have fewer classes in term 4 then they should be available to assist in lower school tasks and I agree with this, but the best use of their time is not as babysitters, use their expertise to improve curriculum.

Don't think because you see them more often in the staff room it's because they have nothing to do - they may just be getting a breather after working on the course for a couple of hours. Creating new material in preparation for new year 12 courses is difficult.

Don't underestimate their need to prepare for the following year - the pressure is on for performance as the public image of the school rides of school league tables (for better or worse). Today I was writing outlines for 2009 3A courses and preparing materials for the summer school we are running for year 11 level 3 students. This would have been a far better use of my time.


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