On Friday roughly 30 union members from our school gathered in the auditorium, with the topic of "comp time" positions on the menu.* The creation of comp-time positions are major proposals that take experienced teachers out of the classroom and ask them to accept further responsibility.
Previous experience, shows us that "comp-time" positions are increased, grieved, and fought over ad nausea (Writing Center, Teaching Institute, Programmer, and Lead Teacher). Resentment of fellow colleagues comes out and unfortunately students and their needs get lost.
I felt like it was the anti-Union Meeting.
To steal a quote from James Carville during the 1992 Presidential Campaign, "Its the Economy Stupid." Teachers, even at union meetings, need to remember its the "students" stupid.
We are entrusted with an amazing task, "education". When F Swetten (Montessorian of the Year in my book) rejected additional "comp-time" in order to maintain the cohort model that all communities under the tutelage of ISA are striving for I was impressed. We need to use Frank's selfless act as a model.
Lets follow Frank's lead, keep students needs in mind, remember the philosophy of the school, and stay true to the task the community has entrusted us. We have the ability to set the example for the 100's of new small schools opening around the city. The choices we make at 30 person union meetings will be felt around the city.
* Cathy is working hard trying to have yet another union meeting during the mandated extended day time. She is looking at Monday the 3rd.... Please come with questions, suggestions, and the spirit that lead you into the profession.