Teachers, please stay. We'll help.
1. Professional Development. Teachers, you want to develop your teaching skills and gain new ideas, but you don't want your time wasted. As your senator, I'll consult with NC DPI about webinars (live and recorded), and you can select which one's are most applicable to you. These webinars would be free, of course. Other PD offerings approved by NC DPI would be reimbursed, and you ought to be able to submit approval requests to attend and be reimbursed for other PD opportunities. We'll also consider how best to share updates. Is a staff meeting in each school necessary, or will an email suffice?
2. Preparation Time. As a Sunday School teacher and jail chaplain, I spend 30 minutes to an hour preparing for an hour lesson. For an 8-hour day, that would translate to 3 hours of prep time for 5 hours of instruction time. When lessons can be used multiple times, that saves on prep time.
Middle and High School teachers already have multiple sessions of the same course, tweaked for the individual class makeup. In a high school with 4 classes a day, if a teacher uses the same lesson for 3 classes with the 4th class period as a planning period, that ought to suffice. Though bigger schools can have specialized course loads like this, smaller schools require teachers to teach different courses. There aren't enough students for 3 classes of Biology II, and not enough teachers to cover each science class separately. However, the more we can adjust the schedule so teachers can re-use lesson plans and not "re-invent the wheel", the better.
Would teachers of younger grades want to switch classes in a similar way, half a day with each teacher?
Also, over time, you develop your lesson plans, so you use the same materials and activities each year. There are also many websites for teachers with materials and ideas. How can we help you gain access and organize these resources?
3. Standardized testing is stressful for teachers, students, and parents. One week of testing should not be the sole definer of a successful or failed year. Also, teachers need the freedom to teach the way their students learn and use various assessment tools. They do not need to be bogged down with on-going testing to tell the teachers what they already know. We have progress reports, midterm reports, and quarterly report cards. There are parent-teacher conferences, too. When teachers see children struggling, they need parent and administration partnership in addressing these struggles, so students do not fall behind.
4. Pay. Annual raises should continue throughout the 30-year career without topping out. Oh, and protect the retirement package. Oftentimes, that's the most helpful benefit. It's been good to my parents. In whatever the career field, there ought to be good retirement plans for those who stay with you long term.
5. Substitute Teachers. If you're not currently hired as an employee of the school system, consider becoming a substitute teacher. a. You can experience for yourself what's happening in the schools, rather than relying on the politicized propaganda.
b. Once you've established yourself as a sub, you can work as much or as little as you want.
c. We don't want children coming to school sick, spreading their germs. We don't want food service and health care workers coming to work sick. Let's help our teachers so they don't feel they have to come to work sick.
Another option is to be a volunteer to read with children, do landscaping, or help with other ways. Check with your local School Board about what's needed and policies for getting involved.
6. Teachers Assistants.