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Back To School: Are Teachers Ever Eligible For Overtime? (Guest Blog)

It’s that time of the year again when teachers, students, and administrators return to school. Students eagerly await standardized tests, teachers look forward to discussing with parents why their child got a B instead of an A, and administrators debate how to spend their bountiful budgets on high-tech learning equipment. I really hope the sarcasm was caught there.

Today, more and more teachers are putting in extra hours to ensure that their students are learning. Many are also putting some of their own money towards school supplies because the school simply cannot afford them. With so much hard work and their own money put in, it makes you wonder if teachers are eligible for overtime pay.

Are Teachers Eligible?

Unfortunately, teachers are not eligible for overtime pay. Despite the experience a teacher has, the level at which they teach at, or how many hours they put in, teachers cannot earn overtime pay. Now this can obviously have mixed reactions. On one hand, if you put in an inordinate amount of working hours, you should be compensated for your time. However, many people will argue that teachers get summer breaks which helps to even out the hours. In the end your stance is somewhat irrelevant due to the Fair Labor Standards Act ruling on overtime eligibility.

Why Aren’t Teachers Eligible?

So why aren’t teachers eligible for overtime? The FLSA has strict rulings on what workers are eligible and not eligible to earn overtime pay. To start off, earning overtime requires an employee to work in excess of forty hours in one work week. This has nothing to do with the amount of hours worked in one day or if the hours worked were during nights or weekends. You simply have to exceed forty hours worked in the workweek. The hours worked in excess are paid out at one and a half times your normal pay rate. So if you have worked 45 hours this week and your normal pay rate is $10 per hour, you will earn $15 for five of those hours.

So in that sense, a teacher can still qualify for overtime. The law doesn’t state that you have to average over forty hours per week in the year or exceed 2,080 hours worked in the year. So the next qualifying factor is the overall salary earned.

One misconception is that only workers paid on an hourly basis are eligible for overtime. Likewise, another misconception is that if you work on an hourly basis you are guaranteed eligibility for overtime. Both of these statements are actually false. While the vast majority of overtime eligible employees work on an hourly basis, that does not determine eligibility versus exemption.

Even some salaried workers can be eligible for overtime. One requirement of a salaried worker being eligible for overtime is how much they earn. The current threshold for salaried workers is at $466 per week or $23,660 annually. It is a well known fact that this is not much, especially if it is going towards supporting a family. In fact, for a family of four, this income is below the poverty line. So as it currently stands, we would not provide overtime to an impoverished family despite how many hours they work as long as their salary is a dollar over that threshold.

This threshold has been intact for long time and hasn’t been raised to account for inflation in decades. Luckily, that is all changing according to recent statements by President Obama. The threshold will increase to $50,440 which is a healthy jump. This would cover about 40% of salaried works, greatly helping out those who are currently earning a salary that exempts them from overtime.

Unfortunately for teachers, this still won’t make them eligible for overtime. The main reason is that they are automatically exempt based on their job function. The FLSA’s ruling on overtime creates exemptions for a handful of professions and job duties. The jury is still out on a number of white collar exemptions which are classified as executive, administrative, and professional. However, the automatic exemptions for lawyers, doctors, judges, and teachers remain. They are considered “traditional learned professions” which makes them ineligible from overtime. This professional exempt work is categorized as work that prominently requires intellectual, specialized education and involves the exercise of discretion and judgement.

About the author:

Andrew Fujii is a marketing professional with expertise in digital/web and content marketing. He is also a copywriter for multiple agencies and a contributes to the Vethan Law Firm blog.

 

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How Adults Learn in School

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Adults do not learn like children. Adults are more discerning in what they are willing to learn. They incline to questioning and more resent of being told what to learn.

Compared to children and teens, adults have special needs and requirements as learners. Adult learning is much more utilitarian unlike the former.

The field of adult learning was pioneered by Malcolm Knowles. He also identified the following characteristics of adult learners.

Adults are autonomous and self-directed. They need to be free to direct themselves. Teachers, professors, or instructors handling adult learners should in the learning process actively involve them and serve as facilitators for them. Specifically, they should get learners’ perspectives about what to cover and let them work on projects that reflect their interests. They should also allow the participants to assume responsibility for presentation and group leadership.

