Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Stephanie Edmonds and I Find Some Common Ground


I have a history on these pages of disrupting (pardon the pun) of Class Disruption's and openschools advocate Stephanie Edmonds.

Last night I was warmly welcomed by Stephanie on her video podcast I guess to clear the air, find common ground if possible, and any disagreements at least remain civil.

I started the podcast by apologizing to her for a post I wrote in January of basically accusing her of being a raging anti-Semite. Stephanie graciously accepted and I deleted the post. However,I shared with her that I think it was not right to compare students staying home from school to the Holocaust.

So anyway, I am linking to the video below (for some reason the embedding code is not working properly). I enjoyed myself and look forward to doing this again . 

Just to give viewers a heads up. There were some technical glitches last night. Be patient. 


Saturday, April 10, 2021

Upper West Side Mommies Sue to Reopen Schools

Those "open the schools" folks are starting to bore me. 

According to today's New York Post, three Upper West Side mommies (Allison Weinger, Natalya Murakhver, and Stephanie Kokinos ) put word through Go Fund me to raise $20k for a
lawyer to take the DOE to court to force schools to go 100% in person. As of yesterday, April 9, the mommies have raised the money and hired a lawyer. They go to court on Monday, April 12. 

Sadly, these mommies haven't a clue. 

It seems they have become frustrated at the fact that they have become frustrated "after striking out with rallies and other measures to return kids to school full time."

That is simple. Because no one cares what they think. They think there is some kind of movement out there to reopen schools. Yes, it would be great for schools to reopen, but many don't trust the NYC DOE and many parents are still fearful of a complete return to in person learning. They've been led astray by a small, but vocal cabal on social media that believes it has the wind at its back. Let's not forget that these mommies truly do not represent the majority of the demographic of the NYC DOE's population. 

“What’s been horrifying to me is to realize that this city is not putting its children first,” Murakhver said. “The union is the only one at the table with the mayor. The mayor almost seeks approval from the union to make any changes.”

The city has never ever put the children first. This is a surprise? And yes, the mayor must get an agreement from the UFT. It's called collective bargaining. But the UFT did agree to the new rules. The UFT didn't want any more teacher deaths. Is that OK?

Murakhver said teachers — who were eligible for vaccines earlier than most — should be fully vaccinated by now and belonged back in classrooms.

They should? Yeah, they should, but Ms Murakhver how do you know for sure? Is it possible that there are teachers that are afraid? Is it possible that some teachers won't receive the vaccination based on religious grounds? Maybe some who have not yet been able to make an appointment? And remember, it is not just teachers. There are plenty of other non pedagogues in a school as well.   

About 70 percent of New York City’s public school kids had been enrolled in remote instruction and, those in blended learning may only go in a few days a week.

Here's the thing. Seventy percent is almost three quarters of the students are remote. That means three quarters of families have decided that they want remote learning for their children. This is known as a super-duper majority. This past week families had until April 7 to opt back in. The deadline was extended to April 9. What does that tell you? From what I have heard only 40,000 students are coming back. That comes to 5.33%. Again, what is it these mommies do not understand? There is no groundswell. There is no hankering.

Now, as far in person/hybrid. Some schools are 5 days a week. Some aren't. A lot of it is based on how much space there is. Some classrooms are really teeny tiny.

 “It’s alienating and depressing,” Murakhver said. “Our kids are suffering.”

She said her two kids clamor to be back full time in their Upper West Side elementary school rather than the typical two days a week they go in now under the blended learning model.

Yeah, it sucks. But I know of students first hand that are THRIVING in remote learning. An SBSB groupie who is a remote teacher has told me of a student from a fractured background that has had trouble in school in the past is her star pupil this year. But blame the NYC DOE and not the UFT nor the teachers. It was the DOE that failed to plan. It was the mayor that failed to plan. 

Want to reopen 100% this year, right now? Do you realize the logistics of that? What a bigger mess it will cause? This isn't Bronxville with 800 students. This is New York City with over 1 million students. Think about it. 

Mom Stephanie Kokinos said, “It’s just impossible to make their little minds focus on something from a screen,” she said. “They just cannot learn efficiently through that route.” 

So work with your children. Be a parent! Sacrifice. Do you have any idea how some of our parents and/or grandparents sacrificed and what they gave up during WW II? 

