Teachers need release time


Several items in the Feb. 8 article ?New School Schedule? just were so off the mark I feel compelled to respond. I volunteer once a week at Oak Heights elementary school where two of my children attend, and another graduated from Sweet Home High School.

Prior to living in Sweet Home we lived in Sandy. Last fall there was a school strike which lasted several weeks. My friends living in Sandy have shared the frustration of missing so much school (some which will not be made up) and the current acrimony between parents and the school district.

Instead of being upset about not being contacted about the change in the school schedule, I am relieved the contract has been settled. The change in school schedule was something both sides could live with, and I can also.

My experience with the teachers, staff and school is not one of ?halls in total chaos,? it is one of teachers being asked to teach in extremely full classes (each of my children?s has 29 students), seeing some kids coming to school with disrespectful attitudes and teachers spending class time teaching values and acceptable behaviors ? what I remember in the good ol? days was a parents responsibility.

I did the math regarding time needed for conferences. My conference time is about 20 minutes, multiplied by 29 students, which adds up to nearly ten hours.

Time off over Christmas was two weeks, the same as when I was a kid.

Judging today?s schools by the school we remember in our past just isn?t helpful. Teachers have an incredibly challenging job and to blame ?poor time management? for the difficult situation in our schools avoids the responsibility we parents have help improve our own schools.

Tracii Hickman

Sweet Home