Giving teachers more prep time is good for Chicago’s school kids

Prep time isn’t break time. It is essential to allow teachers time to prepare. Otherwise, they’re just being set up to fail.

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Chicago Teachers Union members rally on Sept. 14. The CTU has set a strike deadline of Oct. 17.

Chicago Teachers Union members rally on Sept. 14. The CTU has set a strike deadline of Oct. 17.

Sun-Times

As a Sun-Times editorial argued on Friday, it’s true that students can’t learn if they’re not in class. But Chicago’s teachers can’t teach effectively if they are not given adequate prep time, which currently is the case.

Prep time isn’t break time. It is essential to allow teachers time to prepare. Otherwise, they’re just being set up to fail. Without sufficient prep time, a teacher is less able to teach effectively.

Thirty additional minutes of being taught less effectively due to inadequate prep time does our kids no service.

I suggest two solutions to this problem.

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First, employ that ancient, long forgotten technique known as compromise. Split the difference. Give teachers 30 minutes of additional prep time, while extending the school day 15 minutes.

Second, let’s be consistent concerning securing as much teaching time as possible.if 30 minutes of additional prep time adds up to 88 hours less teaching time in an academic year, how about limiting all that disruptive standardized testing, which certainly chews up far more than 88 hours of teaching time a year as teachers are forced to“teach to the test” instead of teaching to the students.

Solutions like these seem obvious. It’s just not that complicated. How is it that presumably intelligent people on both sides of these education issues can’t apply another of those ancient, long forgotten techniques — common sense?

Jim Morris, Evanston

Our long national nightmare

President Donald Trump’s reckless conduct is catching up with him. True to his self-destructive nature, he’s unapologetic about the potentially impeachable offenses that threaten his presidency. On the contrary, he appears to revel in them. This is scary, coming from a president. A plurality of Americans not only support a House impeachment, they also favor a Senate conviction.

Watching a president disintegrate mentally should not give us comfort or joy. It is a human tragedy. Those of us who lived through President Richard Nixon’s self-immolation thought the lessons of that self-destruction would prevent a recurrence. But Trump apparently was too busy practicing his mendacity in high-stakes New York real estate dealings to learn the lesson.

So we again wait for a decent American leader to tell us, “Our long, national nightmare is over.”

Walt Zlotow, Glen Ellyn

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