Friday, February 16, 2007

Home Sweet Home
















Some pictures of my trailer door and what happens when a door cannot lock. The bulletin board on which the ESL teacher meticulously hangs her students work is vandalized. The only thing left are a few scraps and the staples that are holding them in. There is graffiti on the walls and the pegs for coats are missing.

Other dangerous conditions include the thermostat, the electrical outlets and the fire alarm. Also, the bathroom is in poor shape. The soap dispenser holds no soap, the toilet paper is missing and the sink is a disgrace. It took me weeks to get a garbage can in the bathroom. Finally, I guess the custodians got tired of picking up the paper on the floor, I got an old bucket to use. The gated windows, some of which are bolted shut) look out on a handball court. The noise from here in good weather is deafening. We also look out on the garbage bins. It's great when our voices have to be louder that the garbage trucks emptying the bins. The windows have no shades. The kids have the sun glaring on them whenever it is out.

I forgot to mention that the loudspeaker in my trailer does not work. While this does have its benefits (no Principal Suit singing happy birthday and interrupting classes) we miss important announcements such as the trailers are being evacuated for safety reasons.

No matter how bad this looks, it is much better out here than in some of the rooms in the building.

Message to Bloomberg: These are the conditions you are subjecting NYC children to while you keep giving more and more to private schools. Thanks. I guess this is all we are worth to you.

12 comments:

Ellie said...

If the trailers had a landlord, that landlord would have had a stiff fine for MAJOR electrical and structural violations. Of course, in Bloomber's arrogant world, no kid deserves a better learning environment unless they are attending one of his favored, Randalls-Island-using private schools. Of course, it's the teachers' fault the kids are dropping out at an unconscionable rate.

NYC Educator said...

Actually, via the miracle of NYC math, dropouts magically disappear. How they could leave those luxurious trailers behind, of course, is a mystery.

Pissed Off said...

I heard a story on the news tonight about how some town is going to start housing its sex offenders in trailers, and then moving them from place to place so no one will know where they are.

1. I wonder if their trailers will be in a good shape as ours are in.

2. Maybe the city can try moving ours around too. I wouldn't mind a change of scenery.

3. They are going to have guards 24 hours a day. I would like guards just a few hours a day.

On the Edge said...

Mother Mary & Joseph! This is wrong, wrong, wrong! Why does not the general public cringe at such conditions? Do you get combat pay?

You are a saint for staying at your school. Hopefully one day your students will appreciate you.

Anonymous said...

This is so sad, but these conditions are not just in the high school you work in. At the high school I teach at in Queens (I guess all high schools have trailers!), the trailers have serious mold problems...the walls are collapsing and usually several are without heat. I have been forced several times to move my students into the auditorium (as have other trailer teachers...all at the same time) to teach....

Yeah, no child left behind my @ss!

Pissed Off said...

I had a metal bar fall off the ceiling one day. Luckily, no one was hurt. I'm sure Bloomberg would tell all of us to stop complaining. We are lucky to be indoors and at least have heat sometimes.

Nic said...

Great post.....got me thinking about the conditions at the three schools I've been at, and how you become inured to them...you stop expecting soap, you carry your own toilet paper, you bring in your own tools to try and hang up a pencil sharpener, etc etc etc. You start to forget that it really shouldn't be that way. Thanks for the reminder.

Myrtle Hocklemeier said...

"electrical and structural violations"

What regulatory agency regulates this in schools or are your schools exempt from these regulations??


What would it take to report this to an agency which has oversight? Would you be protected as a whistle-blower?

Pissed Off said...

I worry that if I do complain too much, I will be given 6 different classrooms to teach in. And the rooms will be the ones without the windows or without decent walls that separate one from another.

Believe it or not, even with these violations, the trailer is the best place to be. It is quieter than the building and I don't have to worry about administrators poking their nose into my room to see what is going on. I can concentrate on doing what I am supposed to be doing--teaching.

Nic said...

Hey--I tagged you as a "Thinking Blogger". :-)

School Teacher said...

I too have taken pictures of my classroom. My old classroom was horrible. At one point I had to wipe mold, which made me and several of my kids sick, off the wall. The Exec. Director sent me a nasty and sarcastic letter when I complained about it. We've since moved into a new building. But, that hasn't kept the gang members from "tagging" up walls and trying to destroy the school.

We need to have teachers in similar situations post pictures of their working environments for all to see. I'm going to post some of mine.

Marco Polo said...

I have the answer to your problems! Get the Washington Post to write about it.