Saturday, October 13, 2007

Chapter Leader Fights Back Against Paperwork

I received this from an elem school Chapter Leader. Some might say this will have no impact. Maybe not. But a proactive chapter leader has an impact. The key here is to publish this agenda throughout the school in advance (I used to start by giving it to the principal 2 days before the meeting and ask if she had any concerns for me to bring up.) Follow up with circulating the responses of the principal, including where there is no response. I also liked to have as many people at the Consultation Committee meetings as I could get away with, from all levels of the school -- para, teachers from different grades, cluster, secretary, etc. Not always easy but I used to sign the entire staff up in September for at least one meeting a year while holding the coveted UFT calendar in my hand (that was before electronic devices) . We always had a nice group at each meeting. Bribery works. Maybe try a cookie too.

If you have suggestions email me or comment here.


Here is my agenda for Consultation Committee. It was created as a way to fight back against the ridiculous amount of paperwork required of classroom teachers. Please share it with any chapter leader who is interested. If anyone has more suggestions for me, I welcome them. Thanks.

1. “Mandated” Paper Work
  • Redundancy
  • Excessive
  • No consultation with teachers
2. Computers in classroom not set up

In light of the paperwork that is deemed excessive and redundant by staff members yet “mandated” by administration, we must take time to review all “mandates” and adhere to them as well.

3. SAVE Room (Mandated by NYS Law – failure to comply will result in complaints filed with appropriate agencies in NYS)

4. Student Removal Process (Mandated by NYS Law as well as Teachers’ Collective Bargaining Agreement with the City of NY)
  • Violent students: such students will be immediately sent to the principal (or her designee) and students may not be returned to class until the principal has a conference with each teacher. Reminder: when such students are sent to the principals office they must be supervised by someone other than a secretary)
  • Removal of students that substantially disrupt the education process: Principal must respond to teachers request in a reasonable amount of time.
5. Security:
  • Must be present at open doors at all times
  • Teachers are coming in early and staying late with no security to protect them

6. Adequate Supplies (Article 7R – Teachers’ Contract)
  • Staples, pens, pencils, post its (needed for writers’ workshop)
  • Paper (for rubrics and process statements)
  • Chalk or dry erase markers
  • Plastic sheets for overhead projector
  • All necessary materials needed for all bulletin boards
  • Copy of NYS standards for each teacher to adequately prepare her lessons
7. Organization of a Pupil Personnel Team as “mandated” by Chancellor’s Reg A -443.

8. New Teacher Mentoring: Who’s accountable for explaining EClass? With so many new early grade teachers…. why were mentors unfamiliar with EClass or “workshop” model hired to help train?

9. Tutoring:
ALL teachers must participate in tutoring. Why were some teachers allowed to arrange their schedule as to avoid the tutorial period at the end of the day?


Anonymous said...

I don't have any useful suggestions but I do have some comments.

Regarding the SAVE room, my school CL put in a grievance last June because our save room was only functional for 3 weeks. When recently asked about it, our district rep. said that the grievance is still in process.

Regarding paperwork, our classroom teachers also have excessive paperwork- Besides for all the testing, marking, lessons, etc. the principal makes up forms asking the teachers to write "teaching objectives" for all students without any consultation with teachers.

Supplies- I didn't know that the administration HAD to supply post-its and dry erase markers. And if I didn't know, I'm sure all the newbies in our school don't know!

And the tutoring period- it has turned into another teaching period for grades K,1 and 2 in my school. The union's response is that it's up to individual teachers to grieve it. And none of them want to because they are scared to do so.

My point is that these issues are probably faced by most elementary schools in the city and it would be empowering for CL's to be united in some way around knowing they are not alone. I doubt that this type of interchange goes on at the CL Meetings with the DR's.

Anonymous said...

Nice agenda. Why are you wasting your time posting it here?

proofoflife said...

In my school we did an SBO to configure 37mins in morning.What a joke. I noticed that some teachers are in a class with 20 children , and some clusters are cruising in after the 37.5. My assignment is to stand in the lobby and watch the kids that come early and don't have the 37.5. As chapter leader, I decided to cruise on up to the classrooms to see what was going on. Low and behold, teachers in the class with 20 kids! When I asked these teachers what the hell they were doing they said that another teacher was assigned to the class. Of course this was just another one of the problems that the UFT didn't foresee. Even if they said officially that two teachers in one classroom was not acceptable it wasn't very realistic! There is simply no room for all the children in a low performing school. These level 1's are "mandated" for the "tutorial".The problem now is that I am not in the business of "ratting out" slackers, but I wouldn't let anyone stick me with 20 kids. And for the record I also had ten kids last year in a two by four closet known as an office. I had to have the kids sit on the floor outside of my rat trap. This year I guess I was assigned to the lobby to intercept hostile parents, and also so I wouldn't see what was going on in the classrooms.

proofoflife said...

P.S. I am sick of scaredy cat teachers! Stand up for your rights!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like she doesn't need help. My principal allows only 30 minutes and then talks her head off so we can't get through everything. My suggestion is that she contact her D.R. and ahve them come to a chapter leader consultation committee meeting with the principal. We are doing that this Wednesday. We will let you know how it turns out.

Anonymous said...

Dist 29 Queens - I ran the SAVE room in my school this year which was quite successful. I removed disruptive children, accepted in house suspensions as well as suspensions from other schools. I worked with teachers and parents on behavior mods. In additon, I did breakfast/lunch duty and coordinated an extended day enrichment program in which I created and published the schools newspaper. Prep was never ever apart of my schedule and I guess I should've spoken up but I was content in my new position. I am now sadly returing to the classroom after being told that due to budget cuts the SAVE room position is out. How could this be if it's mandated by NYS law to have a SAVE room???

Anonymous said...

Laws applied to Tweed are made to be broken. When the UFT made a big deal about SAVE room laws many of us said they would be violated and the UFT either could not or would not be able to do much. And so it is.