Hallway Sitting Duty

To kick off a new blog category that I will use to post rants about education in general, I’ll focus on one of my pet peeves about schools, which is what I like to call “Hallway Sitting Duty.” Walk into any school and you will find various professionals that are made to sit in the hall for any given period of time, usually to pester kids for their hall pass (which is another relic I’ll deal with at another time). Having done this for hours over my career, I can’t recall ever doing anything I’d consider to be critical while on hall duty.

If it’s that important for someone to see whatever it is the hallway monitor person can see, put a camera there instead. Not only is this kind of activity insulting to someone that spent four years in a college classroom and most likely more to get an advanced degree, it is borderline demeaning. Teachers certainly have better things to do and accomplish in another place in the school to support their students.

If you’re the type that’s more convinced by numbers, let’s explore the dollars and cents. The average teacher’s salary in the US in 2013 was $56,383. A typical teacher might work 1,260 hours a year in school (not counting any time they spend on work outside of the school). So, that comes to about $45 per hour. In the seven hours school is in session per school day it’s costing the school district $315 per day for each hall monitor post. That’s a total of $56,700 per hallway post, which is FRIGHTENINGLY close to the average teacher salary per year, isn’t it? So, yes, take the number of hallway monitor spots in a building and yes, it is costing a full year teacher’s salary to have EACH one of them. Today, a pretty capable camera system will run about $100 per camera on average or less.

So, let’s dedicate this lost resource of time and money to some other professional needs. These folks could be coaching instruction or helping colleagues with technology instead.


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