Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Another Day In Paradise
January 31, the last day of the fall semester and another day of enthralling conferences, full of information no teacher can be without.
Teacher time began at 7:45 and from then until 8:20 we were treated to a breakfast of mini pre-frozen cardboard tasting bagels with our choice of cream cheese, jelly or butter. No one was watching. I actually saw people take more than one bagel and use multiple condiments. Those teachers really knew how to live on the edge. We also were given cold, tasteless coffee. Of course the bagels and coffee ran out long before 8:20. Principal Suit would not want to waste any money on the staff.
After breakfast we all were supposed to report to the gym for a faculty photo. The bleachers were ready and over 200 teachers posed, bright and smiley in their faculty tee-shirts. Quite a few teachers refused to wear their shirts or pose. I'm sure Principal Suit is major pissed off now.
After the picture we went to the auditorium to see a power point presentation on the new shake up in the school system. Naturally the slides were too small to see from the back and the ones that were interesting were passed over very quickly. We got to hear all the ways the school could improve itself, and get more money (for Principal Suit and his cronies). He never did say how the money would help us (because it won't). We'll never see any of this money, not in actual benefits to our students or to ourselves. Principal Suit also bragged about this new 7 - 8 split math class he created for the weak Math A students. He went on and on about how the passing rates were so much higher but ignored the teachers who teach those classes because he didn't want to listen to how bad those classes actually are. In fact, that 7 - 8 split drove me to sabbatical last time I taught it. The only highlight of the meeting was when the AP of Pupil Services stood up and said how much she valued older teachers. Even if it meant less money for the school (because of their high salaries), she didn't care. Their contributions to education were priceless.
After the meeting, we got to sign up for some exciting workshops. We'll be working on different projects all semester instead of attending faculty and departmental conferences. Sounds great for the administration. We get to work our butts off, come up with new ways of doing things while they get out of having to run meetings and then reap the benefits of our work. We also got to give out report cards, program cards and metro cards. We had to keep the kids in the room for 45 minutes. No easy task when there is nothing special for them to be doing and they are not even our regular students so we don't know who they are.
All this was before our gourmet UFT luncheon. After waiting on line 30 minutes to make sure we actually paid (have to make sure all those sneaky, cheap teachers who didn't pay don't try to get a bagel for nothing) we got in. After checking to make sure we were on the list, we were handed a plate and a fork and walked down the buffet table full of meats, cheeses, salads, breads and cakes. The drinks ran out early. We got treated to hearing Principal Suit announce the winners of his raffle (if your attendance sheet gets picked, you win a pen). We also listened to a Unity Suit giving us more of the Union's propaganda, assuring us that none of our rights will be given away (and denying that this has ever happened.) This was the same guy that one of our members was rumored to have fought, so we were looking for a little excitement. Nothing happened.
After lunch, we went to department meetings, or department lectures. We were told we better be effective teachers or else. Since Suit's job was on the line, we better make sure we towed the line too. After insulting the department, he proceeded to insult the resource room teachers in the room (something he always does). One feisty teacher looked like she was going to punch his lights out. This little thing could have done it too. I've seen her in action. Luckily, her friends managed to calm her down and again violence was avoided. We also discussed the new math that is coming and it was obvious that my AP had no real idea what he was talking about. Little Ms. Wannabe Suit walked around, handing out pamphlets and turning out lights to make slides easier to read. Principal Suit even stopped by, supposedly to say hello, but I think he was just checking up on us.
Anyways, it is now 4:00, I am home and away from all the BULL SH**. Classes start tomorrow. I think a day like today is meant to make me appreciate some of the lunacy I will deal until the end of June.