Monday, June 27, 2011

Time to Teach

Chancellor Dennis Walcott, in his infinite wisdom, has decreed that today will be a full teaching day. Now don't get me wrong--I actually like to teach better than most anything else my job entails. But there's a time and place for everything.

Call me madcap, but in my view, it's better to teach before the final exams have been given and final grades have gone in. After those things happen, kids, being more perceptive than Chancellor Walcott thinks they are, tend to get the notion that any further classes are relatively meaningless. In fact, a great many of them simply don't bother to show up at all. I'm not the sort of teacher who will change a kid's grade for absence on a day holding relatively little meaning, and I'm happy to say I can't picture a colleague who feels otherwise.

So why do we have this teaching day? It's one of the remnants of the 2005 contract. After the August punishment days were added, a lot of people did not much care for them. I believe Randi Weingarten negotiated a change. It was, apparently, very important that we kept these two pointless days, so they were moved to June.

I'm ready to teach if I have to. But I have a strong feeling I'm gonna be very lonely. I think a lot of teachers will be. Think of the money we could save in electricity if we didn't have to open the schools two days a year. Maybe we could replace some of the 7,500 teachers Mayor4Life has quietly lost to attrition these last three years.
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