• c. 902.499.0933 / o. 902.468.6788
  • halifaxcountylocal@nstu.ca
  • 200 Brownlow Ave (Suite 320), Dartmouth, NS, B3B 1T5
  • Check- In, September 18th, 2017

    Check- In, September 18th, 2017

    Good Morning County,

    I hope your first week went well.

    As school begins in earnest and folks start to settle into a routine, I would like to take a moment to reflect on “The new normal” and what I am hearing from teachers. Of course, one of the unfortunate truths of this gig is that my phone seldom rings when people are happy. However, the first week here was remarkably quiet.

    What I did hear, however, was a bit disquieting.

    It seems that, in some instances, schools are still struggling with the task of ensuring that teachers not be required to supervise students over the lunch hour, or outside of the 20 minute window. It should be noted that the contract applies to ALL teachers, regardless of their role. It does not matter if you are a Phys. Ed. teacher, a Learning Center teacher, or an administrator, you are entitled to have a lunch break. As well, although there is an expectation that you meet after school for any number of reasons, I would suggest that starting those meetings earlier, rather than later, would be beneficial to everyone, particularly administrators, who often bear the lion’s share of the after school responsibilities.

    Now, I know in many school, this seems an impossible idea. And, certainly, if any teacher wishes to supervise students at lunch, they should feel free to do so. Goodness knows, as a drama teacher, I practically lived in my classroom. But when attempting to define the new normal, I would again, encourage you to consider your time as a particularly valuable asset, both to yourself and to the school. If you did not have to supervise students over lunch, or beyond the 20/20, what would change for you, either personally or professionally? What could you accomplish? What critical conversations could you have? How much more energy would you have for the next fire you are going  to be called upon to put out?

    No matter who we are, no matter our role, there is only so much gas in any of our tanks. In this new normal, I think it is imperative that each member ensure we are getting the best mileage possible.

    If you need some fuel saving tips, feel free to give me a call.

    Within the instructional day, two things dominated the conversation, and those were the duty schedules and class caps. As you know, you are entitled to 30 minutes per day on average over the schedule of your school. As well, the board has until September 30th to get the class caps settled. If you are having individual issues with either, you should alert your administration, and advise they contact me for assistance, or, if you prefer, contact me directly.

    That’s it for this week, all. Looking forward to seeing all our reps at the Legion on Wednesday!

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