Working Conditions for Teachers

1. Create positive, collaborative school cultures.

2. Address classroom management and discipline.

3. Ensure that schools are safe, clean, and appropriately equipped for teaching.

4. Ensure that teachers' workloads are reasonable.


1. Create positive, collaborative school cultures.

    Why It Is Important
    • Such school cultures that are team-based can mitigate the isolation teachers often feel, help teachers feel appreciated, and improve teacher retention.
    • Such school cultures can facilitate effective teaching and improve the distribution of teachers across schools.

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    Schedule common planning time to encourage teacher collaboration.
    • Offer orientation to working with inter-generational teams to facilitate a positive working environment.
    • Provide sufficient time for teachers to grow professionally and to share insight with one another.
    • Group teachers of similar subjects or grade levels together in TBTs to increase teacher effectiveness.
    • Revisit the Ohio Improvement Process.

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    Foster a trusting and professional school climate.
    • Create Teacher-Based Teams (TBTs) at multiple levels (e.g., grade, content, shared students).
    • Set an example of positive, professional conduct, and support teacher leaders who do likewise.
    • Encourage trust and collegiality between teachers and teachers, and between teachers and school leaders.
    • Promote trusting relationships between teachers and other key stakeholder groups including parents.
    • Revisit the Ohio School Climate Guidelines.

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    Identify and evaluate existing marketable characteristics of teaching in the district (or community school) and consider ways to increase and/or advertise incentives that are appropriate and feasible for the district (or community school).
    • Allow teachers professional courtesy and freedom to adapt curriculum, instruction, and assessment to meet the needs of their students.
    • Revisit Ohio Core Standards, Ohio Revised Standards, and Ohio Model Curriculum documents.

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    Ensure that the curriculum is neither overprescribed nor underprescribed.

    No additional information.

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2. Address classroom management and discipline.

    Why It Is Important
    • Management and discipline factors influence teachers' decisions to join or remain at the school or in the profession.
    • Addressing management and discipline concerns respects the professionalism of teachers by allowing them to teach and improves student learning by reducing disruptions.
    • Addressing management and discipline concerns can improve the distribution of teachers across schools and classrooms.

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    Ensure that teachers are equipped to apply best practices in classroom management.
    • Include training in the induction process.
    • Ensure that teachers know the school and district processes for dealing with discipline issues.
    • Provide professional development to address classroom management techniques.

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    Ensure that class size is small enough so teachers can handle discipline problems and teach effectively.
    • Assign aides or coteachers when necessary.
    • Provide professional development on learning centers and differentiated instruction to better meet the needs of students in large classes.

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    Provide consistent administrative support to teachers with regard to classroom management and discipline.
    • Emphasize that school leaders' efforts 
      to address teachers' issues related to classroom management and discipline impact the overall school climate.
    • Consider implementing a schoolwide positive behavior support system.

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3. Ensure that schools are safe, clean, and appropriately equipped for teaching.

    Why It Is Important
    • School building conditions influence teachers' ability to teach and students' ability to learn, send a message about the value of school and learning, and can affect teacher retention.
    • School building conditions influence the distribution of teachers across schools.

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    Guarantee a safe school.
    • Adhere to a zero-tolerance rule for physically violent behavior.
    • Allocate resources so that potentially dangerous building and grounds maintenance problems are addressed immediately.

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    Ensure sufficient maintenance work and regular upkeep so teachers feel respected and comfortable in their physical workplace.
    • Address issues of vandalism, disrepair, and climate as quickly as possible.
    • Promote a culture that encourages students to take responsibility for the school (e.g., student leadership, community service, incentives for clean rooms and halls).

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    Provide sufficient classroom resources to teach the curriculum.
    • Provide appropriate literary, technological, scientific, and other instructional resources necessary for effective instruction.
    • Provide stipends for teachers to buy additional materials.
    • Ensure horizontal and vertical alignment of the curriculum.

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4. Ensure that teachers' workloads are reasonable.

    Why It Is Important

    Reasonable workloads promote effective teaching and learning and ensure that teachers have time to properly plan, prepare, collaborate, and reflect.

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    Hire a sufficient number of teachers and other school personnel so teachers can focus on ensuring that every student achieves.
    • Strategically consider the number of teachers, specialists, and support staff needed to fully staff every school, with teachers' working conditions in mind.
    • Reduce the bureaucratic burden on teachers by providing sufficient administrative support, allowing teachers to devote more time to meeting students' individual needs.
    • As per the Ohio Leadership Development Framework'sessential practices, support and equitably allocate resources to support the continuous improvement plan.

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    Assign teachers only to subjects in which they are fully proficient academically as well as highly qualified.
    • Adhere to requirements for highly qualified teachers (HQTs), according to the 2002 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), using the Ohio Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) Reporting Materials Toolkit 2011–2012as a guide for reporting HQTs and qualified instructional paraprofessionals.
    • Research suggests that in certain subjects such as math, teacher understanding of subject matter leads to increased teacher effectiveness.

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    Incorporate workload and staffing protocol using interest-based rather than positional bargaining.

    Ensure long-term LEA and union commitment to reasonable staffing expectations.

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Last Modified: 5/8/2013 2:12:29 PM