Additionally, adults have accumulated foundation of life experience and knowledge that may include work-related activities, family responsibilities, and previous education. Hence, they need to connect learning to knowledge and experience base. To help them do so, teachers, professors or instructors should draw out adult learners’ experience and knowledge that are relevant to the topic in the learning process. They should expressly relate theories and concepts to the learners and recognize the value of experience in learning.

Moreover, adults are goal-oriented. Upon enrolling in a course, they usually know what goal they want to attain. They therefore appreciate an educational program that is organized and has clearly defined elements. Wherefore teachers, professors, or instructors should show adult learners conversely how the class will help them in attaining their goals. This classification of goals and course objectives must be done early in the course.

Lastly, adults are relevancy-oriented. They must see a reason for learning something. Learning has to be applicable to their work or other responsibilities to be of value to them. Therefore, teachers, professors, or instructors should identify objectives for adult learners before the course begins. This need can be fulfilled by letting the learners choose projects that reflect their own interests.

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What Are The Criteria And Components Of A Good Instructional Module?

module

These are the criteria of a good instructional module.

  1. It should be self-contained.
  2. It should be self-pacing.
  3. Its topic or subject matter should be short enough and well-defined.
  4. It should be adequately motivated.
  5. It should provide opportunities for interaction with the learner.
  6. Its objectives and activities should be properly sequenced.
  7. It should be written in clear, correct language suitable to the level of the learner.
  8. It should be so written as to make it interesting and appealing to the learner.
  9. It should bear no wrong implication to other subject matter or values.
  10. It should utilize every opportunity to achieve effective outcomes of learning.
  11. It should contain all the necessary components of a good module.
  12. The components of the module should be highly supportive to each other.

These are the components of a complete module.

  1. Title
  2. Target Population
  3. Overview
  4. Objectives
  5. Instructions to the Learner
  6. Entry Behavior and Prerequisite Skills and Knowledge
  7. Pretests
  8. Pretests Feedback and Evaluation
  9. Learning Activities
  10. Post-test
  11. Post-test Feedback and Evaluation
  12. Teacher’s Manual or Guide
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Teacher’s Code of Professional Ethics

Ethics
  1. Relates justly and impartially with students regardless of their physical, mental, political, economic, social, racial or religious background.
  2. Recognizes the differences among students and seek to meet their individual needs.
  3. Encourages students to aspire for lofty, individual goals in the development of their physical, intellectual, creative and spiritual endowments.
  4. Assists students in developing an understanding and appreciation, not only of opportunities and benefits of constitutional rights, but also of their obligations to preserve it.
  5. Respects the right of every student to have confidential information about him withheld, except when its release to authorize agencies is with his consent.
  6. Adheres to appropriate behavior expected of professionals. Acts of immorality of any kind are subject to sanctions and are grounds for dismissal.
  7. Submits documents and records that are accurate and correct. Gross misrepresentation of facts pertaining to personal and professional data is subject to appropriate sanction.
  8. Discusses controversial issues in class from an objective point of view allowing students to make their own decisions.
  9. Conducts official business through proper channels.
  10. Speaks constructively of other members of the community.
  11. Be a good steward of time. Be punctual in meeting classes, submission of grades and reports, and keeping appointments and attendance at functions.
  12. Makes professional and personal growth a strong priority in life.
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Why Teacher is the Noblest Title of all Professions?

teacher

At first, I was inclined to the opinion that being a teacher is just ordinary. We in fact received less renumeration or salary vis-à-vis some other professions in practice. Truly, this cannot be negated.

However incidentally this morning, when I went to the school library, I picked up a book about teaching. When I randomly open its pages, I encounter this piece of article describing on what is a teacher written anonymously. After I read the same, I was in a nod. It made me utter, “this is true”. Momentarily, I arrived to the conclusion that teacher is the noblest title of all profession.

Allow me to share this piece of article hereunder.

Teacher, you are a poet, as you weave with your colourful magic language a passion for your subject. You create a vast and grand mosaic of curiosities to imagine, secrets to unfold connections only to begin the cycle of learning.

Teacher, you are a physicist, as you bring magic, logic, reason, and wonder to the properties, changes, and interactions of our universe.

Teacher, you are a maestro, a master of composing, as you conduct and orchestrate individual’s thoughts and actions from discordant cacophony into harmonic resonance.

Teacher, you are an architect, as you provide each student a solid foundation, but always with a vision of the magnificent structure that is about to emerge.

