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Teachers Respond to the Proposal of Year-Round Teaching

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In the Opinion page article "Year-Round Teaching," Feb. 27, the author offers some sound arguments. However, as a teacher and an advocate of year-round schools, I am compelled to comment on one of his contentions.

The author asserts that teaching needs to become a full-time profession in order to be recognized as such. He believes teachers work a total of five hours (not including lunch or planning periods), and that expanding this work day by two more hours would increase teachers' pay.

Teaching is not just a job, it is a lifestyle. Anyone who has spent time in a classroom realizes that. As a high school English teacher I am at school from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. I have one half hour for lunch and see 150 students a day. After school, three to four hours are spent on preparation and grading.

In addition, usually one day on the weekend is devoted to schoolwork. To the best of my knowledge, most of the 135 teachers at my school have a similar schedule. Where would the additional two hours go?

My greatest concern generated by this article is the perpetuation of negative misconceptions of the public school system, for example, that teachers work short days with three months off in the summer.

It is time for year-round schools - but for some of the other reasons listed in the article. Teachers know how hard they work. We are professionals. We deserve to be recognized instead of being judged by others who really do not know what happens on the front line. Nancy Hallamore, Upland, Calif.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.


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