Saturday, September 8, 2012

Voila! A Teacher's Lounge.

To operate:flick wrist briskly
Turn over to turn off
Am I glad to have been picked up again by my old school? Yeah, because I'd rather be in the nightmare I already know than in the one I don't.  So, like Lazarus, I returned to looks of surprise and welcome from my colleagues and friends. However, it wasn't long before the eerie disturbances began to take shape. A quick report card: we lost one wing on our floor to an expanded charter school forcing us to share classrooms, our  "facility" lounge which used to be the teacher's lunchroom, which is air-conditioned, was given over to charter and cleared out so they can have a dance and yoga studio. I don't know where they managed to put the dozen or so tables and scores of chairs except perhaps in our classroom. We spent that Tuesday clearing cabinets, which we were told not to put in the hall ( so where?) so they can be carted off (to where and when?) so we could actually set up a classroom.  During school day, Thursday, you can see the stuff carted away to the back of the school, to the small section of grass enclosed by a hurricane fence - yeah, that looks nice. So, in exchange for the yoga studio we get to sit in a conference room. A small, crowded, stifling room with books and boxes, over sized tables and yes, a nice vase with artificial flowers, but no air-conditioner, no fan even, but open to the side long glances of the kids in the hall. And, not only did the "teacher's lounge" disappear, the conference room is now the lunchroom for the entire staff in the school. Ah, the well know aroma of KFC in a closed room.  So who made this deal?  Who came up with this? I can see what we gave up but what did we get beside a piece of cardboard (see pictures above)? Why do we in the "public school", it is OUR school after all, have to be the ones who have to accommodate these charter intrusions and expansions and dance to their tune. Were there negotiations or did "I SAY SO" just come in and rearrange everything to accommodate their needs. I mean, it is not a big deal, and there are more serious issues at hand but it is simply indicative of the casual disregard  for teachers and staff as displayed by whomever is agreeing to these changes.  I guess it just doesn't matter how that affects staff and faculty - but hey, keep telling us we're family and there is nothing but respect.

We shrunk as a school; probably in anticipation of closure. There are about 435 or so students at this time and about fully 30% have IEP. We lost our librarian to the ATR, so no one is there, all the computers in the library are disconnected and we did not have an assembly which in my mind would be something to do without question. There were no new hires in my school which was good to see but a bad omen as this years population has dropped again.  I tracked down the teacher assigned from the ATR - the fellow wheeling the cart of history books down the hall. We had a chance to speak and he has been swimming in the pool for a year already, he has gotten used to it and in the end, will just accept his paycheck for a couple more years to retirement.  Not too big a bullet to bite he says and as Vonnegut wrote..."so it goes, so it goes".

And now for a little entertainment...

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