I stand tonight in support of the Elementary Teachers who have brought concerns forward over the last two months around the issue of “Time”.
I speak from a teaching background of twenty-seven years as a TVUSD High School Social Science Teacher. I can relate to the Elementary Teacher concerns as TIME is an essential component of the Plan, Teach, Reflect cycle for all effective teachers. It is hard to effectively REFLECT and PLAN away from one’s worksite and materials after dinner and family time. Our elementary teachers need more on-site individual planning time integrated and connected to their teaching day.
Providing more support for Elementary PE Instruction would create an additional valuable window for this. Re-Evaluating the use of TIME on Wednesday afternoons and creating some flexibility for teachers and grade level teams would be a welcome relief. Yes, collaboration is important and valued by most teachers. Yet with the mandate of weekly Professional Learning Communities, our teacher professionals are reporting diminishing returns in this oversaturated collaboration marketplace. More is not necessarily better. Like in most plans for most anything, a balanced approach with flexibility works best.
Elementary Staff Meetings reportedly shy away from potentially productive collaborative issue- based discussion to a series of expert speakers, readings, and assignments to complete from site administration. Site Administrators should not be fearful of engaging in honest conversations with staff in which concerns can be heard and responded to. Such conversations are healthy part of building trust and respect within a school site. Instead, our elementary teachers are mandated to get more staff development on top of more training- again the TVUSD belief appears to be “More is Better”.
We can all take pride in the achievement of our students, the fantastic teachers who guide them, and be thankful for the supportive families and positive role-models our district parents provide. These are the real reasons that our students out- perform neighboring districts. The so-called “Temecula Way” has lost its way in supporting our elementary teachers. Instead, teachers have been taken of the TIME they need to REFLECT and PLAN to effectively engage and support their students. Thank you.
Safety: February Outline of Concerns
Need a Balanced Approach Between Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) and Student Discipline Involving Consequences
Sanctions -Positive AND Negative Reinforcement are accepted components of Behaviorist Theory.
Our elementary teachers and specialists are starving for support including resources related to their rights in the sphere of Safety
In December TVEA and CTA hosted a workshop on Teacher Rights related to CA Education Code. We will continue to educate our members on how they can protect their students and themselves from student aggression and serious disruption. We hope the District will invest in this as well.
Every student has the right to learn free of fear of a violent and aggressive classroom environment.