What Is “Work to Rule” Anyway?

By | April 22, 2021

Beginning today, April 22, BCPS teachers have agreed to participate in a Work to Rule initiative. This means that teachers will only work according to the stated rules of their contract. Instead of coming early and staying late as they usually do, teachers will walk into the building at 8:30 and leave at 3:45. There will be no return emails, Talking Points or phone calls outside of school hours. The goal is to send a message to the Board of Education and Central Office of BCPS that teachers deserve better, and our families deserve better, than the constant “pivoting” without consideration for what that means to staff and students.

The PTA does not have an official stance on the Work to Rule action, but we do support our teachers and staff. We trust that they act in the best interest of the students and families they serve. If you feel the same, now might be a good time to share those feelings. You can also support our teachers by understanding that the constant communication that most of us have become accustomed to is yet another “above and beyond” task that our teachers voluntarily take on in order to support their students.

Here’s a little more about what the BCPS teachers union is looking for:

  • The union wants internet issues resolved.
  • Teachers want to be reimbursed for 100 minutes of planning time lost during two days of no internet access.
  • The union wants more information regarding the January data breach.
  • Teachers said that when school opens to four days a week, they are seeking an option of one teacher dedicated to virtual learning and another for in-person instruction.
  • The teachers want clarity regarding 122 teaching positions lost during the pandemic.

It is important to note that Hillcrest teachers are participating in this action in solidarity with the entire BCPS school district. This is not necessarily a statement directed at Hillcrest.

I think we can all agree that teachers have been nothing short of heroic over the past 13 months. Now more than ever, teachers are in need of our support. In addition to respecting the teachers’ work to rule schedules right now, here are some other ways to show appreciation:  

  • ask your child to write a thank you note to their teacher
  • send a virtual gift card for coffee or lunch
  • send a simple email telling them why you are thankful for them (and copy Ms. Ramos & Ms. Shortt)
  • ask if they need any books or supplies for the classroom
  • HERE is a list of the teacher favorites collected by our amazing Hillcrest Front Office Staff

You can also submit something for our Staff Appreciation video:

  • a picture of your child holding hand-drawn poster with a message for entire staff or a specific teacher
  • a picture of your child wearing Hedgie Gear
  • a short video of your child singing a song of thanks or reading a poem they made (roughly 10-60 seconds)
  • a picture of a notecard with a message to teacher or the entire staff

Remember, this video is for the entire Hillcrest staff in addition to classroom teachers. All submissions must be submitted by April 30, 2021.

And finally, if you’d like to share your support for the teachers beyond the halls of Hillcrest, here is some additional contact information for the district and state: