Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Fun Never Stops

In our vastly overcrowded multi-session school, to accommodate things like PD and other things in the UFT Memorandum of Agreement, we run a 9 period day. We still teach five periods, but everyone tutors once a week. On Thursdays I tutor period 1. Though I arrive very early almost every day, I always forget. My co-teacher, who is much smarter and better-looking than I will ever be, always reminds me.

Last Thursday I told her I had an aversion to doing stuff, but she said there was just some stuff you have to do, so I went. After that I taught periods two and three. Period four I made a phone call to from someone at UFT to discuss our overcrowding and oversized classes, and then managed to grab lunch in the last fifteen or twenty minutes. We still have a school teacher cafeteria, for some reason or other. There was a time when they were constantly under threat of closure, and I sometimes sent out messages to members in my weekly to please patronize it.

Period five I had a disciplinary meeting. That's my least favorite thing to do. I hate when members are in trouble. Sometimes I'm able to help and sometimes I'm not. It depends on a lot of things. But I never like seeing people in trouble. It's particularly disturbing when there's no reason for it.

Period six our UFT consultation committee met with the principal. We mostly discussed the class size issue, as we've already gone to the arbitrator and they keep popping up. We're at 42 and rising, a few dozen more than we had when I visited the arbitrator way back in October. (You remember October, don't you? That was the month when we kept getting days off for holidays I somehow didn't expect.)  In any case, the arbitrator thinks relieving someone from one C6 a week is a reasonable "plan of action" for class size, she gets paid $1600 a day to be so utterly without a clue, and now I've sent the new oversized classes back to her. Maybe it's because I need to find out if it's possible for the DOE and her to come up with an even worse idea. Who knows? On the other hand, maybe the DOE will realize such nonsense does not remotely reflect placing, "Children First, Always." Or maybe the arbitrator will have a lucid moment. (What? Stuff happens.)

Period 7 and 8 I taught. During period 7 a kid I told to stop wearing his hat in my class wore his hat in my class. Not only that, but he left his phone right out there on his desk. Sometimes I have phones confiscated. I mostly do it when kids make a point of letting me know they don't give a golly gosh darn about one thing or another. I called the dean's office. I got a call back from them that no one was responding. So I left my co-teacher to review the homework and went downstairs to seek out someone. (I don't handle phones. I think it's better to show no anger whatsoever and just make them disappear.) I walked into the principal's office to ask where the deans were, and I was a little surprised when he said he would just deal with it himself.

So I went back up to the room with the principal, who took out the kid, his hat and his phone. I told the principal I didn't want to throw the kid out, but just the hat and phone. But you know how principals can be, and this principal wanted to have a discussion with the kid. This bothered me a little, because I absolutely hate to toss kids out of my classes. I always figure that means they win, because it kind of shows that I can't deal with whatever it is I'm supposed to deal with. But I was able to rationalize this one because it wasn't actually me throwing him out, the principal insisted, and he's the principal so what the hell.

Period 7 and 8 ended, but then I remembered a secretary telling me there was a disciplinary meeting period 9, and that she had sent me an email. I never got the promised email, but I went down anyway, only to have the secretary tell me that the meeting was actually for the next day. So I sat down, opened my laptop, and edited the notes someone took at our chapter committee meeting. Right around the time I finished an AP walked in. I asked her what the meeting was about and she was running somewhere so I ran with her until she could tell me.

On the way home I called the member with whom we had the Friday meeting. I have no idea how I ever existed without Bluetooth. As soon as I got home I walked my dog. I told him all about my day and he seemed fine with it.

So I guess I was too.
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