Teachers’ union tizzy doesn’t add up

The recent collective agreement between the teachers and their employer included an increase of 30 hours of working time: 15 hours for professional development and 15 hours for instructional time - time with the stude

The recent collective agreement between the teachers and their employer included an increase of 30 hours of working time: 15 hours for professional development and 15 hours for instructional time – time with the students in the classroom.

My understanding was, as a member of the Yukon Teachers’ Association, that this increase would add to the amount of days that I had to work for my salary – six more days. Talks with my colleagues enforced this view.

Now I am reading in the newspaper that my president believes that the 15 hours of instructional time – roughly translating into three more instructional days at my high school, F.H. Collins – would be better used to lengthen the school day, not the school year.

Well, after talking to my calculator, this is what I came up with: 15 hours is the equivalent of 900 minutes. The school year has a length of 180 days. This translates into an increase to the day by five minutes.

At F.H. the school day is broken into four lessons per day, hence there would be an increase of one minute and 15 seconds per lesson.

Whatever the discussion may be regarding the standardization of the school year across the Yukon, I am embarrassed to read that my president argues that an increase of a little more than one minute per class might be more beneficial to the student than three full extra lessons, more than half a week of instruction.

I do not know any colleague at my school who, for reasons of delivering his curriculum, would prefer the one minute a day to three more classes – professionally speaking.

Bernd Schmidt

Whitehorse