Open Discussion Forum

1.  Teacher Schedule Models?!

Posted 10 days ago
Hello everyone! I'm reaching out in the hopes of hearing from center-based teachers and administrators regarding different options and models of teacher scheduling. Some basic information about our program that may be helpful:

Hours of Operation: 7:30 am - 5:30 pm.
  • Classrooms officially "open" at 8:30 am but families are free to come early. We typically have one teacher scheduled from 7:30-8:00 in each classroom with the second teacher arriving at 8:00 am. 
Classrooms:
Young Infant (Ages 0-12 Months) - 2 Teachers, 6 Children
Older Infant (12-24 Months) - 2 Teachers, 8 Children
Toddler (Ages 2-3) - 2 Teachers, 10 Children
Toddler (Ages 2-3) - 2 Teachers, 10 Children
Preschool (Ages 3-5) - 2 Teachers, 16-18 Children
Preschool (Ages 3-5) - 2 Teachers, 16-18 Children

Beyond working in classrooms, teachers are compensated for planning and collaboration time outside of the classroom (team meetings, staff meetings, independent planning time to develop curricula and create documentation, meet with families or early intervention specialists, etc.). For this reason, even the full-time teachers should only be scheduled about 35 hours/week in the classroom.

We've looked at a wide variety of options together, but have really only modified the same structure we've had for many years slightly over time. I'd love to hear what's worked for your early childhood programs, or any resources that may be available to consider alternative approaches that balance the needs of all stakeholders as well as the financial health and sustainability of a program.

Thank you,
Stephen

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Stephen Karmol
Portland OR
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2.  RE: Teacher Schedule Models?!

Posted 9 days ago
Hello Stephen,

We ran into the same problem at my center and we solved it by hiring a full time float whose sole responsibility is to cover for teachers while they plan, work on assessments or meet with parents. This has worked very well and alleviated a lot of staffing issues. In fact, we found ourselves hiring a second part time float as a buffer so these things can happen even if a teacher is out sick or on vacation. This, of course, tapped into our budget but we felt it was necessary to do this in order to maintain our ratios. 

Brigitte Kennedy,

Education Coordinator







3.  RE: Teacher Schedule Models?!

Posted 8 days ago
We have 8 dedicated classroom teachers: one per room opens 7:30-4:00 and one closes 8:45-5:15 so parents will always see at least one teacher at pick up and drop off. Each teacher works 37.5 hours in the room with a one hour unpaid lunch hour. We have found these lunch hours make them much more relaxed, flexible and happy in the afternoons. It also strengthens staff morale and bonding as there is always someone to have lunch with. Classroom teachers also get 2.5 paid planning time added to their paychecks each week for a total of 40 hours/week. This planning time can be taken in school or out of school. We all know teachers spend a lot of time planning, shopping, researching and creating when not in school. This is our attempt at compensating for that.

We also have three full time floating teachers who cover 15 minutes breaks, lunches and conferences, etc. So it's a staff of 12 for 55 children and having finally financially achieved this balance over the last 22 years, I find it perfect. Floaters cover vacations and sick days, extra-hands projects, classrooms, conferences, etc. No one on staff is stressed because they are so well covered.

Hope this helps!

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Abigail Marsters
The Sharon Cooperative School
Sharon MA
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