Thursday, January 10, 2019

DOE Can't Walk and Chew Gum--I Volunteer to Do It for Them

I frequently wonder why, when UFT is flexible enough to allow the chancellor the Bronx Plan he so wants immediately, that the DOE can't grant teachers fewer observations immediately. I have been in meetings where I''ve heard that the system is broken. UFT thinks so. DOE thinks so. The observations are wasteful, they say. Some supervisors wait until the end of the year and just do them all in May, though I have no idea how.

Given that, it makes sense to determine that bunching them all up at the end, to use a word with which DOE is familiar, is ineffective. Now my understanding is that word represents the scourge of western civilization, and that therefore whatever it represents must be avoided at any and all costs. Yet we plod on, doing it this way, as though we've never done it any other way.

The rationale, they say, is that they've already designed Advance. You know, it's there, it's what it is, and any change would mean it would be something else. It would be, you know, different. Oddly, that's exactly the difference every working teacher would like to see. Not only that, but I'm personally acquainted with administrators who would dance and sing if the observation requirement were to be decreased immediately. Would you like to watch administrators dance and sing? You wouldn't have to if you didn't want to.

Anyway, to change a program you have to, you know, write stuff. Now I'm an English teacher, and I face a whole lot of teenagers each and every day. Few people understand better than I the aversion people have to writing stuff. Hell, I write every day, and some days I sit and wonder, "What the hell am I gonna write today?" It's not easy.

Here's the thing, though--if you're a teacher, you can't just say, "You know what? I just don't feel like writing stuff." After all, you have to write plans pretty much every day. You have to do all kinds of paperwork. You have to fill out forms. You have to think ahead. So imagine you're in charge of teachers. Ever hear of leading by example?

I doubt that's a popular concept over in Tweed. I can't imagine the educrats actually doing what we do. I imagine they sit around in Tweed all day planning where they'll go to lunch. There are a whole lot of places to eat downtown. You could go somewhere different each and every day. You could take long walks down there. I've been downtown a lot over the last few years and I love it. Of course, I don't go until after I've taught, usually, so I haven't got the same level of time the Tweedie birds do.

So how dare the United Federation of Teachers ask that they write new stuff? How dare we ask that they alter a program. Do you know how many hours they spent writing that crap, or paying other people to write the crap for them? Do you know how unpleasant that must've been? Clearly they were planning to get back into their offices for the rest of the year, and not think about doing anything new until the summer. After all, in the summer they're probably on vacation, and maybe they can play banjo players in Tennessee $15 an hour to do the work for them,.

If that's the case, why not pay them now? Banjo players don't really have busy seasons in the winter. Or in the summer, or ever. If they can't find a banjo player, they could hire me. I might charge a little more, but I could write a better program in one day. They could sit in their offices, go out to lunch, perform unnatural acts in their offices, or do whatever it is they do in Tweed. I don't even need to come in. I'll write it on my little Macbook and email it to them.

It's not hard to make a deal if neither party is Donald Trump. I wonder if Trump is running the DOE in his spare time.
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