Let’s start by identifying Boxer.
Boxer is a horse. He is a huge and muscular draft horse. One can read about Boxer by reading the satirical novel Animal Farm. In the novel, the farm is going through a lot of changes. However, Boxer is the one constant on the farm, always working hard, always shouldering his share of the work and more. If things aren’t going well on the farm, Boxer’s solution is always simple and predictable – he says, “I will work harder.”
There are a lot of people one could identify as the “Boxers” of our school. One could talk about parents and school board members who labor tirelessly to support and oversee the school. Surely the students, especially as we look at exam week looming, could lay a claim to being the “Boxers” around here. Maybe the basketball coaches are always feeling like they are shouldering more than their share of the load. There are plenty of “Boxers” around.
Today, however, I am thinking of the regular classroom teachers.
The process of making the semester schedules always reminds me of the workload our teachers carry. There is a real and tangible way in which their workload is heavier than the norm for a high school.
Because of our size, our teachers have to shoulder a wider variety of subjects than typical. Each subject requires a daily preparation, or “prep.” In a regular high school setting, a teacher will teach about six class periods in a day. However, it will not require six preps because often classes will be repeated. For example, if the same geometry class is taught two or three times in a day by the same teacher, he only needs one prep for all the classes. A glance at the workloads of teachers at Covenant, Unity, and Western Christian High Schools indicates that their full-time teachers average about 3.6 preps per day. Comparatively, we expect 50% more out of the Trinity teachers as they average 5.4 preps per day. That’s a notable difference.
I recognize that my critics are instantly going to remind me of the fact that our smaller student body means that while yes, the Trinity teachers have more preps, maybe they also have fewer papers to grade. This is a point well-taken, and one of which the teachers are conscious and appreciative. They work hard, and in at least one regard, harder than normal. However, the complaints are rare.
I’m thankful for our teachers and their willingness to shoulder a heavy load. May they be blessed in their cheerful efforts.