THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
THE USES OF TEACHERS

Too much time spent on housekeeping

April 14, 2011

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I CAN’T imagine any reputable airline asking pilots to help out at the ticket counter or assist in serving drinks. I’ve never heard of a hospital assigning physicians to empty wastebaskets or provide building security between appointments.

Yet every day we see teachers heading out to recess or bus duty, keeping order in the cafeteria, and policing corridors and bathrooms. Maybe this model made sense at one time, but it doesn’t take an honor student to see something wrong with the current picture.

While the movers and shakers of school reform expect ever-increasing student test scores and seem to value linking teacher pay to “merit’’ (whatever that is), then isn’t it time to look seriously at the efficiency of how we use a teacher’s time?

Expectations for teachers in 2011 should include a significant reduction in housekeeping tasks. Planning, conferring, and research during non-instructional time seem more likely to aid teachers in helping kids than having to deal with the daily hassles of nonprofessional duties.

David Amirault
Amesbury
The writer is a retired public school teacher.