Feedback on jobshare proposal??

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2005
Feedback on jobshare proposal??
2
Tue, 03-21-2006 - 8:12pm

Another teacher & I have been discussing a job share arrangement being a possible solution for us both (each w/our own personal reasons). The other teacher (who also happens to be the Math Dept. head this year) first presented to our on-site principal several weeks back. On first meet, the superintendent happened to be there & didn't appear at all enthusiastic about the idea. We met again w/just our building principal a few weeks later. He did re-present to the superintendent who asked for something in writing. I wanted to wait til our Spring break so I would have some time to work on it & I think I'm almost ready to submit this to my district superintendent. Since we're on break I don't think I'm going to get feedback from my other interested teachers til next week - tho I have e-mailed to one, I don't think she's in town this week. We all received our contracts this week which we will have until April 15th to sign, or not. While I'm waiting decided I ought to throw it out here & see what your thoughts, comments, &/or suggestions might be, if any... Other than the formatting in copying it over from my word file to this forum.

I'm still in a bit of a quandary about just what I really want to do. I have to teach f/t 2 yrs here to convert from a provisional certificate to a standard certificate which then can be renewed every 6 years w/the requisite 12 semester hours of additional instruction. I don't really think I have any intention of teaching f/t after that because I don't have to - this is more of an insurance policy if something was to happen to my DH. I've been subbing for several years which works very nicely for me. While doing that on a renewable emergency certification each year I've managed to get my BS in Elementary Education (Summa Cum Laude). Now that I've gotten this far one more year f/t is doable. Which it is - but I have absolutely NO life outside the teaching & I now have a 2nd grandbaby which I just don't have any time to do anything for or enjoy doing anything with as all my time is wrapped up in some aspect of teaching... I can go back to subbing - after getting my standard credential or just forgetting that & getting a regular substitute certification (now that I have my BS) that's also good for 6 yrs. Anyway, we're both thinking that if we can get them to agree to letting us job share we'd both be relatively happy to stick around by having the best of both worlds & not be giving so much thought to what we're not able to be doing & how much time the teaching f/t is actually eating out of our lives. And it's not like they have math teachers beating down their doors, the school already has 2 out of the 5 of us not returning, & us other 3 on the verge of not really being too sure.

Thanks in advance for any feedback! Onward...

This proposal is a request to job-share a math teacher position at XXXXXXX Jr. High School for the 2006-07 school year. I currently teach the Track C Math– 7th & 8th grades. After thoughtful discussion, an interested, prospective job-share partner is XXXXXXX, 8th grade Math - Track B, Algebra and Pre-Algebra. A second prospective job-share partner is XXXXXXXX, 7th grade Math – Track A, who is pursuing outside funding for a self-contained ½-day TAG program at XXXXXX. Her interest in a job-share would be dependent on Board approval and acceptance of her proposed program which funding would pay for her TAG position, but she would then be interested in job-sharing that ½ of her 7th grade Math teacher position.

A job-share is a partnership that works by co-operation and effective communication. I am a good communicator, have demonstrated my abilities at delegating tasks, taking direction/advice from &/or sharing information and knowledge with colleagues; and am also naturally organized and a good record keeper. In this profession especially, I agree with the philosophy that you need a full time mentality if you wish to be successful part-time. I’m not going into this with unrealistic expectations, just the hopes of being better able to create a balance between doing a good job at teaching and still having a personal life that isn’t consumed with all that it takes to do a good job of teaching. If a job-share situation is not workable from the district standpoint, I can always go back to being available on a substitute teacher basis, but I feel that following up with our job-share suggestion is a win-win situation for everyone involved in the long run.

Explanation of Division of Tasks between partners

Division of teaching assignment - Who will teach what?
o AM/PM – AM: Periods 1-2 & 3-4; and PM: Periods 5-6 & 7-8. Who would teach what would depend on which position was selected for the job-share. XXXXXX has expressed a preference for the AM. I like the slower pace, smaller class sizes of the track C math for 7th & 8th & XXXXXXX has taught the 8th B track Algebra and Pre-Algebra for the past several years. Depending on what scheduling looks like for the needs of the C track for the ‘06-07 year it may be split differently to accommodate more students & an 8th C Math Foundations. If we are to share XXXXXXXX's current position – I would prefer the 8th Pre-algebra and she would prefer the Algebra which I believe is going to be rescheduled to Per. 1-2 so as not to conflict w/afterschool sports activities, etc…Ideally we could each teach 2 math classes.
o At this point, there is flexibility in the “division of the job” category. We’re in the same department and willing to work out a mutually acceptable compromise of what will work best for the students, school, and ourselves.
o This division would hold during alternate schedule days, e.g., activity schedule, shortened days, etc. each partner responsible for their assigned class periods.

