Monday, August 04, 2008
Tier One, proudly wearing a t-shirt that says "Tier One," marches to summer school every morning, as he's done for scores of years. He doesn't need the money, and the older teachers all speculate as to how much money he's losing every day he shows up during the school year. He won't retire and he won't take the summer off. This is what he does, and what would he do if he didn't do what he did?
But he doesn't like the new "pass everyone no matter what" philosophy that pervades a lot of NYC summer programs.
"When I started teaching summer school," he says, "things were different. If kids were out three days, that was it. They were out of the program."
"Yeah, I used to start with 50 kids, say we're doing six book reports, and that the first one was due in one week. 25 of them wouldn't show for three days. Then I'd say let's forget about the book reports, and teach the 25 kids who were crazy enough to go along with me."