Teacher, you are a gymnast, as you encourage the contortions and gyrations of thoughts and the flexing and strengthening of ideas.

Teacher, you are a diplomat and the ambassador of tact and sensitivity, as you facilitate productive, positive interactions among multiplicity of personalities and cultures, beliefs, and ideals.

Teacher, you are a philosopher, as your actions and ethics convey, meaning and hope to young people who look to you for your guidance and example.

As you prepare for your first day and each day, when your students enter and you encounter their attitudes, ranging and eager, enthusiastic anticipation to uncomfortable, uncertain apathy, recall the powers you have within… from poet to philosopher… and present yourself to those students as a person worthy of the noble title… Teacher.” – Anonymous

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How To Value Students (A Teacher’s View)

lecture

Verily, if we refer on teaching techniques and strategies, there are multiple approaches that are being applied among teachers toward their students especially on how to handle their class. However there is a common attitude that most teachers are unmindful.

Many teachers do not have the know-how to establish or have the difficulty in creating intimacy with their students. Perhaps they merely focus, in class, on teaching over the subject matter they handled, or to impart their knowledge, conduct lectures and discussions using different learning strategies like case method discussion, active or cooperative learning, or to facilitate students in learning instructions, among others.

With these undertakings, they are paid for. As such, their functions as a teacher are believed to be routinary.

Different teachers also applied diverse recommended lecture approaches in class. It include preparation of lectures fit to the audience. By that they can deliver well on the subject matter and convey their ideas clearly to their students.

Another way is to focus only one topic in their lectures or discussions because of the fact that it is impossible to cover everything in just one lecture. By this, they believed that they became more effective when the same is applied in the class.

Another method used by some teachers is to organize points in the discussion in order to establish emphasis on certain issues and important matters. They cite appropriate or concrete examples or illustration so that their students can really comprehend.

In addition, in the course of their lectures and discussions, they avoid neglecting their audience. And they should be enthusiastic all the time.

Veraciously, these recommendations are helpful. But there is still a thing as mentioned above that many of the teachers, professors or instructors unmind. That is, why and how to value their students.

If we are going to delve what is value, it is no ordinary personal character of a being. According to Aristotle, a value is something that is worth having, worth possessing, worth keeping, and worth doing. If you value a thing or something, you do not want lost it. Much more, you cannot afford to lose it.

In my case, as a teacher, I value my students a lot. I cannot afford to lose even one of them. That instigate me to always inspire them in the class.

In class, I devote short time to talk my students on personal matters. I partake some of my beautiful experiences when I was a student just like them. When they have personal questions to ask in class, I answered them ideally but with an association of humor. And this make them happy. I share to them how I handled my academic subjects before during my school days. I let them know the reasons why I got big scores on the examinations that I took. I let them understand that nothing is a hindrance in fulfilling one’s dreams. No matter how insurmountable the odds and adversities maybe. More importantly, I let them imagine their lives in the future.

It is a great idea that once a student is inspire, he is always ready to beat the challenges and odds. He become more eager to learn.

Wherefore, on the part of the teacher, he becomes truly more effective.

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The Teaching Profession

With dignity and pride,teaching profession teaching profession is highly commendable yet the remuneration won’t commensurate to the effort or service it rendered. Notwithstanding, their prestige is beyond imaginable for their work is priceless that you can never repay the sacrifices they exerted as well as how they touch everyone’s lives.

Moreover, when you become a teacher considering that you already passed the licensure examination, it would be self-fulfilling and gratifying knowing how valuable this profession is and the process you’ve gone through in achieving it. Conversely, becoming a teacher you should be equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and values in order to be effective on this field. It requires versatility and flexibility in dealing with the challenges and demands of the society or of the world at large and at the same time to meet and cope with it.

Formal training is vital to definitely prepare you the insurmountable predicaments that are inevitable for this profession. Nevertheless, as you approach this profession you still need a lot of preparation to sharpen your capabilities and improved your potential to definitely uphold its reputation in providing quality education to the students or to the learners.

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Classroom Management

  classroom-management-tipsAll students enrolled whether in private or public learning institutions for academic and educational reasons are deliberately arrange by section. Having one assigned classroom teacher who will serve as its adviser and will therefore facilitate and handle all the academic and extra-curricular activities assigned to them. The effectiveness on how students behave, learn and participate inside the classroom is primarily attributed on how they are being manage by their subject teachers and its adviser. Hence, it is necessary and thus having a mutual benefit that teachers should have the know-how to handle their respective classes. Relatively, hereunder are some suggestions that might help then.

