http://mv-voice.com/square/print/2009/08/17/summer-break-ends-today-for-mvla


Town Square

Summer break ends today for MVLA

Original post made on Aug 17, 2009

Students at Mountain View and Los Altos high schools bid summer goodbye Monday as classes for the new school year began.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 17, 2009, 12:57 PM

Comments

Posted by John, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 17, 2009 at 1:24 pm

NO MORE BONDS....NO MORE CREDIT CARD TYPE SCHEMES.... CUT WASTE...We don't need a lot of things we say our kids need....Just teach the Basics and teach it well.... Every home has a budget and must stick to it no matter what good or bad....Schools ned to do the same and stop saying "It's for the kids"......


Posted by Waverly parent, a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 17, 2009 at 2:21 pm

I'm so frustrated with the schools and their "more money" anthem. 40% of our state's budget goes to the public schools in addition to all the bonds we've approved. What more do they want? How about they get rid of the dead weight teachers who are fat and happy with their tenure, fight to the death to keep anyone from assessing their performance with actual data, and have no desire to do more than the minimum, and hire people who actually care about teaching. Don't tell me teachers work as hard as the rest of the real world when they have at least 10 weeks of vacation a year, numerous holidays, AND time during the week to prepare for classwork. The real world folks get 2-4 weeks of vacation, 5 holidays, and we wake up at 4am to prepare for any work we couldn't get done during our 10-12 hours work day. I will gladly vote to double teacher's salaries if they reduce their perks to what the rest of us get and get evaluated by data and results, like the rest of us.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 17, 2009 at 3:54 pm

I believe the Waverly parent is not seeing everything a teacher does, they grade papers late into the evening, answer parent and student emails, post the homework, post grades (because the parents demand to know up to the minute how their child is doing). The school work begins two or more weeks before the official opening, some spend their weekends and evenings coaching, directing, traveling with students. They hold office hours to help students.
So yes they may have what seems like more time off, but they are working! Many do wake up early to commute to their jobs, because they can't afford to live here. Teaching is not an easy job, but it can be rewarding if you love what you do. Think about spending 6+ hours a day with a specific age group -- trying to keep them engaged, in order and on task --- not easy.


Posted by Former Student and New Teacher, a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 17, 2009 at 6:58 pm

In response to the Waverly Park parent...I was born and raised in Mountain View....in fact in the same neighborhood that you live in. Just because you may not see the high schools in your area struggling doesn't mean that they aren't.

I agree that some teachers aren't doing their jobs to their full potential, but the vast majority are. Most of them honestly go above and beyond what an educator is supposed to be. Maybe the tenured teachers are the way they are because they've seen how the people treat and devalue the public education system.

I am currently a student teacher (who doesn't get paid, must commute 50 miles a day, has to pay to student teach, goes to teaching credential classes after a full day of teaching...now that's dedication to educating the youth) in a pretty good school district and let me tell you that being a teacher comes with many great challenges. Just because teachers get all the holidays and summers off doesn't mean that we aren't working during those times. During the holidays, we are making lessons and grading papers (sometimes for more than one subject....with all the budget cuts several teachers are teaching two or three new subjects and even teaching at both the junior high and high school level). Also, our school year and day starts way before the students (between 7 and 7:30 AM...not including those of us who have a zero period.

The budget cuts have really put a strain on the way we are able to teach our classes. For example, last week I attended a department meeting where we discussed the department budget. After setting aside money just for copying papers, we only had about $1000 left. There are 11 teachers in this particular department. The can't even afford to buy new ink cartridges for their printers. Anything the department cannot afford, they are forced to look elsewhere (grants, donations) for funding, but most of the time they are reaching into their own pockets to pay for necessary school supplies.

If you are a parent, I would hope that you value your child's education. You don't want your children being in a classroom filled to maximum capacity where not everyone is able to sit at a desk. One of my classes has 40 students in it! Is that the kind of learning environment you want your children to be in or would you rather fund schools so then they can hire more teachers.



Posted by John, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 18, 2009 at 11:28 am

How is being a teach more difficult than a contruction worker or a resturant worker or parole officer? Please We all all tired of hearing being a teacher is difficult.... It is, we know that... but so are all other professions... Yet we all make a choice to be in that profession (especially a teacher)... But at the end of the day we have good teachers and bad teachers...EVEN IN MV...We have good School administrators and Bad administrators even in MV... In a private sector those get laid off (like now with CA 10% unemployment) in a downturn and takes care of itself...In public system it is about tenure and being a survivor not about ability or perfomance.....we need to cut unnecessary waste first like bad spending and bad personnel before residents will entertain more money........


Posted by reader, a resident of another community
on Aug 18, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Don't know about restaurant workers, but construction workers and police officers make good money.


Posted by Waverly parent, a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 19, 2009 at 7:38 am

Teaching is a job. Those who teach, chose to enter the profession and can leave whenever they want if they feel they're not making enough or not appreciated enough. In what other profession do workers have as much time off, are not evaluated by any concrete data, and get tenure after 2 years and can't be fire? Didn't we read in the Voice about a teacher who has been terrorizing students for years, yet can't be fired? Absolutely ridiculous.

Again, we need to pay teachers a lot more, but let's get rid of tenure, seniority, and start evaluating teachers' preformances, as with any other jobs, to improve our schools. I'd love to hear educators come up with any suggestions on the last point, other than the "we need more money" mantra.


Posted by Dominick, a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 19, 2009 at 9:13 pm

It is sad that teachers have to dig into their pockets to buy school supplies for their classes.
I suggest that they appeal to their teacher's unions who always seem to have millions to spend on elections and propositions, things that are political and don't help make the student's or teacher's life any better.


Posted by Deb, a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 20, 2009 at 8:51 am

If we need money, how about cutting the salaries of the administrators? They make far more than teachers and probably do not put in nearly as many hours. They are not the ones in the classroom where our children are. The teachers are the important ones that directly influence our children.
I have to agree that tenure does not belong in the school systems. We need teachers that are keeping up with what our children need. I'm not saying all teachers with tenure are not doing their job, but I am sure there are some that have tenure that do not deserve to be teaching our children. They should not be allowed to continue to teach if they are not doing a good job.


Posted by Observer, a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2009 at 2:00 pm

John: "Every home has a budget and must stick to it no matter what good or bad."

Families borrow money all the time for home purchases & for capital improvements (remodeling). It's not possible for most people to save enough to have spare cash for $50 or $100K worth of home repairs. Likewise, if the schools waited until they could save the millions they need to make improvements to the schools, the schools would fall apart. I don't think it's wrong of the districts to periodically evaluate what they need to do to their buildings and campuses, whether to modernize to keep up with new technology needs or in this case to reduce their energy usage. It will save money in the future.