by Loretta Prisco, member of the Independent Community of Educators (ICE)
There is an inherent bias against women in an attempt to evaluate teachers based on their work in communities or joining school committees.
While it is true that more men are jointly involved as parents, most social scientists agree that women take on more responsibility for child care and caretaking. Check it out. Ask the involved Dad what his child’s shoe size is, if last year's boots still fit, or when his child is due for the next pediatrician’s appointment. More often than not, it is on the mother’s to do list.
Unless fathers are free during the day, mothers are usually running home after school to meet school buses, taking children to piano lessons or medical appointments, or attending her own child's PTA meeting.
Consider the single parent – of either sex. The after school responsibilities are overwhelming.
Take a look at caretaking. Check the visitor sign in sheet in any nursing home. Relationships listed are overwhelming female: “daughter”, “sister”, and “niece”.
While there are school committees that meet during the day, mothers of young children are using preps to do lesson preparation as there is limited time at home. And yes, sometimes they just need time to put their feet up and rest.
The responsibilities of these noble callings are demanding. Denial of tenure should not be a punishment for being a good parent or caretaker. Checking out at 3:00 should not be a yardstick against which we measure teacher competency.