So Fed Up!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by iteachbx, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Feb 12, 2014

    Sorry I already posted a similar post a week or two ago but I'm so fed up with NYC. If you're not from the area- NYC public schools never close. It takes an act of God basically. We had one snow day in early January and I guess the mayor (who basically has final decision) is going to hold that day against us for the rest of the winter. (There was a terrible storm that day.)

    Last week we had a very dangerous snow storm. I'm so tired of reading press releases or watching press conferences where they beg everyone to stay off the roads and stay home and then in the same breath announce that NYC schools are open. It's dangerous! It's not just dangerous for teachers like me that are driving in from outside the city. It's dangerous for kids and teachers getting on buses and on the subway- or walking on the many icy snowy sidewalks that don't get salted or plowed.

    I'm tired of all the reasons they think that when every other district in the tri-state area is closed they need to remain open "so kids have a hot meal" (they do okay on Saturday and Sunday every week) "because parents shouldnt have to worry about childcare" (tough- this is life. sometimes kids get sick- parents figure it out then too) and the newest reason- "education needs to uninterrupted" (a few snow days a year probably has a lot less impact on their education than the 8 weeks off in the summer if you ask me.) We have snow days built into our calendar. So why can't we use it when it's so bad that major highways are being shutdown?!?!? I just don't get it!

    Last week I had to use one of my sick days because I felt it was too unsafe to get into work. I wasted on a day while there were 11 kids in my class (less than half) and my co-teacher spent most of the day letting them play legos and go on the computer. Now we're set to have another storm tomorrow. All the warnings are being sent out- every suburban district has closed and I'm going to be up at 4am worrying about what I'm going to do, trying to figure out how to get to work.

    UGH! Spring can't come soon enough!
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Feb 13, 2014

    That would make me absolutely nuts.
     
  4. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    Feb 13, 2014

    Beat em or join em. Meaning move to the city or find a new district to call your home.
     
  5. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Feb 13, 2014

    Moving to the city would not fix this. Traveling within the city was extremely dangerous today. There were reports of school bus accidents, kids slipping all over sidewalks, having difficulties crossing the street through the snow and slush. A pregnant woman was killed in a parking lot by a plow. People belonged inside their homes. I actually had an easier time getting into work than my co-teacher who lives about 10 minutes away and takes the public transportation the mayor was urging everyone to take. I had 8 students btw.

    Luckily the mayor was slammed all over the news for his decision.I don't think it will change future decisions, but it gave me some satisfaction.
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    So much for the idea that this new mayor and chancellor would give a crap about students.
     
  7. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Feb 13, 2014

    The chancellor keeps talking about how she's been in the system so many years, blah blah. She's obviously his puppet now, no longer a former teacher in my eyes. She actually said "it's a beautiful day now" she's been torn apart on social media for that comment.
     
  8. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Feb 13, 2014

    Sorry! I'm a product of NYC public schools and, honestly, I think I remember ONE snow day in my entire time in elementary school. It really doesn't matter who the mayor is. That's always the way it's been in NYC. I guess they figure parents have to get to work so school must be in session in the city that never sleeps.

    Be safe.
     
  9. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Feb 13, 2014

    Yeah I mean I knew what I was getting into, they've never had snow days but its still frustrating. He was bragging in the press conference about how there's been 11 since 1978. Guess they're waiting for a tragedy to re-think the policies.

    The chancellor said, "My decision is where the kids are safest and the most taken care of, and the answer to that is in schools." If I was a parent in NYC I'd be highly offended. I mean as a teacher can I tell my students' parents that I do a better job caring for them then they do?
     
  10. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Feb 13, 2014

    It was like that for me when I lived in the mountains (colorado). I seemed to be the only person who found it to be unacceptable. My district had never had a snow day. Everyone basically would say, "You live in the mountains, what do you expect? We have a snow-driven economy" etc. I am very thankful and lucky that I didn't get in any wrecks in my two years living there. I would often pass 10-20 accidents in my 3 mile commute to work. We had several teachers in the district get in accidents and twice school buses got in accidents, and that's just in the two years I was there. Same thing for cold- we once took the kids for a day of skiing when it was litearlly -17 without the windchill. No one was even phased! Now I'm in Denver and we certainly don't get frequent snow days but if it is really dangerous the schools will close. Denver public schools (not where I work) will often say that it's an "optional" day for students and that district office staff can work from home, which of course means that teachers still have to come in, which I think is horrible. They do say the hot meal/safe place for kids thing, but what about the safety for their teachers? Even DPS will have snow days on the really bad days though.
     
