Monday, December 20, 2021

It's COLD in Here!

One of the cool new things about the pandemic is we are to keep open windows in classrooms. That's problematic sometimes. For one thing, if the open window is next to you, or anyone in fact, someone's not gonna be happy. 

You can offer new seats to students, but often they feel they've earned their spot, for whatever reason. You don't want anyone to contract pneumonia on your watch.

One tactic in NYC school buildings is to open the top, as opposed to the bottom windows. Then the cold air is too high to actually blow on anyone directly. I'd been doing that for a few days and it seemed to work well. Of course, there are those unanticipated issues, and they invariably occur on the coldest, hottest, or most inconvenient days of the year. 

Today, for example, the heat in my classroom wasn't on at all. So with the window having been wide open all weekend, and the air-conditioner on before I unplugged it, the room was pretty goshdarn frigid. I had to walk back downstairs to get my winter coat. The students were not all that put out because they were all wearing their winter coats anyway. Except, of course, for the students who were too cool to wear winter coats. They were wearing, maybe, a hoodie. 

By the second period, people started answering their phones and I was able to find other rooms. The first one was perfect. It was very warm. I felt like Mayor de Blasio gave a crap about my students and me, but after the first hour in a 30 degree classroom, you tend to get a little hysterical. The second was pretty cold, what with the window open, but it did have heat. I saw potential.

I accepted a program with periods 1-4 in a row this semester. Generally I like it. I get almost all my actual work done pretty early, and can get all my prep done pretty efficiently. I even found time to take the sexual harassment seminar again. Evidently we don't learn things unless we hear the same thing year after year, ad infinitum. So why can't we all have one prep and just teach the same thing over and over?

Anyway, the attractiveness of the 1-4 schedule pales when you spend it running from one unfamiliar room to another and have no idea if or how the tech works in those rooms. I'm hoping I don't need to do that tomorrow.

But when you work for Bill de Blasio's DOE, it's all part of life's rich pageant. Thank goodness we have a new chancellor who's laser-focused on giving more tests, because that's what's important. Who cares if kids are sitting around freezing, or running from room to random room like headless chickens? Once we get all those tests in place, and make kids attend schools more hours, on Saturdays, and in the summer, they won't have time to worry about how cold or wet or hot it is. 

I kind of hope my heat turns on tomorrow. I expected this sort of thing back when I taught in the trailers. I never realized conditions in the building could be just as capricious. Maybe, with everyone freezing to death, this means Mayor de Blasio has finally established the equity he and Carranza were always talking about. 

Thank you for that, Mr. Mayor. I wish I were optimistic your successor was going to improve things. Alas, I think he'll make them worse. On the bright side, I don't anticipate anyone in Tweed having to worry about office climate.

And that just makes everything better.

blog comments powered by Disqus