Saturday, October 28, 2006

True Confessions 2

Last Monday I quit one of the two part-time tech-teaching jobs I had (I've been retired 3 years after teaching 36 years. I began work at age 20) . The confession is that I didn't tell my wife. I decided I would leave the house at my previous 7AM time so she would think I was going to work. Monday I visited someone in a nursing home, Tuesday I went to a conference and Wednesday I had lunch with an old friend and did some volunteer work at a school. The issue isn't financial, but rather her annoyance that I would probably spend the whole day in bed with my laptop (This is true, I confess). Someday she might read this and I will be outed, but I'll probably fess up- I'm a pretty bad liar. Why did I quit? The school I was in was run by an incompetent and sleazy principal. I sort of knew this going in, but my desire to work and to make a difference, coupled with tons of grant won equipment to put to use and a good computer teacher to partner with clouded my decision. I also wanted to work on the Lower East Side again. The staff was mostly young, but already burnt. The kids, especially the middle schoolers, were out of control and as the year would progress get even worse. Their Teacher's College trainer was the same arrogant, condescending b... who had been tossed out of my Harlem School in an exchange for a gentler, kinder version. Most of the teachers here despised the TC trainer too, but the administration was not tuned into their feelings. There was no plan, other than how to make a flashy website, how to win more grants and then piss away more money and then how to fake doing a previous won grant in order to fulfill the previous grants' requirements. That's partly how I would fit in as a faker. When you are a low performing school your snapshot makes you more amenable to winning grants. It also helps to cozy up to the local grant funding pol for some quid pro quo job action for a constituent or two or three.

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