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Job Sharing Pros and Cons

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What is Job Sharing?:

In teaching, Job Sharing refers to the practice of two teachers sharing an employment contract. While how the contract is split may vary (i.e. 60/40, 50/50, etc.), a key aspect of the arrangement is the proportional splitting of the contract's benefits, vacation days, hours, and responsibilities.

Some schools or districts may not allow Job Sharing. Often it is up to the interested parties to partner up and come to an agreement which is then presented to administrators for approval and formalization.

Why Job Share?:

Many people wish to "job share" in order to teach on a part-time basis when no part-time contracts are available. Job Sharing certainly isn't for everyone. It requires clear communication and extreme cooperation between two individuals who may have differing teaching styles and philosophies. However, when a Job Sharing situation works well, it can be quite beneficial for both the teachers, the school administration, and even the students and their parents

If you are considering a Job Sharing arrangement, consider the following pros and cons that may come into play.

Pros to Job Sharing:

  • Flexibility to work part-time
  • Ability to work cooperatively with a chosen colleague
  • Students may benefit from the variety of teaching styles and two fresh, energized educators
  • Conducive to child care and family life
  • Can continue accruing years-of-service credits (toward retirement benefits) that would otherise have been lost (for example, upon resignation)
  • No need to have a substitute teacher for absences (partner can fill in, if arranged ahead of time)
  • Quality of teaching may be improved due to a "two heads are better than one" problem-solving approach
  • Option to split curriculum by expertise

Cons to Job Sharing:

  • Extra time (without extra pay) is required to coordinate with a partner
  • Chance of personality conflicts with partner
  • Decreased benefits (medical and other)
  • Can be tricky to present a unified front to students and parents
  • Important details may fall through the cracks if communication falters
  • Retirement benefits are accrued at a proportionately decreased rate
  • Students' parents may be confused about which teacher to contact with concerns
  • Student discipline may suffer if teachers are not consistent

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