But while we are on the subject of how their little minds can't focus Ms Kokinos, why not think of the children who at the age of 8 are in the role of parent to their younger siblings and have to still learn? Or the child who witnessed mommy getting beaten by her latest boyfriend? Or the apartment with only one light? Or the overcrowded apartment? These are what A LOT of the students have to deal with every day at home and have in person learning. Or the student that is bullied in school is now remote and doesn't have to worry about bullying. 

Gosh darn it! Think of others before you spew off ignorantly. 

Allison Weinger chortled in, “the kids are doing great at keeping masks on. Teachers are now vaccinated,” 

Read above.  

Does the world exist elsewhere for these mommies except in their own zip codes? Why are they so focused on themselves and not the parents of the South Bronx? East Harlem? Washington Heights? What do the MAJORITY of the parents wish for? I can guess, and it is nothing the mommies of the Upper West Side wish for. They are saying that their way is not only the right way, but the only way.

These mommies are saying, "what happens to our kids is only what matters. Damn all other opinions or viewpoints. That only they and they alone, take their children's education seriously. Well, it's time to they get out of the Upper West Side world and look around and meet reality. 

One more thing. I was told this by the SBSB consigliare. This virus is now going after the young ones. Why? Because all the old folk and the medically weak have been vaccinated. What left? The young ones. This is why I have been pushing my 19 year old son to get vaccinated. 

Want to be taken seriously. Get people of color on board and to be the voice. Not hard to find in New York City.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

The 2021 District 7 Follies: "ATR Treated Like Horses**t by Colleague"

According to what God's Favorite Teacher says and how what she believes, the children scholars always come first. Except when when God is speaking through God's Favorite Teacher and then all bets are off. 

First, some background.

I am teaching remotely. It's myself with two other teachers and a darn good para. We split the class into three groups. I have the highest, and there is a middle, and the lowest. The lowest group are students with lowest reading levels with a few having IEP's. One student went from the middle group to my group. Now, God's Favorite Teacher wants to put student in her group because in her mind (As well as the Daily News in 2018) God proclaimed her the only human being on Earth with the ability to teach special ed. 

I texted unto her, "Just a  minute there God's Favorite Teacher! On whose authority is this being done? Should we not check with the parent and the administration?" I was met with silence. 

Now I am a firm believer that the cream rises to the top.Yeah, this student's reading level was a bit off, but gosh darn it, look what the frig has been happening the last year!

You play to the level of your competition. I do believe that if you put a weaker student with other strong students that weaker student will improve and equal the strong students. But it works in reverse. I saw this with my son when he played baseball. Most of time when he and team played weaker teams they looked like the 1962 Mets. When they played stronger teams they looked like the Yankees of any era. 

So God's Favorite Teacher asked summoned me to meet with her the next day at 8:20 AM. Fine I said. I was in for a rude awakening. 

At our Meets meeting, she undid the shackles of believing that she was God's Favorite Teacher, but came to believe she was God herself. Exhorting me from an imaginary pulpit from on high. When I said to her that she is not God and only God himself, or Moses, can talk to me that way she; LOST HER SHIT! Seriously! Lost. Her. Fucking. Shit.

But soon the meeting somehow returned to normal. And I was being showered with the Fontes and Parnell reading scores and everything of every students except for one students. I kept asking why, why, am I seeing others other than the one student.

But then she stopped holding back and reminded me of what she actually thinks of me. 

"You are an ATR. Your job is only to support what myself and the other teacher want!!!"

I said, "Exceese me? Says, who?"

She blabbered, "Sayeth the administration!!!"

I proclaimed, "Let's hear it from them."

She called for back up to the really cool AP who I was able to tell didn't give a shit about her insane inanity. 

She returned.

"We are here in this school for good. We have to get rated. You don't!!!" she wailed from on high. 

"I do get rated."

"We have to be here next year, you won't be here next year. We care about the students!!!"

"So do I. And who says I won't be here next year?" 

"I know!!!!"

So good to know how a colleague of mine feels about ATRs. Guess what? She was thisclose to being one once. 

I have been an ATR since December 2015. I have been called the sub, the ATR, other things, more of ignorance than insensitivity. I have had maybe one teacher give me the proverbial middle finger in the last five years. 

