Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A momentous day! Well, almost.

Teacher team November 7, 2007

Today we had the opportunity to take our interests around workload, look to the solutions we brainstormed, and offer some concrete “what if” sort of ideas for possible agreement. Earlier we had agreed that our agenda would have just 2 items since this was just a 3 hour meeting: Our reaction to “what if” ideas from last time and ironing out the workload issues that would cost little or no money. Our team had a lively and optimistic pre-meeting where we hammered out language around a number of workload issues that we were very excited about. Once our joint meeting got started we began with questions and discussion around some of the most promising “what if” ideas from last time. It was honest and pragmatic. There was a lot more agreement in the room than disagreement. Many of the “what ifs” proposed last time met the criteria for a number of our interests, but because there was a price tag attached, we had to put it aside in order to spend some time on agenda item number 2.

So what workload issues don’t actually cost money? A fair question. I suppose, like Kevin Bacon, everything can be traced back to some line item in some budget in 6 steps or fewer. However, all notions of a different school day, school year, school ratio aside, many of the most comforting workload ideas center around clarity of expectations, especially around evening/weekend/margins of your life student contact and professional development. This is what the SPFT team got so excited about as we met. This is what we will continue to bring up. This is what we intend to find some common ground around because our team has got some serious momentum. While we walked away after 3 ½ hours without any tentative or concrete agreements, (uff da!) we found our team even more fired up to press on.

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