Wednesday, September 12, 2007

From NYC Educator's Mailbag

What happens when your classroom air conditioner dies? My principal has found a simple remedy. Forget it.

Last year a teacher's air conditioner stopped working during the heat wave. She immediately informed the principal who told her air conditioners are no longer being repaired or replaced. When the teacher offered to help offset the cost, the response was still, forget it.

When our school became a summer school site, some of the rooms were air conditioned.

The teacher tried to use this as leverage to get her a/c fixed. The conversation went something like this:

"What about summer school?"

"If the teacher assigned to that room doesn't like it, she can leave!"

Then the teacher went to our CC. The response was principals have the power to do whatever they want (God Bless my union dues).

Of course if the principal's a/c should go kaput, does the policy still hold?

I think not.

One might argue that principals have to bear the burden of the budget. Yet my principal hires her best friend to work F-status ($240+ a day) a few days a week. One day a week is spent working on administrative details in the principal's air conditioned office. Of course she could pay her sub wages and use the savings to improve the school, but what are friends for?

I know many of you reading this post don't have air-conditioners. But if you did, how would you feel if you could no longer teach in a comfortable environment while others around you still had their air conditioners?

Politicians are screaming for an extended school year. When they forced us to come back to work in the dog days of August (so we can sweat even more moving all that furniture around) why didn't they negotiate for air conditioners? I wonder if Green Dot schools are air conditioned.

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