During the commencement of the class session, teachers should see to it that all students are properly seated in their respective seat/desk. When we say proper, meaning that all of them have already taken their books or notebooks lying in their arm chairs and individually holding their pens ready to take any important points that maybe delivered during  the academic discussions. In this juncture, the role of the students during delivery of lessons which is to listen and be ready to receive new inputs or learnings will be given emphasis.

At the height of academic discussions inside the classroom, teacher’s role is very important towards the students. Metaphorically, their relation is like an arid land who waits for a hard rain to come. When it rain, the land will absorb every downpour or raindrop. If the rain is only light or moderate, and there are only scattered rain showers, seemingly it will just pass by and will show only light or moderate effect to the land.

As a matter of fact in academic discussions, the student’s single choice is to listen on the lesson delivery and follow what the teacher commands. Probably then, the latter is to be blame if there is poor learning on the part of the student because of unsystematic, unemphatic and poor lesson delivery. It shows only one thing, reflection. The class reaction is reciprocally dependent on the teacher.

Hence, teachers must be ready, enthusiastic, and full of knowledge on his/her lessons before and during academic discussions inside the classroom. As the saying goes, “there is no such boring subject, it is the teacher who is”.

In the course of academic discussion, teachers should always be flexible and friendly. Meaning, they are open, approachable, and ready for any questions to be thrust by the students. Such is the latter’s right and they are therefore entitled to be compensated for it.

On the part of the teachers, never miss to inspire and encourage the students. Many of them are just having meager income in their family. Not few of them walk a distant mile just to reach the school in order to attend the class. Yet despite of their lowly situation and condition, they also have dreams in life. Push them up. Treat them as part of your family. If possible, as sons or daughters. It is very nice to look a smile of a student who is deeply inspired and ready to fight for his/her dream and for his/her family for future sake. If this would be the case of all teachers, they will not be forgotten. That’s a guarantee.

When assigning homeworks or extra-curricular activities to students, teachers should not be lenient in asking deadline for its completion or compliance. However, upon assignment, the latter should explain first to the former on what are the content learnings that could be obtain, or the beneficiality or necessity why the same should be mandatorily completed or complied with on time. In that sense, the students will be compelled to do the task but with personal motivation that they must do the same for their own good.

If a student is absent, a teacher should show concern by asking to the class why he/she is absent, who knows among them his/her whereabouts, and tell the class that this concern student must come to school the next day and that he was looking for him/her. This will set encouragement among students to always attend their class because their teacher is deeply concern with them once they are going to incur absences.

Effective classroom management is effectuated by establishing an intimate relationship by and between the teachers and students. One is truly nothing without the other.

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The Art of Teaching

the art of teaching

There is no gainsaying that all teachers, professors, instructors, can teach and deliver their lessons in class through academic discourse or discussion. However, if we are going to gauge on the effectivity in their conveyance of lessons to their audience, not quite few of them have failed. It can be assessed on the results of quizzes and examinations, written or oral, that they administered in order to evaluate how far are the students learning over the covered discussions.

For a teacher or instructor to become effective in their method and strategy of teaching towards the students or audience, one must completely understand that teaching is an art.

A teacher, professor, or instructor must stand firm during class discussions. He must underscore on important points using well-modulated voice. Monotonous and tedious manner of delivery of lessons will never be pleasing in the ears of the audience. When teaching, one must be fired with enthusiasm. As if a King who speaks to his knights and soldiers blaze with ardent spirit.

In teaching, one must not forget to incorporate apropos philosophy in delivering discussions. Let the audience know the reasons of their presence. Let them also realize why  somebody stand talking right before them.

More importantly, during lectures and discussions, a teacher must look at the eyes of his audience. He must not allow that his audience attention wander around. Otherwise, it is an insult. Talking to someone who does not bother to listen is vain. When teaching, a teacher should use his hands in making compass. He should be flexible in making body gestures. He should teach and act using hand language at the same time. Concomitantly, he should have a sense of humor. If this is done, the audience can fell excitement and thrill on the lectures. As such, there will be an assurance that all the words coming from the mouth of a teacher, professor, or instructor will never pass by in the ears of the students or audiences without instilling the same in the latter’s minds.