Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Cathie Black's First Day (Back) on the Job vs. Yours

As NYC schools rolled out the welcome mat for Cathie Black, we the peons were back on the job today, greeting students whose attitudes towards the long break were varied, to put it kindly.* I must begin by admitting that my day was blessedly uneventful--dare I even say pleasant? Mondays tend to go quickly for me anyway due to them being the most stacked days, in terms of both instruction and professional activities, in my schedule, and this one happily proved to be no exception.

I wish I could say the same for my colleagues across the city. Checking in with them on a "popular social-networking site" this evening, one of my pals fumed that not only did his administration decide that today was a fine day to stop by first thing in the morning, but also decided to interrupt his class and criticize him in front of his students. I'll say this much for Ms. Black, as per the GothamSchools piece linked above: She doesn't interrupt instruction.

I wonder how many of you felt warmly welcomed into your buildings today the way that Ms. Black was. I wonder how many of you were treated with the great respect and consideration she was. I'm not suggesting that Cathie Black isn't worthy of common courtesy, of course, but I do wonder if maybe she might gently suggest that esteem and enthusiasm, particularly after a stretch away, isn't something that could trickle down to the little people.

*And now for your dose of humor:

[Students raises hand]

MISS EYRE: Yes, Tito? [Not his real name]

TITO: Miss Eyre, what did you get for Christmas?

MISS EYRE [with gentle-but-firm teacher chuckle]: Maybe we can talk about that at the end of the period, Tito. [assuming he will never remember]

[End of the period]

TITO: Miss Eyre! Tell me what you got for Christmas!

MISS EYRE: Well, I got a lot of nice things. Mr. Eyre got me these lovely earrings. [indicates lovely earrings]

TITO: Man, that's nice. You know what my parents got me? Bed sheets!

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