By the Warrior Weekly Staff
Tuesday, Jan. 3 marked the first day of work-to-rule for Andover Public Schools teachers. At 7:30 a.m. on the dot, high school teachers left off picketing and marched into the building. At precisely 2:30, AHS teachers gathered their coats, hats, and bags, and assembled in the foyer. Standing with their blue and yellow signs, they listened as Ms. Meagher gave a few words of encouragement and then proceeded to exit the building en masse.
Most teachers had mixed feelings about starting work-to-rule.
“I’d rather it didn’t happen,” said Mrs. Shaknovsky. “It’s very disruptive.”
Still, on Tuesday the teachers recognized what was described as the need for solidarity.
“We have to remain united,” said Ms. Meagher.
Although not disputing the need for unity, some teachers expressed concern about the possibility of a decline in education quality as a result of work-to-rule.
“The speed of the education will remain the same, but the quality won’t be as good,” said Ms. Fisher. “I won’t have time to give proper feedback to my students and help them with problems”
“Planning will go downhill,” said Mrs. Francis-Wright. “Students will not get as much new material in class. Fewer tests and shorter quizzes will come.”
Ms. Meagher and Mr. Wall agreed they typically put in 50-60 hours a week, including time to grade their students’ work and plan their classes. Under work-to-rule, they will lose much of this time and consequently may have to simplify tests to make grading less time-consuming.
Despite the decrease in time that he will be available, Coach Fazio encouraged his students to still seek him out during school hours. “I am still 100 percent committed to my students. If they need help, they can always see me during lunch and study halls,” he said.
However, many students think that the school day will allow insufficient time to get academic assistance.
“[Work-to-rule] will affect the students…because they will have a shorter amount of time after school to stay after for help,” said freshman Caroline Bergerone. “Plus, there won’t be any extra credit to bring grades back up because teachers won’t have any extra time.”
“Some people rely so much on extra help,” said sophomore Una O’Toole.
Students also feel that work-to-rule will limit their ability to participate in extracurricular activities. Certain clubs will be suspended because teachers won’t be able to advise them.
Also,“there will be a limit to many students’ social lives without dances and theater productions,” said freshman Max Drew.
In addition, certain facilities won’t be available to students.
“They’re closing down the darkroom after school,” said junior Rachel Christ.
Nearly everyone, students and teachers alike, hope that work-to-rule will be a sufficient catalyst to get the contract issue resolved. Until then, with final exams but three weeks away, we will just have to carry on.