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Monday, February 21, 2011

What Can a Teacher Do in Ten Minutes?

I was doing some research at the SPS website and was going through elementary schools and was drawn to the length of day at them.

The majority of elementaries have a 6:10 hour/minute day. However, there are at least 12 that have a 6:05 hour/minute day while at least 5 have a 6:15 hour/minute day. (There are two that have an extra half-an-hour but they are schools under a transformation plan.)

I know you're thinking, "So how does 5-10 minutes really count?" Over a year, it adds up. What if your child had 5-10 minutes more of dedicated math instruction every day? Obviously, it must be a decision at a site-level. It might be of interest to ask your principal how the decision was made at your school.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe the variation has to do with the length of the lunch period for teachers. This is not about contact hours.

- Lunch too long

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm not sure it is about lunch (although I'd have to request a specific document to find out). I've seen a previous document that laid out the lunch hours and yet there was still more time at some schools than others for teaching.

Speechless said...

I'm sure it has to do with bus schedules! But wouldn't that be a good opportunity for alignment?

seattle citizen said...

Call home to three parent/guardians, phone to one ear, whilst on the computer keyboarding one-handed(taking attendance, entering grades, reading emails from Don Kennedy, Kathy Thompson, the teacher down the hall and the edu-business spammers), using the other hand to turn the pages of the three-page papers being reviewed, eyes scanning paper and screen while listening also to the CD-Rom the student has submitted with the paper through the other ear (the one not engaged in listening to the parent/guardian on Line Two). Using the toes (shoes removed under desk), Teacher writes notes on tomorrow's lessons with the left foot while the right draws illustrations for the powerpoint supporting the teacher's presentation entitled "MAP and Mapping: Methods and Mantras," to be presented at the Staff meeting at 3:00.

Maureen said...

"What Can a Teacher Do in Ten Minutes?"

What does the average person at the JSCEE does in their last ten minutes of the day?

For a teacher or an administrator, ten minutes can be everything or nothing. Ten predictable minutes, for 180 consecutive days is one more week of school.

Jennifer said...

k-8's have 6 1/2.

name said...

I think at some schools there is an earlier "start" time to allow kids to eat breakfast at school. The teachers have a looser arrival routine until the "final" bell ringing 10 min later. Did you notice if the schools with longer times were higher frl?

Zebra said...

Student Contact hours are mandated by the state. No teacher is working an extra week per year for free. The first comment is correct. It has to do with recess and lunch schedules.

SP said...

"Student Contact hours are mandated by the state".

Yes, Zebra, these type of regulations are state mandated but not enforced by the district. Do you believe in Santa Clause also?

In a comprehensive report published by the Seattle Times several years ago, only 2 of our comprehensive high schools (Garfield & Roosevelt) met the minimum state mandated instructional hours for high school credits (150 hours) with some as low as 130 hours!

How does the district get around it? They have changed their definition of "instructional hours" for a high school credit (a very different requirement than the 1,000 hour contact hour requirement, ie overall time at school). What does "instructional hours" include? Seattle is the ONLY district in the state to include passing time, second breakfast/extended breaks, study hall, advisory time, homeroom, assemblies, ETC (literally, everything except lunch) in the instructional hours calculation for a high school credit.

Yes- quality "seat time" DOES matter and it just keeps getting less and less in Seattle schools. The key at the secondary school level is how much time is spent with a teacher in core subjects? The district thinks time in the hallways helps kids master their geometry!

Maureen said...

I can't speak for all K-8s, but until two years ago, our 6-8 graders had a 6 hour 20 minute day. The younger kids got to school early, but just had extended play/breakfast/homework club time, supervised by non-certificated staff. More recently, the changed bus schedules meant that our middle schoolers have been getting less instructional time (6 10?) and the extra 10 minutes for K-5 have been covered by not requiring K-5 teachers to cover afternoon recess.

I know there is talk of negotiating different contract language for K-8s so a day that meets the MS time requirements can be scheduled without violating the K-5 teachers' requirements.