The infinite stupidity of the school board in our county has struck once again. Is there no end?
Let me start with the difference between certified teachers and classified employees. Certified teachers at our school have undergraduate degrees and a few have master's degrees as well. The story is the same for our classified employees- all have undergraduate degrees, some of us have master's degrees, and one is working on her Ph.D.--do you see the difference? Thaaat's right. The difference between certified teachers and classified employees is the certification. Of course, there is also the difference in pay (seriously, master's degree or not, a classified employee is lucky to bring home $1500/month) and responsibility but, in terms of education, that's it.
You'd never know it, however, when you witness the difference in the way the two types of employees are treated.
If you are a classified employee and you do not feel like a mere peon, give it time. You will. No matter how much you do or how hard you work or how many times you go well beyond that extra mile they will, at some point, put you in your place. This antiquated treatment happens when you get further up the food chain. But not too far.
What's the latest humiliation to be suffered by the lowly classified employee? They must punch a time clock.
Punch. A. Time. Clock.
Now, I realize that there are jobs in which people have to punch time clocks. But working as a classified employee in our school is not one of them. It is one more way for the powers-that-be to insult the worker bees they view as peons. Classified employees are the only ones who have to punch a clock.
Why? How would I know? Y'all don't think they'd actually tell us why do you? Because that doesn't usually happen. When they have people by the proverbial balls, they don't have to tell why, do they? Perhaps other schools are having trouble with some employees putting in an eight hour day? Perhaps someone on the board is getting kickbacks from the Kronos company? Perhaps someone's cousin's brother's girlfriend's sister works for the company? Maybe they decided to go paperless? Most likely it's a micromanagement issue. Who knows?
I was a classified employee who holds a master's degree and two undergraduate degrees. I gave at least 110% every school day. I was on committees and offered computer club every Tuesday afternoon (my own idea which I gladly and enthusiastically offered for three years FOR NO PAY.) I added classes to my already filled days just to make sure students had access to coding classes as well as the special area classes they attended. I was in charge of MAP testing which required me to arrive early and leave late most days, run reports for the principal and all teachers (who could easily have done this for themselves.) If there was a technology problem, I was expected to sort it out even though we are told by the district to call the Help Desk in these situations. I won't even get into the extra duties that were asked of me, some of which were above my pay grade. I did not work less than 8 hours/day. I did, however, work more to the tune of nearly 40 hours/school year. And I NEVER asked for overtime pay. I did this for the kiddos and considered it voluntary.
I would not do that now if they made it a requirement. Because, when you force the peons to punch a time clock, you rob them of their joy and motivation.
I am not the only classified employee at our school who does more than his/her fair share. This is not about appreciation. Our AP has always made me feel appreciated. Always. I feel certain she has made others feel the same. That's not the point.
The point is, the Charleston County school board has got to stop humiliating people. Trying to make others feel less than they are is BS, I don't care who you think you are. This is not the way to inspire loyalty, productivity, or honesty in your employees. It is, however, a successful way to destroy those qualities. Who wants to work for someone who insults and humiliates their employees?
Our school is not a school of slackers. We work with 700 elementary students. There is no way we can slack even if we wanted to. If anything, the educators and staff at our school go above and beyond on a daily basis. What we have in return is a successful school filled with students who are eager to learn and educators enthusiastic about teaching. We do not do this for the money. We do it for the love of teaching children and our own love and appreciation of learning.
On the other hand, this latest degrading act by CCSD made it much easier to leave my job. Before the time clock issue arose, leaving was bittersweet. Not that I won't miss the students or enjoy taking care of my granddaughter but the time clock has taken a good bit of the sentimentality of leaving out of the mix.