Fed-Up Teacher

By Mary-Ellen Phelps Deily — May 24, 2010 1 min read
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A teacher who describes herself as a “sucker” wrote last week about the extra time she puts in with students before and after school (and during lunch) for no extra pay. While Laura Reasoner Jones also says in the Teacher Leaders Network piece that she loves what she does, she adds: “after more than 34 years of teaching, I have come to realize that I am a sucker—and I am very unhappy.”

This, I suppose, is another side of expanded learning. Ms. Jones sounds like an exemplary teacher:

I planned and ran eight GEMS Club sessions for 42 5th and 6th grade girls and six sessions for 22 younger girls. I sponsored yearlong Lego League and Junior Lego League teams and two 10-week robotics sessions, supervised four weeks of student-led video game making, planned and taught 20 weeks of strategy-lab sessions for K-2 students, and ran eight weeks of a Rubik's Cube club. All this was before and after school—my time.

But now her district is proposing $7,000 pay cuts for tech teachers like her, and she’s angry. Based on comments on her piece, it sounds like Ms. Jones isn’t the only educator who’s tired of working extra hours for no pay. Obviously, what she’s talking about is different from a freestanding after- or before-school program, but she raises interesting questions nonetheless.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Beyond School blog.