Configuring Teacher's Availability

Hi,

How can I solve the following situation?

A teacher, Peter, has availability for teaching classes on certain days and times of the week.
Peter can teach on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Is it possible to configure this for Peter?

Because in the "View available Teacher" report, Peter is shown as available at every time of every day when he is not already teaching a class, and that is not true, as it is based on the false premise that Peter can teach every day at every time.
So, you might end up thinking that Peter is available at a time he is not available.

The same happens for non-teaching staff members. If you have a part-time person, you can't tell if the person should be at the school at a given time.

Thank you!
Regards
Ricardo

Comments

  • Hi Ricardo,

    For teachers, there is currently no way for this type of ad-hoc timetable change per user. However, one way to block off a teacher's timetable from showing as available is to create a course called Unavailable with a class for Peter, and timetable that class for when he is unavailable.

    For non-teaching staff, be sure their Staff Type is listed as "Support" rather than "Teaching" (edited via Staff > Manage Staff). Only staff with the type "Teaching" will be listed on the View Available Teachers report.
  • Hi Sandra
    I'll evaluate the workaround you suggested for the teachers and I'll let you know how it goes.

    Regarding the other staff members, understood.

    Thank you!
    Thanks!
    Ricardo
  • Hi Sandra,
    It works!
    There are pros and cons.

    Pros:
    - In the see available teachers report, the teachers appear available only in the time periods in which they have availability. And this was the main goal.

    Cons - (the price to pay for achieving the goal :smiley: )
    - You have to create a NA (Not Available) Class for each teacher, because you can assign the same Class on the same day/time only once. So in order to set unavailability for many teachers on the same day/time you need a different NA Class for each of them.
    - It is a heavy process as you have to go through all unavailable times for every teacher, one time at a time, and following the day structure you have defined. That is, you cannot do something like, "from 3 p.m. on the teacher is not available". Instead, if for example, your time structure is on a per-hour basis, you have to do the same process for every hour you want to mark as unavailable.
    - The NA courses appear in the Teacher's timetable, which is kind of ugly and might be a bit confusing until you get used to it

    I guess it is a trade-off you need to weigh if you need to workaround this scenario. Hopefully, you should do this once and then update once in a while.

    Please let me know if you agree with the explanation above, and if you see any mistake or possible improvement to it. (like for example if there is the possibility of preventing the Class to show in the timetable through a configuration)

    Thank you !!
    Regards
    Ricardo
  • Sounds good. As you've mentioned, it does take a bit more setting up, especially if you have several such cases in your school. One thing that may help is to explore the importer options for timetabling, as this may help to bulk-upload these timetabling changes each school year or term.

    Another option for teachers who are largely part-time or only ever available when they are teaching is to use the Support setting in Staff Type, as this will ensure they never show up in the Available Teachers list.
  • Hi Sandra,

    Yes, I do have many cases like this.
    I'll explore the bulk load you suggested. Just one quick question on this: if you use the "import Timetable" option to build the new year's Timetable, you must have it somewhere else to use it as a source for the import. Do you have to "export" it before (I haven't found an option to do this), or do you have to build it manually or from a query to the database, in order to have the contents to import from?

    This also triggers a question I haven't thought of yet, about building up the whole next year (Student enrolment, Course/Class, and Timetable creation). I'll post another specific question for this in order to avoid mixing topics.

    I think that the Staff Type option is not going to work for me. I tried it, and indeed if I mark a teacher as Support she doesn't appear in the "Available Teachers" list at all, even for the times she has Classes assigned.

    Thank you!!
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