We covered the UFT's brilliant coup in managing to get Teacher's Choice checks reduced to $150, from $260. Thank goodness we have Randi Weingarten and her crack negotiating team working for us. I'm grateful we have leaders who realize that in this economy, what working people need is less money.
I don't know what I would have done if I had to worry about spending another 110 bucks that Mayor Bloomberg could be using for his very important $500 million Willets Point project. Thank goodness he isn't frittering away that money on smaller class sizes, or suitable schools for 1.1 million public schoolchildren.
In any case, if you find yourself reaching too frequently into your empty pockets for copies, or construction paper, or books, or whatever, take a tip from San Diego teacher Tom Farber and sell advertising space on your tests:
"Tough times call for tough actions," he says. So he started selling ads on his test papers: $10 for a quiz, $20 for a chapter test, $30 for a semester final.
San Diego magazine and The San Diego Union-Tribune featured his plan just before Thanksgiving, and Farber came home from a few days out of town to 75 e-mail requests for ads. So far, he has collected $350. His semester final is sold out.
After all, the NEA estimates teachers spend around $340 a year for school supplies. Of course here in the Big Apple, teachers probably spend more. So why not visit the local tattoo parlor and ask them whether they want to advertise that first-time customer discount? Or maybe MacDonald's wants to push their new triple-cholesterol cheeseyomper on kids longing for a break from school lunch?
In these tough times, a teacher's got to make ends meet. And this just might be the way to go.
If your principals object, just offer to cut them in. Call it "merit pay" and believe me, they'll understand.