Well, I work at a Catholic high school and we do call parents and parents
call us. In fact, we have a regularly scheduled academic and discipline
review where we review student's progress and status. In addition, we post
each student's grade in progress (an open gradebook complete with all
assignments) on our school internet where parents with a proper code word
can access them. this generates a lot of email! As to the other point, I do
assign a two page paper once a week in each of my 5 classes. I average 28
students per class. I also teach two AP classes (part of the 5) and that
really adds on the work. Teachers who do it correctly work at lot more than
those who do not. I also field nightly questions over the school's web site
and we host a one night a week on-line bulletin board. This past weekend I
spent most of Sunday working with my students on a project we are doing
outside of class.
The extra twelve hours are in fact, spread out over a three day period. I
also grade twice weekly homework, quizzes and tests all of which are in
addition to the papers I mentioned. I work my ass off, as do all of the
other first rate teachers I know of. If I had a nickel for every lunch hour
I've spent with a kid who as a problem, or every day I stayed until way
after 4:30 (my teaching day begins at 7:30) I'd be a rich man. Teaching,
good teaching, takes time. Adding more students to the classroom without
adding more time will decrease the effectiveness of the teaching every time.
I have two preps presently, AP history, and US History reg. I have had up
to three in past years. The 10 minutes is what it takes to get ready for
each class. The over all lesson planning takes additional time. You must
have known some third-rate teachers if your info is at all based on
experience. It's like anything else in life, if you deal with hacks you get
shoddy results. Deal with a pro and you get craftsmanship...and that takes
time as well as talent.
R. J. Talley
Teacher/James Madison Fellow
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