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Letters to the Editor

Valuable time

February 8, 2011

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To the editor:

While reading the article recently about what the Lawrence school district will do to make up snow days, I came across quite a few online comments regarding “wasted Wednesdays.” As a Lawrence teacher, I respectfully request that those of you who consider our Wednesday collaboration time a waste take another look.

I am a fifth-grade teacher who works with approximately 10 other teachers to serve 80 fifth- and sixth-graders. These students are diverse racially, academically, socio-economically, physically. During the course of my day, I have 40 minutes of plan time and a 30-minute lunch period. The rest of the time, I am directly responsible for my students and am actively teaching.

After school, I am only paid for another 30 minutes of work, when I am often called to meetings, may tutor students and prepare for the next day. My team uses the 90 minutes we are given on Wednesdays to collaborate about how to best serve our kids. We look at the most recent data, organize new reading groups, plan intervention, try to solve behavior issues, you name it.

It doesn’t really matter to me when we make up our snow days. What does matter to me is that what I do is trivialized by many people who don’t really know a thing of what they speak. All ask is that you give Lawrence teachers the respect of trusting us to do our jobs. Are some Wednesdays wasted by some teachers? Probably. But most of that time is well-used.

Comments

commuter 3 years, 10 months ago

This is why I get tired of listening to teachers complain about their work.... I would love to have some of them come work for me in the corporate world.....,. and watch them come running back to the safety of the school district. They would have a hard time having to work more hours because positions are not getting replaced.

Kookamooka 3 years, 10 months ago

The district communications director at the time (probably not Julie Boyle) didn't do a good job of explaining the significance of this to the community. PR. It's probably something that needs to be reported on every year as a new crop of students enters the district. How do teachers use their Wed. afternoon collaboration? How will parents see evidence of this in their children's day? We don't know what's going on. Fill us in. This LTE does a good job of helping me understand. I hope it positively impacts my students learning. Too bad others won't read this letter and the mystery will continue.

Bananajoe 3 years, 10 months ago

Living in Lawrence for over 13 years I always though we had the best schools in the whole state. Last year we had to move to Andover becuase of work . To my surprise the schools here are far better than Lawrence schools and they do so without short Wednesdays.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence has had a reputation of good public schools. It seems over the years it become more influenced by the "local real estate minded business leaders" instead of by educators. Which is why there is all of this turmoil about closing schools and building others so I speculate.

New schools make new housing projects worth more money. Although that should not be the business of a school board again so I speculate.

Lawrence taxpayers might want to consider getting the most from our existing resources aka our neighborhood schools.

mr_right_wing 3 years, 10 months ago

'Snow days' are so much easier to make up when you home school. Hint...Hint.

sr80 3 years, 10 months ago

also clean your room,living room,kitchen,bathroom,wash everyones clothes,straighten up the garage,prepare lunch.now finish your homework!! i will make something of this kid come hell or high water.whew!!! i'm tired,going to lay down and take a nap.i love home schooling,don't you johnny???

storm 3 years, 10 months ago

Wednesdays are an outright assault against Lawrence children because THEY are left alone....working parents can not take children to work, and day-cares have quotas. Teachers should collaborate on Fridays like other school districts.

Chris Ogle 3 years, 10 months ago

I am not a teacher, but was very involved when my kids were in school. Most teachers (not all) work very hard to educate our kids. In my opinion they are grossly underpaid.

Too bad the teachers union impacts the continued employment of a few teachers who just want the paycheck, and really don't want to teach. Those few "teachers" hurt the whole program.

Wake up school board!!!!!!

xclusive85 3 years, 10 months ago

Did anyone else catch the grammatical errors in the LTE written by a person who is paid to teach the children of this fine city? I counted two. In a four paragraph letter, that is an alarmingly high error rate. No wonder the effectiveness of the schools has declined.

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