I didn't start off that way.
I got to sleep in an hour, and spend most of the school day at an orientation meeting for a thing I'm going to be coordinating this year. It was relaxing, an easy day, and it got me excited to start the project.
(Except, can I just say? I cannot STAND ice-breakers, warm-ups, motivations, or any of that childish, stupid, Piagetian (? I'm sure it's rooted in somebody's psych theory) bullshit. We are ADULTS. Just start the goddamn meeting already; no need for soft, hippie, touchy-feely introductions. GRR!)
I arrived at school in plenty of time for last period, which I'd agreed to come back and 'teach.'
Now, on Friday, I stayed after school organizing my room and getting things ready for today, for the people who would be taking over my classes. I cleared the clutter off my desk, wrote out specific directions for the day (to let the students do their daily routines of entering and collecting homework, then have the classes take the language assessment test that I haven't been able to administer yet due to time constraints.), put them in a binder, put a clear sign on the binder saying "Ms C's Sub Folder," and laid that neatly in the center of the pretty desk. Perfect, appropriate, etc, right?
I walked in to Class 1, just in time to see a ball of paper fly from one table to the next. Thus, before I could even say hello to the students, I had to fucking yell at them for misbehaving. Then they were all talky and loud, just to take the test, so I made them get up and re-enter the right way, because apparently they forgot how my classroom works.
When I walked to my desk, I immediately saw the neat pile of tests, just the way I had left them on my desk on Friday. Blank. Turn around: no homework in the bins. No worries, it's only their new drafts of stories that I need to grade for the fucking bulletin board.
Fuck. Are you kidding me?
The three subs couldn't be bothered to read the specific directions I wrote out and left in a SUB FOLDER?? I know that it's a pain to cover classes. I know that teachers only very rarely prepare anything for the class, and that when I go in, I bring something to do.
But hello?! It was ON THE DESK. LABELED. It was so fucking easy, too! All they had to do was READ THE DIRECTIONS, pass out the tests, and chill out while the kids completed them. If there was extra time, I said they could color some bookmarks that I've also been meaning to do for the last six weeks. I made the covering teachers' job as easy as fucking possible, and they outright IGNORED it. THREE different people!
This (obviously) really irritated me. I found it extremely rude and irresponsible. I don't understand how people can be like that.
After a boring/slightly pointless and overlong staff meeting, I came home and watched some tv. I perked up and paid attention to the news--the mayor and the UFT have agreed on a contract. It's clearly not the same one as the fact-finding report, which could be great. And we don't have to worry about a strike and the Taylor Law, which docks us two days' pay for each day struck. So that part is a relief for all of us, since we're poor.
However, here's yet another thing that pissed me off. In the press conference, the mayor insisted that "politics had nothing to do with it. We obviously wanted it done as soon as possible." They showed a couple random comments from New Yorkers, and one woman was like, "Well, that's good because we want teachers to be happy."
Holy fuck, are you kidding? Who said we're happy?
One--"As soon as possible??" Do you REALLY want to go there, Mr Mayor? It's TWO YEARS OVERDUE. Shut the fuck up. 'No politics' my ass.
Two--I'm waiting to hear about Circular 6. That's the thing that, up to now, has protected teachers from having to do lunch duty and hall patrol and other non-teacher things. The fact-finding report would have tossed that out the window.
Also, I'm very anxious to hear about the coverages thing, if they're gonna still make us do a bunch of them for free. The UFT and Edwize have not yet posted details about this new contract on the site, so I guess I'll keep looking til they're up.
Three--The raise is 15% over FOUR years. That's 3.75% per year. BUT! We have the extra ten minutes a day, plus three more DAYS to the school year. If we have to teach in goddamn July, my ass is out of here. I'm assuming the days will be teacher "training" days before Labor Day, like the report offered. (Gee, thanks.) So this is NOT a raise. This is more work. Since teachers don't do anything anyway. We're obviously not worth our salaries.
Mr. Bloomberg estimated that the contract would cost the city $350 million in fiscal year 2006 and $650 million to $750 million in subsequent years. "But remember, you are getting a lot more teaching time for it," he said.
You know what? Fuck you, too, mayor.