Saturday, April 25, 2009

The UFT Has Your Back

Whenever I need a good chuckle, I head over to Edwize. One recent post got me really laughing. A certain Ms. Teach4life blogs about how miserable her existence was before she came to NY and joined the UFT. She claims to have taught in the South where there are no teacher unions (hmm...the South is a pretty big place to have NO unions at all). She never mentions where.

Among her complaints about this unnamed place?

Teachers were expected to be at school by 7:45 a.m. — even though school did not start until 8:30. We had to perform a number of morning duties: greeting students at the doors, directing traffic in the drop-off circle, supervising breakfast in the cafeteria, and monitoring the hallways.

Teachers in NY do all those things, too. We don't have to show up before school starts, but since her school apparently ends their day at 2:30, it seems to actually be about 15 minutes shorter than my day.

Classes began at 8:30. Our schedule was arranged into core classes of teaching blocks that lasted 90 minutes each. I taught from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with no breaks.

Double periods in NYC now allow 4 periods in a row, which isn't quite as long, but we teach again after those blocks, as well. And I find it hard to believe that even this backwoods school doesn't allow potty breaks for teachers.

Teachers were expected to accompany the students through the lunch line, sit with them at their tables, and supervise student behavior. At the end of our lunch period, we had to make sure that our area was clean (table, floor) before exiting the cafeteria. We did this every day of the week.

Thanks to the wonderful 2005 contract brought to you by the sponsors of Edwize, you too relive the glory of the south by doing cafeteria duty as well! Thanks, UFT!

On Mondays, we had grade-level meetings, Tuesdays were team meetings, Wednesdays were PLT (Professional Learning Teams) meetings, Thursdays were curriculum meetings, and finally, on Fridays, we were given a true planning period — if there weren’t conferences booked during this block of time.

Sounds like these meetings were held during the school day. Not like our monthly staff meetings, weekly subject meetings, etc.

After our “planning” period, the students returned to us for a 20-minute enrichment block where we were supposed to teach a reading or math lesson. At the end of the day, the kids were not focused on enrichment, as you can imagine, and the teachers were completely wiped out!

So now that you're in NYC, you can look forward to not 20, but 37.5 minute enrichment blocks! What an improvement!

I look back on those nine years of my career and wonder how in the world did I make it through each day? I left work everyday exhausted, with stacks of papers to grade and tons of planning to do. I was tired and run down and frustrated, and sadly, there was nothing that could be done about the situation.

Ah...and now, you get to go home and jump in the jacuzzi, I suppose? NYC teachers, as teacher4life well knows, don't have to grade papers at home, or plan lessons, or anything. We are never tired, or frustrated, and when things go wrong, the UFT is always there to do something about the situation!

Yes, the UFT has our back at all times, and we should be grateful. Edwize says so, and teacher4life says so. With the UFT behind us, we have little to worry about, other than the occasional knife in the back.

Frankly, it amazes me that blogger after blogger on Edwize has nothing but good things to say about the UFT and Randi! What are the odds?


Chaz said...

Mr Talk:

Edwize does not say anything bad about Randi and gang because it is published by "Unity loyalists" and only Randi supporters or naive newbies are permitted to submit articles.

You will never see our blogs listed in it. It is a shock that nyc educator is still listed there.

Mr. Talk said...

But Chaz, the disclaimer on Edwize says they're an agora (Leo and his thesaurus again) of informed commentary that includes members, education advocates and others expressing opinions. Are you saying you don't believe them?

I'm still waiting for my invite from Uncle Leo. I'm sure he'd want me to blog there, what with him being such an advocate of free expression and all.