I would have to admit, there are times I am envious of people who can work from home all the time, or choose to work from home when it is necessary (snow storms, daycare closed, kid has fever). Teaching is one of those jobs that is next to impossible to work from home. Sure we had sick days/child care days – but that just involves waking up before 6am to get a lesson plan in to the VP and you are done. But, right now we cannot teach from home. In my school board we do offer online classes during the school year. The way it works, however, is that a permanent teacher (which I am not) is allowed one section of their timetable (out of 6 if they are full-time) to be online. You must work out of a school, not from home. It is impossible to be an online teacher full-time and work from home.
However – summer school is the one time where these rules do not apply. We are given a full day of online learning that we can do anywhere and pretty much at any time. We are contracted to 6.5 hours per day (although typically most of us do more). We could work 6.5 hours straight or break it up. There is no stipulation that the hours be done during the business day, so you could work in the evening too. It is a nice change of pace! Typically in a regular classroom during summer school, I am at work from 8am til 4pm with marking done mostly at home. I do not get a ‘prep period’ like I do during the school year. School runs from 8:30 til 3:15 with a 40 minute break for lunch and two ten minute breaks in the morning and afternoon. It is a bit crazy!
What are some benefits that I’ve seen from switching to online teaching from regular summer school?
1) I can run
During the last few summers, I would always be squeezing runs in during the evening, which was problematic since I coach track 2-3 times a week. I would typically go to the track at 4pm and run then. Now, I can take a break and go run at most points of the day (if Max is at daycare)
2) Uniform Change
I have been wearing shorts and t-shirts all July. No need to wear dress clothes. Although the dress code in summer school is relaxed, I would never wear lululemon shorts to work!
3) Work is pretty much done in 7 hours
With regular summer school I have to teach from 8:30-3:15, so all prep work and marking happens after. With online, I am not teaching in front of a classroom. I mostly spend my day marking and answering questions.
4) I can sleep in
Although my definition of sleeping in, is like 7am – so?
5) Ability to do some fun summer things!
Because my schedule can vary, I am able to say yes to many more things this summer. I was able to volunteer at a few track meets, go on noon-hour runs downtown, pick up athletes at the airport – things like that.
6) Watching House Hunters
I typically take my lunch break from 12pm-1pm and watch two episodes of House Hunters. I missed that show!
However – even with the benefits of being at home this summer, I would say that I miss teaching my actual Civics and Careers class. Since all five teachers who have a Civics and Careers online class have to teach the exact same material – this version of C&C is NOT my usual material. I miss sharing news of the day, watching various political videos, and having discussions with my class. It is different! However, if they continue with the trend of having more online courses, I will be doing this again. Next year will be a busy summer – so here is hoping I can teach online again!