I know of one SBSB groupie that goes out of her way to treat ATRs well. She has always welcomed ATRs into her classroom and offers them a place for their stuff. She does what she can. I can attest personally to others who have gone out of their way to assist and make me feel at home. 

We are in this together. No teacher outranks another teacher (though some might think they do). As for as I am concerned, you don't rat out another teacher, you don't treat others like shit, you're good. 

Some teachers need to say,"there but for the grace of God go I." Think about it. We're all one step away from losing our job or becoming an ATR. Even if you think you were put on this Earth to teach by God.

How dare God's Favorite Teacher treat me, or any teacher like this? How dare God's Favorite Teacher not truly put the best interests of a students over her own? How dare God's Favorite Teacher walk around as if her fecal matter doesn't give off an odor? 

Times are tough. We are in this together. It's worse on the students. God's Favorite Teacher doesn't need to have a complete meltdown on Meets. 

God's Favorite Teacher needs to learn humility.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

The Crack Team at SBSB Solves the Teacher Evaluation Problem

Yay! There was a delegate assembly yesterday. I was smart. I didn't try to ask any questions. But the pattern persists. Most, if not all, of those asking the questions tend to be chapter leaders.

But during Mulgrew's opening remarks he briefly touched on the state of the evaluation negotiations. Same as last month and nothing new.

"We have to have an evaluation system done by this month, but we are getting nowhere with the DOE. People with the DOE we are negotiating with are in la-la land. We need a scientifically tested system to work with. DOE asking for ridiculous things. Our committee has met. There has to be a MOSL. We have to figure that out."

The Crack Team has gone ahead and figured out a way to solve this problem. If the UFT decides to use what is known as The Crack Team Official Evaluation and Pro-Am© Teacher Evaluation Method. We here at SBSB ask for a small honorarium and the promise, to sponsor a golf outing this coming on a Monday in August at Winged Foot. 

Yes, we understand that in complicated times that deciding on an evaluation that must include MOSL can be complicated. So many factors are factored in.

Should teachers of remote learning be evaluated the same as in person teachers and vice versa? 

Is there an impact on students in schools that are closed, then opened, then closed, then opened, then closed? Does this not inhibit student learning?

What of remote students? Would a remote teacher get extra points for students having to learn on this piece of shit iPad minis vs students that have a laptop or a desktop? Does this not inhibit student learning?

Whilst on the subject of remote teachers, what of students with crappy internet connections? Does this not inhibit student learning?

For in person teachers, the lack of any real human contact and students sitting at their desks all gosh darn long day, how does that affect student learning?

What about fear? The fear that a loved one or themselves can come down with COVID does this not inhibit student learning?

I mean I can go on and on but I shan't. There are just too many ways that student learning is inhibited this school year.

And how once a system is in place would admins that are supposed to evaluate us be trained and properly competent to evaluate us? 

And since this evaluation system be in place by the end of January, observations will not start until March at the earliest. Is that fair?

Here is The Crack Team's plan. Simple and very inexpensive.

If on the day the administrator comes to observe, if every student in class, be it in person or remote, has a heartbeat, the teacher gets an S and a happy face sticker. This is the fairest method. 

Just an analogy, a poor one. Can Trevor Bauer be properly judged and warrant a $36 million a year contract off of his 2020 season of 11 starts? No. 

The Crack Team and myself will be awaiting word from the UFT.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Stephanie Edmonds of Bronx Law High School Agrees With Tweet Slamming Remote Teachers

About this remote teacher vs in person teacher thing happening, we need to be careful. Being home teaching is not all that it is cracked up to be. 

There are other people home, there are babies, there are other children, and pets that need attending. You don't get a real connection with your students. You really can't work one on one. I can go on. But remember this. There wouldn't be remote teachers if there weren't
remote students. Parents have made the choice that they don't feel the schools are safe for their students. That is their right. And it is our right as teachers that are susceptible to COVID to take the DOE up on its offer to teach from home. Heck, there might be even less remote teachers if the DOE had a real plan back in September. 

We don't need the New York Post to fan the flames. We don't need the ignorant politicians and neo-liberals to create shit storms. Worse, we don't need one of our own to knife teachers in the back.

