Opinion: School District Gives Science Teacher Less and Less Time to Teach Students

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Recently I sat down to up­date my resume. See if you can guess my job:

  • Promoted and ran online fundraising campaign secur­ing $2,500.00 for equipment from outside parties.
  • Designed and imple­mented behavior logging sys­tem using google sheets and sites, allowing users to submit and track site wide behavior data and identify trends in be­haviors.
  • Presented portfolio of materials to a panel of stake­holders to secure renewal of grant funding.
  • Managed tech repair and support program ensuring 40 Chromebooks were kept charged, updated, and func­tional for daily use.
  • Assembled, maintained and repaired equipment and laboratory apparatus for usage 2 times a week.
  • Organized and managed chemical storage, including filing inventory and safety documentation.
  • Repaired and maintained a 50-year-old heating system.

After seeing this list of re­sponsibilities, your first guess was probably not high school science teacher. You might no­tice some significant items are missing, like teaching, lesson planning, and grading for 200 students across six classes.

In the five years since I be­gan teaching, my list of job re­sponsibilities has grown to be quite diverse and impressive. However, it has also become less and less recognizable.

A teacher today can easily fill half a page of their resume with roles and responsibilities without even using the words “teach” or “student.” This is not to say that a teacher does not think of their students and effective teaching as their pri­mary focus.

But, as school budgets shrink ever smaller, school support staff are often the first to go. This leaves many tasks that are essential to the func­tioning of a school to the only people who are left, the teach­ers.

I did not volunteer or apply to be a fundraising campaign manager, but the alternative option was no lab equipment for my high school physics course.

The time spent creating wish lists, posting on social media, following up with do­nors were hours that were not spent on creating engaging lessons, providing students with personal feedback, or reaching out to parents.

If we truly value education, we should be demanding that our leaders work for changes that make a teacher’s respon­sibility teaching their students.

I would clear out all of the bullet points above if tomorrow it meant that I could replace them with:

  • Plans and executes engaging and personalized lessons to a diverse student body in a warm and welcoming classroom with 100 percent of students achieving passing grades.

My resume might end up looking a little empty, but I could always double space.

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