My radiator is leaking. This means that every morning for the past three days, I have arrived at school to find a puddle the size of lake Erie and at least half an inch deep spreading across my classroom floor. Each day, I have called the custodians, they have mopped, and then, four hours later, I've had to call them again to come up and mop, because a new puddle has formed by that point.
Why, oh WHY, could they not just fix the freakin' radiator???
Now this particular morning, I arrived to find that not only was my room flooded, but the resource room had also flooded, which meant that one copier was out of commission and we had to beg the (fraudulent! but still working at our school!) secretary to enter the copier code for the office copier every time we wanted to make copies.
Oh, and then another teacher's radiator had some kind of problem which had been fixed, but had left her room filled with fumes like burnt rubber, so she needed to use my 7th grade classroom, which was okay except that we have somewhat different standards regarding dismissing the students and leaving the room clean, so I had to emphasize to her that the room needed to be left exactly the way she found it... which it was, kind of.
And then a sixth grade teacher was absent and a new teacher was covering her class, so I had to help the new teacher set up for homeroom. On Tuesdays, we put logic puzzles on the overhead projector for the kids to solve - it's a bit of a contest - and so I started to do that only to discover that her overhead projector wouldn't work because her outlets are not working.
And during all of this the clock was ticking, because on Tuesdays my free period is not until the very end of the day, so the time before school starts and 20 minutes during homeroom are ALL the time I have free to make sure I'm ready to teach that day, in two classrooms, to two different grades, a minimum of three different lesson plans. And since it was raining, I knew that I'd have to help out with lunch duty, something new that our school implemented this week which really ought to be the subject of another post but I have too much work to do. And yes, people, I am fully, FULLY aware that technically, with the number of "menu options" that I have selected already, inclement-weather lunch duty is certainly not something I should be required to do.
And the day only got better.
The floor flooded again around mid-day. This time, the custodian who came up to mop (but NOT fix!) said he was supposed to leave the bucket & mop in my room, where did I want it? No, thank you, I do NOT have time to mop my own floor every time the g--d--- radiator leaks. FIX THE PROBLEM ALREADY!!! But I just said, okay, you can leave it in that corner, right there by the broken radiator but [sweet smile] wouldn't it be easier to just fix it this afternoon when no kids are in here?
And then, during that free period, when it eventually came, I spent twenty minutes looking for copies that I made and left behind in the seventh grade classroom at the end of fourth period so that Mr. Richter could use them during sixth. Well, we both saw them there at the end of fourth, but they apparently walked away during lunch. Who the heck steals copies of science assignments??? In the end, I had to re-copy everything for him so that he could still pull off the lesson.
Maybe I'm ranting just a little.
So, we have two broken radiators, one fixed radiator plus fumes, broken outlets in several classrooms, and disappearing copies. And might I add that no matter what they do, in four years of teaching at this school, I have NEVER ONCE taught in a classroom that was a comfortable temperature during winter months?! Never. I have thermometers posted on the walls - for science - and I have seen classrooms hit 98 degrees and classrooms in the low 60s.
How can anyone expect excellence of teachers and students when we work under conditions like these??? What kind of respect does this show for the kids? For the teachers? Do YOU wade through inches of water just to get to your desk every morning? And if your workplace radiator DID break, do you think they'd ignore the problem for days??? It's not just me, either - did you see the hole in Nancy's wall?
It's not the money: it's the working conditions.