Thursday, May 2, 2019

Recovering from day wasted

What advice and direction have been meted out by Richland 2 Administrators to teachers as they return to classrooms today about discussing the reason(s) that school was closed yesterday?

What are teachers to answer, when students (all the way from 1st Grade to 12th) ask, "Why didn't we have school yesterday?"

Will teachers merely pick up where they left off on Tuesday at 3:00PM, assuming they hadn't already mentally checked out that day?

I almost fell out of my chair at the Board meeting on Tuesday night, when somebody announced that the schools were being closed for the "safety and security" of the children. I know my facial expression gave away my feelings. And I believe that some on the board thought it was a pile of nonsense, too.

Richland 2 schools closed because Administration failed to see the (absentee) snowball rolling downhill. It apparently had no action plan and had not adequately considered its option well in advance of the one-day walk-off-the-job plan pushed by SCforED.

I hope that Richland 2 will calculate and publish the cost of the one-day closing.

Teachers should be prohibited from discussing their reasons for walking off the job. Just like they would not what they did on a day of personal leave, if they went to the dentist or gynecologist or had their car serviced. Today is a Teaching Day. So, teach!

Gov. McMaster, Education Supt. Molly Spearman and S.C. House Speaker Lucas are right. Teachers should have stayed in class.

Lest some read my writings as wanting to keep teachers impoverished, I do not suggest that. They are NOT impoverished. A starting salary of $32,000 (and proposed to increase to $35,000) for a first-year, 22-year-old teacher is excessive. Let them start for less and work their way up. They knew the compensation picture when they headed for their degrees.

Plus school districts should regain control over salary adjustments for advanced degrees. Why should a district pay an elementary school teacher to get a Ph.D.? And then pay her more because she has a Ph.D.? And then, after paying her to get the degree and more for having it, watch her leave to go to a different district or stop working? A kindergarten teacher does not need a Ph.D.!

How long is the teacher-contract year? Still nine months? Maybe all districts should pay teachers on a nine-month basis, for the months they work, instead of allowing a 12-month pay program for nine months of work.

The District also should re-examine its number of administrators and lop off about 60% of them. Is Richland 2 starting to look like the Federal Government?