 We don't need a 4th year non tenured teacher with a fake Bronx accent throwing teachers under the bus.

The Crack Team found this tweet by Stephanie Edmonds (@classdisrupti0n) of Bronx Law High School at the Theodore Roosevelt Campus in the Bronx. Let's have a look see.I believe this tweet was on or around December 12.

Wow! So Stephanie agrees that we, I would assume the rank and file of the UFT, are privileged? Privileged how Stephanie? Privileged like having everything handed to us? Privileged having grown up in one of the toniest areas of Fairfield County? Privileged to go to an exclusive boarding school for high school? Please, explain. We don't understand. Most of us were only born with a plastic spork in our mouths. We don't have yachts on Long Island Sound.

As for as I know, I, and every single remote teacher is doing their ACTUAL job. You're doing your ACTUAL job too. You are remote. Are you better than us? Know more than us? We're in the same boat. But I am sure you're still looking down your nose at "the remote teachers." 

Denial? Excuses? What am I in denial of? What are other remote teachers in denial of? I'm not denying that this situation is rough for all involved. That it would have been better to have had a plan had its genesis back in March. I, nor my union brothers and sisters, are unable to control the incompetency of Mayor De Blasio and Chancellor Carranza.

Are we (and again to be sure we are talking about remote teachers) making excuses for remote teaching? Stephanie, answer this question. I spoke to a colleague over the weekend I had taught with back in 2003. Our children used to play together. She is remote. Why? Her daughter, the same age as my son, has cancer. When one has cancer the immune system tends to get messed up. My friend sought, and received, an accommodation (thanks to UFT Solidarity and Bryan Glass) so she would not have to worry about being in a school or the Bronx. Avoiding a situation in which she could catch COVID and, God forbid, infect her daughter. 

Speaking for myself, I am type 2 diabetic. My BMI is where it should be as is my A1C. But I am 56, and for some weird reason don't wish to die due to COVID. Maybe if I was 30 years old I might think differently. But I am not.

Deflection and blame? Again Stephanie, (check your scorecard, we are still talking about remote teachers) what is it we are deflecting? Explain yourself. Who are we blaming? I've been with the DOE 25 years. There is incompetency all around. I'll blame De Blasio and Carranza. Try your know it all energy on these two dunces.

Yeah, the UFT has been wishy washy and inconsistent, but the mayor and the chancellor are the ultimate fartheads. 

You know Stephanie, when I started teaching I was told to keep my mouth shut and my ears open. Sadly, it's been the opposite for you. Perhaps you should concentrate on teaching instead of what you think is a quasi-media empire on You Tube.

Want to curse the union all you want? Go right ahead I'll be there supporting you. But attacking teachers, your union brothers and sisters, your colleagues, on social media that's just wrong. Do it privately. 

But what's most disturbing is this attitude you have of knowing it all. You know jack. You are in a situation you never were in before. You think you are "down" with your students? Think about what they are saying about you in Spanish. 

Don't think you have cred because you believe you teach in the South Bronx and are the reincarnation of Mr Kotter. You're not. Remember this from September...?

You do not teach in the Boggie Down Bronx unless you teach in the South Bronx. But Damn! There it goes again!! People coming in and changing things!

You're on Fordham Rd. That is not the Boogie Down Bronx. 

Lastly, Stephanie, get rid of the phony Bronx accent. You're from the country club set of Connecticut, you should sound like William Buckley

Would love to hear from remote teachers in the comments section. Please keep it unprofane and professional.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

It's Remote Teacher Vs In Person Teacher Thanks to the New York Post

In this corner we have remote teachers. In the other corner we have in person teachers. And in the center of the ring we have the New York Post stirring the shit pot and and pitting teachers against one another

This story, which myself and The Crack team believe was planted by the DOE starts off, not with a teacher kvetching, but rather a DOE official. Chances are it's some ass kissing,
narcissistic,  incompetent (And if male has some serious physical Freudian shortcomings) administrator with serious people issues.

 Article starts off....

“Teachers who work in-person are all raging right now,” one DOE official said. 

“They’re all pissed because they feel they’re getting the short end of the stick in here everyday getting exposed while people are sitting home in their jammies,” the staffer seethed. 

“I just feel they should be forced to come back [after getting the vaccine]. Right now there’s many people before them that are in direct exposure that should’ve been entitled to receive the vaccine first.”

