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How Much is Too Much?


Teachers in Tampa are not just angry, they're hoppin' mad. Why? Hillsborough County school officials decided recently to require all high school instructors to teach at least 300 minutes per day—an increase of 30 to 50 minutes. The change is expected to save $28 million in new teacher salaries and benefits, but educators warn that piling on more work will force them to take shortcuts. "I don't know how I can work harder," says Sarah Robinson, an 18-year classroom veteran. "I'm rather insulted that I'm being asked to."

Is the 300-minute requirement unreasonable?


No, 300 hours is not unreasonable. But, one must remember that this time would not include preparing the lessons, setting up the various classes, and professional meetings. If the HS teachers teach Biology, Chemistry and Earth Science classes in one day, then they must teach these three classes and have time to plan and set up all three classes including the lab experiments. There must be time given to do all things, so the classroom teacher is successful.

300 minutes is not unreasonable. Elementary teachers do it everyday. It will require some adjustment and some time to get use to it. After a few months of doing this, it won't seem like a big deal.

Elementary school teachers do this every day. They also teach every subject, instead of doing the same lesson several times! Now let's talk about how many hours "specials" teachers actually work per day.

In the high school where I taught for many years, teachers taught 6 50-minute periods with 1 50-minute planning/conference period every day. Although it can be very difficult to do the job well, this is a very common schedule in Texas.

I'm from Missouri and high school teachers teaching 6 50 minute class periods a day with one 50 minute plan period is common. In many schools it is also common for those 6 classes to be in 4-6 different areas (ie chemistry, biology, general science, anatomy, etc.)

I teach 6 50 minute classes a day. Some years my schedule only calls for 5 classes plus a duty period. So it is not excessive. Having a 6th class is harder from the point of 1 more class of papers to grade and 25-30 students to worry about & work with (as long as it is not an additional prep). The harder part is how many different preps. Having 3-5 preps does not allow you time to make the classes better through research & reading.

Do any of you teach 6 periods of 38-40 students each with 3 different preps? I wouldn't mind teaching a 6th period, I'm on campus until 6:30pm everyday anyway grading papers and creating lesson plans. It just means that I would assign fewer essays, less homework, and more Scantron quizzes. If you, the community, want me to work more hours than the 50-60 hours a week (including weekends) I do now, then pay me more - I am not a charity organization.

I teach that many minutes every day in elem.school with only 45 minutes of planning each day.I know that high school teachers teach more children and possibly grade more or lenghtier papers but I plan for multiple subjects and grade papers for the same 20-23 children multple times each day. I have not walked a mile in their shoes so I'm unsure if the load is heavier than mine.

I teach in an extended day elementary school which is 480 minutes with includes a one hour planning period. 300 minutes would seem like a dream to me!

300 miniutes of teaching is not only unreasonable, but tiresome. Policy makers who make these decisions are those who have never been in the classroom or just don't understand working with children of different levels and personalities, all at one time.

Teachers at the high school where I teach not only teach 6 50 minute class periods, but also have 1 remediation period (also 50 minutes) each day. That's 350 minutes! Teachers get 1 50 minute planning period, which is of course insufficient.

Whine, whine, whine! You want a 9 to 5 job? Quit! Teaching takes dedication and I am often at my school tutoring, grading, meeting with colleagues or my principal until 5 or 6 pm. When do I do my grading and planning? My 50 minute planning period, which I will give up anytime someone needs me. I teach 6 50 minute classes with lots of planning as well, but I do it and I GRATEFUL that I get to spend my days with the future leaders of this country!


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Recent Comments

  • Charity: Whine, whine, whine! You want a 9 to 5 job? read more
  • Laura Gardner: Teachers at the high school where I teach not only read more
  • Beulah Cooper: 300 miniutes of teaching is not only unreasonable, but tiresome. read more
  • Dorraine Robison: I teach in an extended day elementary school which is read more
  • Donna Meyers: I teach that many minutes every day in elem.school read more




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