March 2, 2016 By:Hunter Watson
by Haley Ebner
Recently teachers such as Mr. Ryan Kirch, Mrs. Melissa Burlingame, Mr. Gary Bulen, and Mr. Derick Handley have decided to each take on one of of Mr. Bryan Orton’s old classes. That means that each of them are giving up one prep period to teach another class. Giving up a prep period means less time for grading, and less time to plan and prepare for other classes. Giving up a prep period definitely has drawbacks, but it also has some benefits, according to the four teachers.
Ryan Kirch, Room 245
Kirch gave up one of his prep periods in order to take over one of Orton’s classes. Teaching fourth period Government he wanted an opportunity to meet new students. “Even though it’s not ideal, it was in the best interest of the students who were enrolled in the class,” Kirch said. “I now have 247 students in my classes. It becomes difficult to develop relationships with so many students,” Kirch added in regards to what a drawback is to teaching another class. One of the hardest things, according to Kirch, is the difficulty of giving up a prep period where all of the planning is done. Now that he only has one prep period, he has less time for planning and grading.
Melissa Burlingame, Room 204
“Giving up a prep period is stressful because there isn’t enough time to get work done,” said Burlingame who is teaching the 1960’s class during fifth period. “When this opportunity came about, I felt bad for the students, and knew that having a permanent teacher is what is best for them.” There are many benefits to teaching another class such as “having former students again, meeting new kids, and the school district gives you extra money which is always nice!” “The drawbacks are not having enough time at school to prepare and grade for all courses. Also, not being prepared in advance to plan for the semester,” said Burlingame.
Gary Bulen, Room 231
Bulen didn’t mind at all giving up one of his prep periods to teach World Geography first period when Mr. Erik Jespersen, the principal at McNary, asked him if he would be willing to take on another class. “I think I am the fourth teacher the class had. I’m not going anywhere, so I’m glad to “adopt” these kids. What makes McNary a really great school is that all staff members step up to the plate and help out when and where needed.” A benefit, according to Bulen, is being challenged by teaching a class he hasn’t taught in many years. “It’s really refreshing.” Although the challenge is nice, “It is some extra work, and it does take time away from other class preparation and grading,” said Bulen.
Derick Handley, Room 242
“The students deserve consistency and all of the social studies teachers who took on another class did so because of their love for our students, and wanting them to have the best educational experience possible,” said Handley. “Giving up a prep period is always tough when you want to stay on top of grading and planning for classes.” The teachers decided as a whole that the reason they wanted to teach an extra period was because “our students deserved a consistent classroom experience, the students of these classes had gone through four teachers, so we all agreed that students’ needs were the most important thing,” said Handley. “The biggest drawback is that on A-Days I no longer have a period to plan for upcoming classes or get grading done. As a result, I have to get that work done later in the evenings and on weekends rather than during the school day. Also, because it’s a new class for me I have to spend a little extra time creating lessons since I haven’t ever taught Geography before.” “The biggest benefit is that we get an opportunity to know more students. We also get a small bump in pay to ‘buy out’ our prep period,” said Mr. Handley.