Teaching is a hard job. You are on your feet all day dealing with behavior and by the time the end of the day comes, you are ready to go home. Most teachers do just that, but there are a select few who don’t go straight home. Some teachers around the country do the exhausting job of teaching only to then lead an afterschool extracurricular activity for students. Many of those teachers are not paid for the extra work, and that’s not okay.
Schools need to pay teachers for after-school activities. Some schools already do, but the ones that don’t need to get on board.
Virtually everyone believes that extracurriculars are important. They obviously help students outside of the classroom, but research shows they help students inside the classroom as well, not to mention they look good to colleges. Most schools at least outwardly claim to value extracurricular activities, but many of their budgets don’t reflect this. Those activities are allotted, in some cases, no financial support or pay in spite of the fact that staff sponsors and coaches are spending their time and money to run those activities. And as you may have heard recently, teachers are already overworked and underpaid.
I used to coach basketball at my school. My school was on an extended day schedule so classes didn’t end till 5 pm. Practice typically went to 6 pm. On a good day, I could leave by 6:30 p.m. On an average day, I was there till around 7 p.m. waiting for kids to get picked up. Typically, there was at least one who had a ride fall through which left me to drive them home. This means I arrived home around 7:45 p.m. at the earliest. I, of course, still had papers to grade and lessons to plan when I got home too. On game days, it was even worse. All the same problems as practice days, except later because the games didn’t end to around 7:30 p.m. which meant I arrived home at 8 p.m. and sometimes 9 p.m. depending on how many kids didn’t have rides that day.
And that’s just the time commitment.
Shuffling kids to and from places is a drain on gas which is expensive. Inevitably, I would always end up buying items like food and shoes too.
I didn’t do any of that for the money, which is a good thing because there was no money. But the time, effort, and cost to doing it virtually guarantee that I can’t do it now. I’m no longer a young bachelor with no responsibilities at home. I can’t just come home every night at 8:30 p.m. and certainly not for free. This is the problem with not paying teachers for extracurriculars. You lose adults who might otherwise be able to provide a fulfilling after-school activity for students. Sure, we found another basketball coach because this is Indiana, but the after-school video game gatherings I used to host have laid dormant for years. I stopped doing them even-though the interest is still there. When I was coaching basketball I didn’t need to get paid like John Calipari, but it would have been nice to be paid at least the money I put in myself.
Schools have a finite amount of money and it’s easy to understand why extracurriculars would fall low on the hierarchy of things to fund. However, many teachers are using their personal time and money to make sure students can participate in extracurricular activities. Schools should make sure that they are supporting teachers in that endeavor. They can’t give them back the time, but they can give back some of the money.
At a regular job when employees work extra hours and spend their own money they expect to be compensated, and so do teachers.