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Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?
Old 12-07-2004, 07:43 PM   #1
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Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?

A former school teacher relative has been encouraging me lately to look for work as a computer/network tech at public schools. (I have about 10 years' such experience in the private sector.) This relative claims the techs have the same work schedules as the teachers; that I would get summer, Christmas and spring breaks in addition to all the other school holidays.

This relative can be very knowledgable but can also present mistaken assumptions as indisputable fact. So I'm eager to verify the time off claims as I would probably take the salary cut for the ability to take that much time off.

I've seen much discussion here of military and government jobs, but I don't recall anyone discussing an educational career. Does the whole school administration operate on teacher's schedules, or do they work year-round like corporate America?
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?
Old 12-07-2004, 07:55 PM   #2
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?

At my son's HS, the staff is off when the kids are off with the following exceptions:

Couple of days after school ends in June.
Couple of days before school starts in August.

The office is open over the summer but appears to have minimal staff. I had teacher friends that could either take a salary over 9 months of the year, or spread over 12 months even when off over summer.

It seems as if the computer staff would do upgrades or repairs over summer while the kids were off, but maybe it could be a few weeks of work only. Might be worth investigating.
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?
Old 12-07-2004, 09:01 PM   #3
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?

I work for a school district (but not for the district itself), and I know that during the "off" months, the techs work a normal schedule upgrading, fixing, and preparing for the next school year. A lot of abuse takes place during the school year, and the only real time to catch up are those summer months.

There is also a movement in education to go towards year-round school, so be aware that the whole concept of "summer vacation" could become a thing of the past.
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Sounds too good to be true...
Old 12-07-2004, 09:24 PM   #4
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Sounds too good to be true...

Quote:
A former school teacher relative has been encouraging me lately to look for work as a computer/network tech at public schools. *(I have about 10 years' such experience in the private sector.) This relative claims the techs have the same work schedules as the teachers; that I would get summer, Christmas and spring breaks in addition to all the other school holidays.
C'mon, BMJ, when would you do a full set of backups, upgrade all the OSs & software, and fix all those monitor problems?

I doubt it'd be on any given schoolday. Unless you can "teach" all the schoolkid users how to do their own computer tech work...
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?
Old 12-08-2004, 04:32 AM   #5
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?

My guess is that techs in elementary and secondary education work similar schedules to those in higher education where I work. I work 8-5, 5 days a week. I earn 5 weeks of vacation a year, plus holidays (which includes the week between Christmas and New Years)...so about 7 weeks of vacation total a year for the taking (or saving). Except in elementary/secondary education you're probably working 7-3.
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?
Old 12-08-2004, 04:50 AM   #6
 
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?

Jim,

Why not call the local school district and talk with someone who does this type of work? Then you can discuss pay, vacation time, benefits, and all of the relevant issues. I would imagine that you would have a 10-month schedule like most teachers simply because school districts can only afford this much salary money. In a more wealthy district with extensive summer school programs, you might be needed year-round.

Another option is colleges. I have a friend who works for a university as an IT person and he works year-round, although the university has great benefits and many paid holidays, including 2 weeks over Christmas break.
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?
Old 12-08-2004, 07:30 AM   #7
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?

Quote:
Another option is colleges. *I have a friend who works for a university as an IT person and he works year-round, although the university has great benefits and many paid holidays, including 2 weeks over Christmas break. *
I think this really depends on the college, and if it's public or private. I worked for a year at WWU doing IT, and being a state university, we had state benefits... 12 vacation days/year + holidays... none of them being more than 2-3 days in a row. I think the best advice given so far was by shanna..... call and find out for yourself since there is obviously a LOT of variance in policies between institutions.
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?
Old 12-09-2004, 09:36 AM   #8
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?

Quote:
This relative claims the techs have the same work schedules as the teachers; that I would get summer, Christmas and spring breaks in addition to all the other school holidays.
So I'm eager to verify the time off claims as I would probably take the salary cut for the ability to take that much time off.
Speaking for Non-educational public service agencies, I would suggest that if it's about time off there are other considerations than being aligned with when the "kiddies" are off school. I have a friend that is a teacher in a year-round school system. Yes, he has lots of time off, and it occurs regularly about 3 times a year, for about a month each. Pretty cool. Not the schedule of Tech Support staff in his district though.

In my County Agency we are granted a specific amount of time off per year, that is essentially earned per pay-check, at a rate determined by years of service. Newbies get two weeks. After two years you earn 3 weeks per year, and after 10 years you earn 4 weeks. Geezers like myself with over 20 years get 5 weeks.

But here is the kicker. You can use this vacation time in whatever increment you want, and usually anytime during the year that you like, including tacking it in front of or on the end of exisiting holidays. We still get all the stock paid holidays per year.

For example, if I want to take off Thanksgiving week (I did) it only cost me (in theory) 24 hours of Vacation time (3 days) to take off 9 days in a row. Since many of us have negotiated 4x10 hour weeks, I actually was off 10 straight days for my 24 hours. So those Monday Holidays that make automatic 3-day weekends are already 4-day weekends for me because I generally don't do Fridays unless something really special is happening. If I want to make that a five day vacation, I just spend 8 hours of vacation to "extend" that extra long weekend from a Thursday night beginning to coming back to work Wed AM.