How the following items will be covered:
o One job-share teacher should be required to attend faculty meetings.
o Job-share teachers are required to attend all staff development, conference days, open house, grade preparation days & parent conferences as scheduled within our AM/PM work hours for students from our classes.
o Job-share partners in most instances should be able to substitute (work additional paid hours to cover for each other) for short term absence. This must be voluntary, and if declined the usual cover arrangements will apply.

Plan for communication between partners:
• Obviously, the most important aspect of the relationship is going to be communication. We will need to keep each other informed about everything. Daily lunchtime switchover, face to face, notes, e-mail.
• How will we resolve conflicts: Compromise. Things are not always going to go exactly as we would like them to. As long as we can each bend a little things should all work out well.
• Sharing the classroom: We will come to a compromise about how the workspace will be organized, what will be kept where and how the space will be utilized. Again communication and compromise will be the key. Bottom line is we will need to stay organized enough to get the job done.

Explanation of benefits to students

In the Jr. High environment where students change classrooms for subjects, a job share of a math teacher position would not affect students in one classroom sharing different teachers, rather us as teachers sharing a classroom to teach different classes & students. More of a job split where we are each responsible for our own classes. Students would have the advantage of having teachers with increased morale, energy, enthusiasm, productivity, and commitment.

Many job-shares are able to cover work for the other, even at relatively short notice. Thus, personal or family issues that might otherwise impact upon working time can be effectively managed without leaving classes with supply or other staff. Students will have the added advantage of having teachers to cover each other who are familiar with the same standards and curriculum.

Explanation of benefits to teachers

Researchers who study flexible work arrangements have found that, in practice, few employees can afford voluntarily to work a reduced schedule. I am one of those few, and job-sharing will allow me to work fewer hours within a full time post, benefiting from the challenge and reward of a demanding profession while creating a sense of balance in my personal life and other commitments. The school’s flexibility in the arrangement increases morale and commitment - a typical positive reaction to employer flexibility. I expect the arrangement to have a positive impact on my commitment to remaining in the teaching profession as more than a substitute teacher.

Job sharing is one way to retain the talents of valuable people. Job sharing is one response to the problem of retaining teachers and even enticing them back into the profession. If our schools can attract or keep top performers with a job partnership, everyone wins.

Explanation of benefits to individual school and to the school district

Research suggests that the transition from full- to part-time status works best when an individual has already demonstrated success in a full-time position. A faculty member might be prevented from performing well in a full-time position because of difficulty meeting competing demands from personal and work life. But administrators assume less risk when they offer a part-time option to someone who has already proven that he or she is a "player."

Specifically, job-sharing offers:
• Retention of experienced staff.
• Continuity for pupils and the faculty.
• Consistency.
• Coverage of a full time post via part-time staff
• The two heads are better than one syndrome, with twice the creativity and problem solving ability being focused in a single post.
• Increases morale, energy, enthusiasm, productivity and commitment in staff. When an employee has created a more balanced life through job sharing, their anxiety and stress levels are greatly reduced.
• Increased flexibility where job-share partners are able to cover for each other in times of sickness.
• Acts as a benefit that can be worth money since time has become as important as money and can be used as an attraction and retention mechanism.
• Enables the new employee to get "up to speed" quicker.
• Helps to maintain "diversity" in the workplace.
• Rewards talent and increases job satisfaction.

Job-sharing has been described as a ‘win-win’ situation for employers and their staff. Employees gain the flexibility to balance their work and personal commitments, while the employer benefits from lower staff turnover, more motivated employees and the pooling of the skills and experience of the job-sharing partners.

Having a flexible approach also makes the school more attractive to potential employees and makes present ones more loyal and willing to do a good job.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Wed, 03-22-2006 - 5:06pm

What you've described is very similar to what was approved in one of my former districts.

Sherry

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Wed, 03-22-2006 - 5:12pm

What you've written is similar to what was approved in my former district. One point to consider is benefits. In my district each received half of the benefits. They got half of the district's contribution to insurance and other benefits like

Sherry