Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

In The Merry, Merry Month of May

I know it's going to be a nightmare for Rachel, but I'm kinda looking forward to the month of May. She always spends a lot of her time at home doing schoolwork, but lately, it's been much worse. She has a split class this year, with first- and second-graders, so naturally she felt it necessary to develop all new materials, projects, and centers for the second-graders. The other second-grade teachers are totally loving this, of course, and the kids are definitely benefiting from it, but it's a lot of work for Rachel.

Recently, she had Open House to prepare for, which for some reason requires lots of work. Then, after that, there is all the work she needs to get done before May, since she won't be able to do it then. That's basically double the work for her right now. Plus, we're going to Jared's school picnic in the middle of the month so she needs to write a sub plan (more like a book) for the teacher that will be taking her class that day.

So what's so special about May? Rachel hasn't gotten a raise in six years and, in fact, her net pay has actually decreased because the amount the district pays for health care has remained the same even as insurance costs have skyrocketed. Six years ago she had to pay about $50 over what the district paid for insurance. Next year it will be close to $1,000. That's per month, by the way. So we're talking about her annual income decreasing by thousands of dollars.

In May, as sort of a warning shot before striking, the union has called for a slowdown -- what they call "work-to-rule". That means the teachers will only do that which they get paid for. They'll show up when they're supposed to (not two hours before) and leave when they're supposed to (not two or three hours afterwards.) They won't be bringing any work home to do at night or on the weekends. They won't be staying late for things like talent shows or literacy nights or what-have-you. I imagine they're also not supposed to buy stuff for their classroom either.

I know this May will be a very difficult month for Rachel and her cohorts. I'm thinking it might be fun.



Journal Description

My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.

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