The moral of the story is that this type of modular, flexible vacation in a public sector environment where vacation requests are seldom denied gives the employee excellent bang for the buck. An employees perceived time off even at the 3 weeks per year earning rate can really feel like lots of vacation time off. And that doesn't count a completely separate bank of sick leave time that we also earn at a 2 weeks per year rate for the obvious purpose, that doesn't dent our vacations time.

Does the private sector have this kind of benefit?

BigMoneyJim. Come work for me. Network Systems Engineers with 10 years experience are Golden. Lower your stress level, Cola Pensions, 457 plan with same max as your 401k to shelter your savings tax free. 16 years to age 50 would get you a DBP amount of about 25% per year (Cola adjusted) of your highest salary, plus whatever you'd save during that time. We'd love to have you.
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I'm a little concerned...
Old 12-09-2004, 12:02 PM   #9
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I'm a little concerned...

... about the ethics of using an ER discussion board to arrange employment!

What's next-- a "Help Wanted" section?!?
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Re: I'm a little concerned...
Old 12-09-2004, 12:55 PM   #10
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Re: I'm a little concerned...

Quote:
... about the ethics of using an ER discussion board to arrange employment!

What's next-- a "Help Wanted" section?!?

You are so right. Moderetely sincere apologies. My eagerness to join you got the better of me. Just trying to insure my replacement was someone with the proper ER mentality. I'll never attempt such an overt recruitment again. Well most likely not. Certainly not after June of '06, that I can promise. 8)
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?
Old 12-09-2004, 01:02 PM   #11
 
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?

If you are planning to travel with all the time off you have be aware that the rates of travel are about 50% higher when school is out (if not higher). Plus you get to share your vacation with a lot of kids. My dh and I are waiting till next year when the last one is off to college to take budget vacations in October.

We also feel we get a lot of time off. I work for a University with wraps most holidays into a Xmas break of at least a week. Some years I only need to take an extra 2 days off to have two full weeks of vacation. After 17 years my dh gets 5 weeks vacation. Using the days around other holidays streaches them even more.

The schools here no longer get 3 months of vacation like when I was a kid. Infact, since my kids were both in marching band they went back at the end of July. If you have kids it is nice to be off when they are, but if not I do not see the big benefit.
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?
Old 12-09-2004, 04:25 PM   #12
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?

Someone already mentioned this, but I think the people who work on the year-round schedule have the greatest deal in the world. My wife teaches 1st grade at a year-round school. Currently, she gets off the entire month of Feb., June and October. In addition, she gets 2 weeks off for Christmas and countless other days off.

Since we like to travel overseas, this is IDEAL! I can't get off more than 3 weeks at a time anyways, so we can go some place and aren't limited to "good weather locals". For example, in Feb, we can choose to go some place in the southern hemisphere where it's summer, or go skiing here!

Once we save up some more money I'm likely going to be applying to teach year-round somewhere (or become an IT guy I guess).

The other benefit is that she can switch cycles every school year as long as she has seniority. Combine this with the excellent sick leave she gets, she doesn't have to take off too much time when she pregnant.
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?
Old 12-10-2004, 07:23 AM   #13
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?

Quote:

I think this really depends on the college, and if it's public or private. I worked for a year at WWU doing IT, and being a state university, we had state benefits... 12 vacation days/year + holidays... none of them being more than 2-3 days in a row. I think the best advice given so far was by shanna..... call and find out for yourself since there is obviously a LOT of variance in policies between institutions.
And state systems vary...When I said I get 7 weeks of vacation a year, I am talking about a state related institution in PA and I only have 1+ year on the job here. In the SUNY system in NY, my vacation benefits were even better. Typically, in my experience, the state institutions of higher education provide better benefits, but like Marshac said, just call and check.
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?
Old 12-10-2004, 01:41 PM   #14
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?

I am a IT support tech in a rural school district in Utah. I work 10 months a year and get all of June and July off. I am also off every day that the kids are the rest of the year. For example the last day of school for christmas break is December 17 and I don't go back to work until January 3rd. But I only get personal and Sick leave no Vaction days. But there are 4 techs here and the other three work 12 months and get 3 weeks vacation time. When I was hired I negotiated for this and am paid 2/12 less that the other tech. What is nice is my wife teaches for the same district so last summer the day school got out we hoped in the car and drove to alaska and didn't get back until the first day school started in August. I am an amateur landscape/wildlife Photographer so this is really ideal situation for me. Because of my LBYM mentality and ER mentality I can live on 10/12 but my coworkers are in-debt up to there noses and could not servive on the smaller pay checks. After 5-years of summers off it would be a hard transition back those months are more valuable to me than the extra money.
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?
Old 12-10-2004, 07:12 PM   #15
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Re: Educational Careers: Teacher's Schedule?

blazerjeremy,
Good for you! I always told the younger teachers in the schools I worked, to never work during the summer months. .. and never ever work with kids during the summer months. A career teacher needs to return refreshed and ready for a new year. A career in teaching is a marathon not a sprint.

When I was single, I would jump on my motorcycle and head to Mexico for the 10 weeks of summer vacation. It was cheaper to travel Mexico than to pay for cable and air conditioning and rent. Needless to say a bit more exciting too!
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