Boss Strips Special Ed Teachers Of 1 Prep Hour, Ends Up Paying Out 20 Hours Of Overtime

Boss Strips Special Ed Teachers Of 1 Prep Hour, Ends Up Paying Out 20 Hours Of Overtime

Having been a teacher myself, I dare say that it is one of the most underrated, undervalued, and underappreciated professions out there.

But what most don’t realize is that teachers are also some of the most cunning people out there, and if you mess with the bull, you get the horns. Without seeing either the bull, nor the horns until it’s too late and you’re flying across the ring like an animated rag doll. And everyone’s watching.

The bull and horns in this analogy is this one teacher’s malicious compliance. Nobody messes with them by cutting their prep time short!

More Info: Reddit

Pro Tip: never mess with teachers. They are some of the most cunning people out there, and their malicious compliance is even more so

Image credits: LBJ Library (not the actual image)

A Redditor by the nickname of u/Kazbob48, with whom Bored Panda got in touch for an interview, used to work as a special ed teacher and was also the department chair. Each such teacher got 2 hours for preparations. One of these would be dedicated to completing paperwork, testing kids, meetings, and the like. The other hour was academic prep. While the workloads were out of proportion, these hours helped.

Well, the school was assigned a new administrator. One of the first courses of action that they decided to do was to “unify” certain aspects among teachers so that everyone would be on the same page. This in turn meant that the 2 hours special ed teachers got were cut 1 hour shorter so that they’d have the same as other teachers… completely ignoring the fact that they desperately need that hour.

After reading similar stories on r/teaching, OP got the push they needed to share their experience leading them to r/MaliciousCompliance.

This one special ed teacher shared how they lost one prep hour because of a new admin’s decision, but proceeded to work the same, but formalize it differently

Image Credits: u/Kazbob48

Image credits: liz west (not the actual image)

OP did try to confront the new admin about it, but to no avail. But there was something they could do to make the new boss listen. You see, special ed teachers scheduled IEP, or Individual Education Plan, meetings as part of that one hour that was recently cut. Since it was gone, they cued malicious compliance and opted for overtime.

“I was Dept. Chair, and I was furious. My entire team was looking to me for direction. I told them to do what was asked and I would figure out a solution, which was my malicious compliance,” elaborated OP about their initial reaction to the prep time cut. “I knew they couldn’t fire me, and I knew the one thing that ALWAYS got back to the district office was overtime sheets which I figured would get the Superintendent’s attention.”

But instead of just getting the extra money, there was a tiny added bonus of having to bug the secretary for timesheets that formalized the overtime—and she did not like giving those out because she knew very well the admin absolutely hated explaining the overtime to the district office.

At that moment, OP shrugged it off and proceeded despite the absolutely certain, yet ineffective repercussions of it all. OP had the full right to opt for overtime now given that certain formalities had changed, and the administrator was legally required to take part in these meetings, so it’s not like they could say it never happened. They themselves were living proof.

The trick was to make the lost hour overtime, and since the boss was always present for the overtime, they couldn’t say it didn’t happen

Image Credits: u/Kazbob48

Image credits: dewet (not the actual image)

So, one timesheet submission later, with an extra 20 hours on record, admin rushed into OP’s classroom like the Kool-Aid man, fuming with anger. Said anger was defused in mere moments once OP explained the situation and suggested reinstating those extra hours they took away. Otherwise, they could deal with the very expensive overtime. And justifying it in front of district officials.

One week later, the hour was back. And the paycheck was nice too. And people on r/MaliciousComplaince thought this was pretty freaking cool.

“I do think I could have done better by intentionally making the out of contract hours meetings last longer, thus a much bigger time sheet for extra hours work,” added OP.

Folks online were all in support of OP, and some of then even worked in special education, providing some insight into it

Other special ed teachers came out, providing more context on how necessary the extra hour is—like even having 8 kids means a lot of work because this still means making up 8 individual education plans, and how things like this just add to the increasing demand for special education teachers. Spoiler alert: that’s not how you increase supply or decrease demand. Or both.

OP was also present in the comments, providing more context and answering questions, one of which explains that the extra hour was turned into a time slot for social skills class, which OP enjoyed, but it didn’t help regardless.

Another special ed teacher (in charge of a team, in fact) also elaborated on how different special ed teachers have it compared to regular teachers. In short, some other staff started complaining about the special ed teachers not doing playground duty—because of just how demanding special ed really is with disabled kids—so the special eds “snapped” and said fine, but the special students will now be spending their lunches and breaks with the other students, and the commenter’s staff won’t be on the premises (if they’re not rostered). This lasted for one day until it got reverted.

Fun fact (well, maybe not so fun, but definitely important), according to a survey conducted by EdWeek Research Center, a regular Joe teacher works about 54 hours per week, and a bit less than half of this total—25—is spent in direct contact with students, i.e. actually teaching them.

And before you go arguing that teachers get the summers off, not really, and imagine working for 9 to 11 months straight by pulling 54 hours a week with an average teacher salary in the US being $58,260. Yeah, don’t think so. The issue is much more complicated, but this alone puts a lot of things into perspective.

OP believes that the school admin learned from their mistake:

“I think admin learned that it’s cheaper to hire an additional teacher so that the teachers have the time they need to do their jobs than to find out the efforts staff will engage in order to make it clear they are not cogs in a machine and do have lives outside of work.”

“I wish people understood the amount of testing and paperwork that resource teachers have to complete in addition to their actual jobs as teachers. The average resource teacher lasts less than 5 years. The paperwork, the parents, and the students are all hard,” concluded OP.

Their post got quite a bit of attention from Redditors, amassing over 10,000 upvotes and getting several awards along the way. You can check it out in full context here.

We’d like to ask you one thing before you go, though, and that is to go nuts in the comment section, sharing your thoughts and stories about OP’s story or the current state of special ed affairs.

The post Boss Strips Special Ed Teachers Of 1 Prep Hour, Ends Up Paying Out 20 Hours Of Overtime first appeared on Bored Panda.

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