Teachers are constantly being pulled in every direction. In addition to lesson planning, grading papers, working with students and parents after school, and everything else that comes with being a classroom teacher, there are extra duties. Although these assignments put our time management skills to the test, extra duties are part of the job, even if they seem obscure at times. However, there are limitations to what school administrators can ask teachers to do.
When assigning extra duties, school districts need to be spreading out these tasks to all the staff. This means that bus duty, recess and lunch duty, or other extra jobs that need to be covered around the building, need to be divided up among all the relevant staff. It would not be fair for a small number of teachers to take on these tasks; everybody needs to do their part. While there are usually staffing and scheduling limitations, the school needs to do the best they can to make sure one person is not taking on an unfair amount of these extra duties.
If you coach an athletic team or sponsor the cheerleading squad or chess team, you should have an extra-duties contract that includes compensation. These positions require a great deal of extra work and are typically given to one person. These jobs are separate from your regular duties as a teacher, and therefore require a separate contract. Unlike your teaching contract, these contracts are at-will, which means they can be terminated at any time for any reason as long as the school is not discriminating against you.
Some events, such as parent-teacher conferences and all-staff meetings, require all staff be present. These duties cannot be divided up evenly since it requires everybody to participate. Adding these events to your schedule is just part of the job, however they cannot be overbearing. Having monthly staff meetings or parent-teacher conferences once a semester is reasonable. If your school is requiring you to stay after-school every day for staff meetings, that would be outside the boundary of what the school can ask you to do for your job.
If you need help with a problem at school or have a question about an issue, don’t hesitate to contact your MSTA Field Service Coordinator. Further, if you have a legal question or situation that needs to be addressed please reach out to the MSTA Legal Services Department directly at 866-343-6186. Remember, you don’t have to go through your CTA President or Building Representative before contacting an MSTA Staff Member. We always encourage you to reach out directly to your Field Rep or the Legal Department if you need assistance.