Teachers: Time is their essence

January 09, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Four elementary school teachers told the Washington County Board of Education at Tuesday's meeting that they can use their time wisely, but don't have enough of it.

Reading from a list of job duties, Paramount Elementary School teacher Jodi Spickler told the School Board that in addition to meeting new requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind act, teachers must teach their students, but their creative efforts are exhausted by their workload.

"Student instructional time is not simply the amount of time we teach our students," Spickler said.

The four teachers, Spickler, Elaine Palmer, Trudy Mackrell-Metz and Julie Nigh, took turns addressing the School Board.

They outlined their teaching priorities, rights, responsibilities and solutions for their biggest problem - not enough time.

Nigh suggested that the School Board hire instructional assistants and technology teachers. She also suggested the board schedule early dismissals and delayed openings for planning and staff development and pay qualified teachers to proofread tests for inaccuracies before they are sent countywide.


School Board member Roxanne R. Ober said after the presentation that she thought the Washington County Commissioners should see the same presentation when the School Board presents its budget requests.

Nigh ended the presentation holding a widely stretched rubber band.

"Teachers are much like a rubber band - we're very flexible, but when you stretch us to our limit, we lose our effectiveness," she said.

The band snapped.

About 60 teachers, including Washington County Teachers Association President Claude Sasse, were at the meeting. They gave the four teachers a standing ovation.

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