Wednesday, March 6, 2013

We didn't need the snow day, but I needed the day

Day 6 of 31
It's strange weather here today.  There is a big snowstorm but I think that my area is right on the line of snow and rain.  It was snowing pretty heavily this morning but now it's raining.  I think that the area where I teach is in the snow area.  Nevertheless, the whole region is off for the day and I'm fine with that.

We are in the midst of a bitter contract negotiation.  It's been about 250 days already.  We reached the point where a fact finder was brought in to try to reach a settlement.  And what did the school board do...they rejected the fact finders report.  By an 8 - 0 vote.  When I heard the news on Monday night, I was sick to my stomach.  To say that I didn't want to go to work on Tuesday is understatement of the year.  

I can't discuss the details but let's just say that with 9 years and a masters degree, I am making significantly LESS than a first year teacher in neighboring school districts.  I'm not in this for the money, but I do need money to pay the bills.

I teach high school math.  It's tough because it requires a lot of higher order thinking.  I don't always make it super fun or technology enhanced, I do a lot with graph paper and old fashioned pencils and erasers because I want them to work hard.  I am fully aware that students will not have to verify trigonometric identities as part of their every day life.  But I am teaching analytical and problem solving skills, just as writing teachers are enhancing creativity   I would love for one of the school board members to see what I do every day, perhaps they would think twice. For that matter, maybe they can prepare them for the Keystone exam, too.

So, I'm happy to have the day off.  I've already made pancakes, matzo ball soup, cleaned a cabinet and entertained my kids. And short of writing this blog, I'm trying not to think about work for the day.


  1. I am sorry you are going through this. It is really hard, as I have been through these events, more often than I want to remember. Hang in there. Your are wise to take the day you were given off to regroup.

  2. I find the teaching part of my job is what gives me the most joy...all that other stuff (like what you've written about) is never fun. Snow days, on the other hand, are always a well deserved break. I'm glad you got a break today. You deserve one.

  3. I hope the pancakes were delicious! I wonder what would would happen if we were to invite school board members or legislators to spend time in high school classrooms?

  4. I am glad you had a day to focus on you and wish you a contract - fair - and worthy of your teachers - ssoon!

  5. I didn't realize how bitter the contract battle was, Rachel. Eek. Is the Patriot covering it? (Send me a link if they are.)

    Where's my matzoh ball soup? Sounds so good.

    BTW: Izzy's school was canceled too. I planned on having a stovetop cocoa making session. That all changed when the snow never fell.