  11. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Feb 13, 2014

    I am truly convinced that the higher ups at the BoEd in my district have little concern for those the system serves. They also seem to have little knowledge about what's really going on in their schools - unless a local news station shows up to "expose it" or someone tweets about it.
    Some teachers do. Many parents are providing financially but they are not parenting or investing any real time in their children. Sad and frustrating.

    Schools should have been closed, period. Sorry, OP.
     
  12. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

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    Feb 13, 2014

    This is why I teach in Florida where we don't have snow. We do have a RARE hurricane day, but not since like 2007 I think.

    P.S Hillsborough County Schools is looking for teachers
     
  13. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Out of 1.1 Million kids 44% were in school. This average is inflated by Manhattan, where public transportation runs smoother in storms, there are schools with students of much higher socioeconomic backgrounds (higher attendance in general not just on snow days) and snow removal is taken care of much faster on roads and sidewalks. The percentages in other boroughs were much lower in the 30s in Brooklyn the Bronx, 25% I believe in Staten Island. Snow removal is basically non-existent in the neighborhood where my school is. I walked through a puddle about 10 feet by 10 feet at least 8 inches deep of snow and slush to get to my car. I guarantee that mess will be there when I return from mid-winter break in 10 days.
     
  14. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Feb 13, 2014

    I'd rather not teach in a state that elected Lord Voldemort as governor.
     
  15. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 13, 2014

  16. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    That's pretty insulting to a lot of parents, and also ignores Saturday and Sunday. It also basically just adds to the stereotype of teachers as babysitters.
     
  17. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Feb 13, 2014

    I don't think that's a good enough reason. Feeding their children should be the responsibility of the parents. If a school can come up with other reasons to stay open then fine. Doing a parent's job is not a good reason.
     
  18. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Feb 13, 2014

    So what will these kids eat ALL of next week? There are shelters in the city and soup kitchens. That's a place where the needy can get a warm meal. Out of 1.1 million kids, I'm sure the vast majority do not get their ONLY meal at school. Well over 90% of my kids are on free lunch and I can assure you they are well fed and taken care of at home. In 4 years I've had 1 student who was having issues having enough food to eat at home and truly came to school "hungry" (not regularly but on occasion.) A school is not a soup kitchen. It's great that when we're open we provide meals for the kids- but that's not the purpose of a school.
     
  19. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Feb 13, 2014

    Also worth mentioning if you look at the attendance rates by school some of the lowest attendances were recorded at schools with the highest amount of students getting free lunch. My friend has something like 99% getting free lunch at her school and their attendance rate was 14%. Another in a pretty poor area had 11%.

    The highest attendance rates I saw where in upper middle class and middle class neighborhoods (probably because they're in Manhattan or because those are the parents that do actually have to go to work.)
     
  20. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    Feb 13, 2014

    And, of course, the entire summer.
     
  21. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Feb 14, 2014

    Ridiculous.
     
  22. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Feb 14, 2014

    Actually NYC schools are open in the summer for meals. Doesn't change my feelings about the lack of snow day but the option is there for the families in the summer. However they have to find their own childcare! lol

    I did make the best of it with my 8 students who were all so glad their parents forced them to come. It's funny how they really have no concept of an actual "snow day" they refer to days like that one as "snow days" because its snowing and two thirds of their classmates are out (its always the same ones that come in the snow) They kept saying "I hope we have another snow day tomorrow this is so much fun!" We did a little math/reading for the first 90 mins or so. Then they played school and played with legos. I ordered them pizza for lunch and we watched Mulan since we just finished a unit on China. So yeah, I was babysitting.
     

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