Thursday, October 13, 2005

Clarifying Questions

1. Okay, I read some of the document about maternity leave over at the UFT, and it does seem like we have it pretty good in NYC, being able to use all stored sick days and then borrow up to 20 days against our future CAR (in English, that means borrow future sick days). Then there is a 30-day grace period where we get paid "prorated pay in lieu of your regular salary. The prorated payment is equivalent to pay for weekends and holidays." And then there are ways to take additional unpaid leave.

But posthipchick's situation really seems awful. I know it's a different union, but why can't hers give her better answers?

2. Samantha Smith, eh? So that would make this... the Cold War? Who gets to be Yuri Andropov?

3. Here's what I'm wondering about the 37 1/2 minutes. I realize some of this is not yet determined but I would hope that negotiators thought these things through before putting it on the table:
  • How will it look in elementary schools, which definitely cannot do office hours?
  • I suspect most schools will assign each teacher 10 kids rather than going the office hours route. I suspect this because I foresee legal supervision issues with the idea of office hours, especially in the middle schools. So, let's say I have my 10 kids assigned to me, and another teacher is absent. Who is going to take her 10 kids? If they get split up among the rest of us, the numbers start creeping upwards... I know you said the numbers are legally required to stay below 10, but I just don't see how this is actually going to work while making sure parents know where their kids are, etc.
  • Will late transportation be provided for kids who take buses?
  • If it is done in the form of office hours - which I think would actually help me teach better, because it would be easier to have kids make up missed work - how will the permission slip and transportation issues work? How do they handle these issues in the suburbs? I think when I was in middle & high school, if we wanted to stay after school, we just stayed, and if our parents wanted to know, it was up to us to use the payphone to call them. I can't really see that system going over well with the parents of my students, especially given that the neighborhood is not safe for kids walking alone (or even in groups). So, if office hours is the way to go, how are we going to tailor it to the specific environment we work in?

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