Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Two Down, 188 To Go (Unless the Governor Has His Way with Us)

Cupcake update: Here's the icing on the cake. While class sizes are allowed to go to an all-time high of 29 in elementary classrooms (and I've had 28 in a trailer), for some inexplicable reason, the rising 5th graders have lost some 19 students. Right now, we have 54 registered 5th graders. Our principal has already pulled one of our team members - my best friend - and left the rest of us scrambling on how to departmentalize with the three of us. While I might say that all hell's done broke loose, that would be an understatement. Because I envision two scenarios: first, fewer students come than anticipated. That leaves another teacher out in the cold and I'm hoping it's not me. But I think I am covered in that respect (what with my time in the county and the building). It is the second scenario that I am concerned about: the influx of fifth graders which we all know is entirely possible. If we get more kids than we can handle, what's going to happen? I personally think everyone jumped the gun on this one.

So, in addition to being completely freaked out about BrownBear - don't let this calm demeanor fool you-this school year is off to a completely sucky start. We moved into the building this year, but, as I said, I wasn't going to go off half cocked and work for free, so I did nothing - and the principal wouldn't let us in the building because the custodians were waxing floors and shampooing carpets. That is why I am up so damned early today -- I've got a crap load to finish before Meet and Greet tomorrow and they've scheduled meetings today -- who runs this district but a bunch of morons? -- so I am off to shower and get a head start.

While Cupcake and John Deere Mom dance about and enjoy their vacations during these crazy hot days of August, I have already spent the past two days in pre-planning. Nearly twelve hour days, because I didn't go and do one doggoned thing during the summer. My days of working for the government for free are over.

The State Board of Education voted unanimously to do away with the regulation that teachers work 190 days during the school year. Basically, they said that we only need to work 183. That gives the local school boards the power to furlough us for seven days; they even said that the bus drivers and cafeteria workers could be furloughed. They were going to furlough them when the impact on students wouldn't be felt. Feel free to look around and be confused. I know I was when I heard that tidbit.

(Just a little gossip about our State Superintendent of Education: Kathy Cox, that bright bulb who won $1 million on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, filed for bankruptcy along with her husband not more than 2 months after winning. According to bankruptcy law, she was insolvent when she won the money and her creditors had the right to go after it. She transferred the money back to Fox TV and then went on Atlanta local news to talk about how bad her creditors were - coming after money that really belongs to the poor deaf and blind children of Georgia. Poor Kathy Cox - if she had only had a real attorney who knew the law, she wouldn't have filed for bankruptcy so soon after winning that cash. And if she isn't careful, she's going to lose that job that keeps her in a little over $100,000 per year.)

So, that's how smart our State Superintendent really is. Agreeing to furlough teachers who do the dirty work for a governor and legislature who didn't do their jobs in the first place.

Going back to school was good for me because BrownBear has been gone now since Saturday. I haven't heard anything - and the word is no news is good news. I do check weather.com everyday just to pretend like I know something about what's going on with her. LawyerBoy is on a business trip and Prep is at cheercamp, getting ready for her senior year(?!).

So, now, it's a shower, some leftovers and bed for me. To do it all again tomorrow - including a cheermom meeting and choir. You can bet I'm thrilled.

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Blogger cupcake said...

First of all, allow me to doff my wig for not being a complete and total freak show with your daughter in Ecuador. At the very least, I would be self-medicated to the hilt with McDonald's fries and Razztinis.

It's nice to know that our neighbors to the south have the same problems running their schools as we here in NC do. I'm preparing for a 10% pay cut at the worst and more furloughs at the least. The mandatory professional development we have to attend next week does not come with a stipend this year, but rather we are showing up in exchange for days in trade. I assure you that I am whittling down my sessions because those "days in trade" will be the furlough days, so because, like you, I will not work for free, I'm thinking I can skip some PD.

Godspeed, teach. How many students will you have this year? I may have 40. That's right. FORTY. In a classroom that comfortably holds, oh, 32, including me. Since I have no more room for desks, I'm guessing I'll have some kids sitting on the floor.

Good times.

8/04/2009 9:34 PM  
Blogger John Deere Mom said...

Your state superintendent sounds like a piece of work...perhaps worse than ours. I am dancing around rather joyfully for 7 more days, anyway. And our contract is and has always been for 182.5 teacher work days. Not one hour more. Come to Indiana...the water's great.

And 40 students, Cupcake? Insane.

8/05/2009 11:52 AM  
Blogger cupcake said...

You can rest assured, teach, that there will be an influx of 5th graders. Every time they drop a teacher due to small class sizes, the community senses a void and moves to fill it. If I lived anywhere near you, I'd volunteer to come help you clean your room. And I don't clean! That's how much I adore you.

Hang in there, sister. And it looks like Indiana is an option ...

8/06/2009 7:59 AM  

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