We hope you find time this summer to enjoy the pool, sleep in, catch up on home projects, take family vacations, finish a good book, and of course, attend MSTA’s Leadership Symposium. However, the reality of being a teacher is that summer time often means creating new lesson plans and preparing for the next school year. With that work in mind, we also see that more and more teachers are being asked to attend extra professional development events, submit new curriculum for the upcoming school year, or are voluntold that they are now teaching summer school. While most teachers are still technically employed during the summer months, there are limits to what they can be required to do during the summer.

Summer school: This is a situation where a clear line can be drawn: you should not be forced into teaching summer school. Further, if you sign up to teach summer school, you should receive a contract for it that compensates you.

Professional development: While your school shouldn’t require you to attend any extensive PD during the summer, mandatory professional development as the school year gets underway is a different story. Your teaching contract and/or employee manual might speak to what you are required to attend leading up to a new school year. New teachers are often required to come in a few days before the rest of the staff for orientation.

Bottom line: Even though most schools lay out the number of days you have to work and the general hours of those days, we all know that being a teacher doesn’t mean you stop working when the last bell rings at 3:15 p.m. Teachers do not get paid by the hour, and are required, just like in other professional jobs, to complete extra duties as assigned and attend extra events outside normal working hours. However, these requests need to be reasonable. Working a few days before school starts and after the semester ends is generally going to be okay, but at some point the number of days becomes excessive.

If you have questions about whether or not your school is asking too much of you, contact the MSTA Legal Services Department at 866-343-6186.