Thursday, September 20, 2007

Standing Room Only

My AP says, "If you need anything, just ask." Then he says "I am not your maid. Do not expect me to get you everything you need."

Today I stopped him in the hall and risked his wrath by asking him for chairs. "My fourth period and my eighth period classes have standing room only. R's class, in the adjoining trailer is also over packed so I can't take any chairs from that room." He told me to go see the custodians. Teachers are usually not permitted to talk to them directly. We must go through the chairman. Of course, the custodian's office was closed whenever I went by. When I went to my eight period I found another new student. I lost my temper and called the AP in charge of school organization. She sent me out 4 folding desks immediately. (Of course, I had asked her for the chairs at least twice before.)

I don't understand why I am always made to feel greedy when I ask for things in school. Chairs for my students give me no personal gain. Klein--your extraordinary start is leaving classes more crowded than usual, classes with no places to sit and kids still sitting in the wrong class. I think that the school is going to create some new classes next week. It is great for education when kids are getting new programs a month into the term.


Anonymous said...

You'd think with all of the overcrowding going on in the school someone will finally say "no more". Yes, it may be a good school, but they really have to start exerting more control on how many enter each year and keep a better system of who belongs in which classes. And at least a week before school starts, have someone count the chairs in every classroom to see if there are enough.
It's the same bullshit every year, why can't anyone learn from their own mistakes? THAT'S THE IDEA BEHIND IMPROVEMENT!

In any case, the school and the department really need to get their heads out of their asses and open their eyes and smell something other than their own crap. There needs to be some reform, and only a few new minds can do that.

-Pink Floyd

Anonymous said...

It has become downright scary what the state of teaching and learning has disintegrated into, yet we teach and they still learn in spite of conditions one would assume only exist in third world countries. Of course, it's your fault they don't have any desks, you should have forseen these barbaric conditions. People spend time shoving desks back and forth across hallways in the ever-expanding special ed department, and classes are being held (self contained ones too) in tiny (probably 8x10 or so) offices with eight kids and a para or two. I wonder if Ms.AP and Mr. Principal have a clue as to how absolutely unsafe and chaotic these conditions are. Oh, I forgot, it's our fault we want desks and breathing space for the kids and ourselves when possible. The message the kids are getting belies the "children first" crap we keep hearing. Let's talk about the idiotic workshop model and have useless union meetings. Let's distract the rabble by cheery announcements like public service messages. The press turns a blind eye on the putrid leadership of this city and the horrible way the kids are being treated. No, we're just disgruntled employees. Just lowly teachers doing our jobs as we always have.

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

WOW! You can "communicate" with adminstration. In my school my AP is hiding, my Union Rep is spouting his usual shtick about Trotsky(he's "progressive") but forgets to post office hours and I have not seen my principal, not that I want to, since the first faculty meeting of the year. Meanwhile me and my students are suffering. Some sadist pulled that old college prank--how many people can you stuff into room before they start to kill each other!

"Only the strong survive."

Catherine Johnson said...

I don't understand why I am always made to feel greedy when I ask for things in school.

Come to Westchester!

Our district spends millions and millions and millions of dollars on the school (on the SCHOOL, I mean, on STUFF for the school -- we hire at the bottom of the pay scale)... and routinely justifies expenditures on grounds that, "The teachers want it."

"The teachers love it!"

We hear this all the time.

I have a friend here who is living on an erratic middle class income. On school supply day she thought she'd go to the school store (special supplies that can't be purchased at Staples!), buy the Special Supplies, get her kids haircuts, and take them out to lunch.

Every dollar in her billfold went to the special school supplies.

When she asked why the notebook the school was selling was so expensive, pointing out that it was 3x as costly as it would have been at Staples, she was told, "The teachers want uniform notebooks."

Catherine Johnson said...

I could go on!

The new $40 million middle school, which has MANY problems, includes computer projectors in each and every classroom. My husband doesn't have those at NYU; he has to reserve the rooms that do ahead of time.

Three years later, the projectors have never been used.

Now we have Smart Boards in each and every classroom.

The Smart Boards are being used as projectors.

When my husband questioned the need for Smart Boards at a Board meeting, the response was, "The teachers love them!"

No word on how Smart Boards are going to affect student achievement.

Catherine Johnson said...

Of course, although I would love it if you would come to Westchester, Westchester wouldn't hire you.

Westchester schools, most affluent in the country, do not hire experienced teachers, PERIOD.

My own school has refused even to interview experienced math teachers.

Pissedoffteacher said...

Right now, retirement is the only place I am thinking of going.

I've used smart boards in the college. They are nice, lots of benefits, but I am sure there are better things to do with the money.

My school is starting to install computers in classrooms, with screens, for teacher use with the classes. Only problem is that they won't train us to use them or even give us time to learn on our own. The rooms they are in are used by classes all day long.

Catherine Johnson said...

Right now, retirement is the only place I am thinking of going.

yup, that's the story

same story here

I've been continually asking the district what steps we've taken to persuade experienced expert teachers to stay on the job.

Just asking the question, repeatedly, shakes things up.

Not enough, of course.

As to Smart Boards, a Canadian teacher explained to me exactly how to create the exact same capability for a fraction of the money.

That was never considered because, after all, WE'RE RICH!



Sorry for the outburst.

My school is starting to install computers in classrooms, with screens, for teacher use with the classes. Only problem is that they won't train us to use them or even give us time to learn on our own.


One of the principals, who is very interested in technology, told a Board meeting that the reason all technology has always failed to improve student achievement was that "the teachers didn't use it."

They're gonna use the Smart Boards, or they're gonna get written up, I guess.