Monday, September 09, 2013

Welcome Back!

I don't know what you did today, but my day began with a 7 AM meeting with the principal, a UFT rep, some custodians, a construction guy, and some other people in suits. Who they were I have no idea. A few weeks ago Lindsey Christ interviewed me on NY 1 about the trailers at our school. She told me horror stories about other trailers so I figured I'd get UFT to check ours. Turned out they were full of mold, a pretty shaky way to start the year.

As all my classes are in the trailer, I was pretty nervous. That's not to mention the other 75 or so classes out there. My morning class is very small, so far, so I was going to take them to my department office, which would have been OK. We have a conference table and ergonomic chairs, so it may have been kind of cool. We also have some portable bleachers at our school, and I was plotting to steal them and teach my PM class out in the schoolyard. It's less than ideal, but it beats the hell out of the auditorium.

Yet lo and behold, the trailers looked pretty good this morning. The mold we saw was gone for sure. I'm going to ask UFT to come back and test for moisture, though. The problem is that, while they may have removed the immediate problem, the underlying problem remains and the mold will almost certainly come back. There are certain drawbacks to dumping temporary buildings and making them permanent.

The worst outcome, though, dumping 80 classes in the auditorium, was avoided. That's good. I was able to teach my kids all day and not worry about their developing asthma rather than English. Another NY1 reporter showed up and I spoke with her. I got a stern talking-to from some Tweed bigshot who gave me a list of names with whom I was supposed to clear speaking with the press. I've never heard any such thing. I knew not to take the reporter onto school grounds without permission from the principal, but that's simply ridiculous.

Freedom of speech is pretty important for those of us trying to keep public school public and viable. It's a disgrace that anyone working for the city would try to impede me from speaking out for decent learning conditions. But they're doing a pretty good job. The reporter asked several teachers passing by to comment, and none would.

I told the reporter they were all smarter than me.
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