Who says they are raging? Where is this DOE official getting this from?  If this source is an administrator, are they quoting some pimply face, runny nose newbie teacher whining that they can't boogie down in Manhattan anymore? 

But to say we are all in our jammies? How gauche! In fact, how unoriginal. Claim we're all in our underwear. At least lie that way. But seriously folks. We get up, we get dressed. We eat breakfast. We go to work. My dad worked from home from the time I was in 3rd grade. Not once did was he at his desk or on his phone in his jammies. 

How do you know that there aren't remote teachers that want to come back to work? Duh. But it won't happen as fast as some would like. From what I have read (And I could be wrong) it could be 3-4 weeks before before one is at full immunity. And that's after the second shot! Lest we forget 4 weeks go by between shots. That goes for everyone. 

One Brooklyn teacher said the request to “wait for further guidance” hasn’t stopped remote workers from signing up for the booster. 

“Remote people are already scheduling their appointments, they had the luxury of being home and were able to refresh [the page] and find appointments today,” 

Yeah, it hasn't stopped remote teachers, and it shouldn't have stopped unnamed Brooklyn teacher. As I stated on Sunday a SBSB groupie shared a link with me Saturday night around 9:30. Unnamed Brooklyn teacher had the same opportunity. Unnamed Brooklyn teacher had all day Sunday to sign up. Did unnamed Brooklyn teacher sign up? Nope. 

You want something bad enough you do it. In 2007 my then 6 year old son wanted a Wii for Christmas. I got up at 4 AM and got to Target by 4:45. I wanted to get it bad enough for him. See how it's done? 

The same unnamed Brooklyn teacher continued to whine... “Remote people are already scheduling their appointments, they had the luxury of being home and were able to refresh [the page] and find appointments today,” the teacher, who works in-person, griped to The Post. 

Again, where were you on Saturday night and ALL DAY SUNDAY? There is no one you could have entrusted to sign up for you? This couldn't be done on your lunch? Prep? Whilst on the commode? Excuses and whining is all this unnamed Brooklyn teacher can do.

And lastly, an administrator came up with the whine of the day:

“Wish I could give my spot to my mom who’s [in her 70s],” the administrator said, calling the vaccination system “not organized.”

My 79 year old step mother signed up Sunday and received shot on Monday morning. Enough said. 

The DOE said “employees working remotely have been directed to wait for further guidance.”

We're not waiting for further guidance. Why? We suffer from heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, etc... If we don't have suffer from these, then a loved one we live with suffers from these ailments. We are not doing anything wrong, illegal, or unethical. We are following CDC guidelines which the UFT and the DOE agree upon. For those whining about teachers teaching remotely, do you really think it is that easy? Walk a mile in our shoes before you complain. Oh, and I don't wear my jammies but I usually walk around in socks. Last week I stepped in a big wet hairball deposited by Sparkles.  

And let me add. Any teacher who that is in a building and does have one of the CDC comorbidities, you have the right to go ahead of any able bodied teacher as well.

But in retrospect I think it was the DOE all along that wants the teachers in buildings to get vaccine and the UFT went along with it. Sound familiar? Why spend time and medicine on the sick? Just separate the teachers as we get off the 4 train. Those that can work go to the right, those that can't go to the ovens. 

I have no intention of becoming a statistic. Nor should anyone become a statistic. Whether able bodied or with a susceptibility. I don't want to wind up on this list nor do I want to see any teachers on it as well. I know people on this list. My dear friend Chaz is on this list, and I miss him terribly. 

If you are a remote teacher, or a teacher in a school that is vulnerable, you have every right to get a shot NOW. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones. You are no good to them dead. I was raised to believe that we help our most needy and most vulnerable ahead of ourselves. Doesn't the time call for this? 

This Post article was clearly planted by the DOE to sow division amongst teachers and to discourage remote teachers to get vaccinated soon. Perhaps the DOE is wished us to die off? 

There is enough crap on Twitter and social media, by NYC teachers with fake Bronx accents stabbing remote teachers in the back with wacky theories and what not. 

Oh, it'll help if the UFT gets involved in this. Maybe at tomorrow's DA?

Monday, January 11, 2021

Control Your Destiny, Schedule the Vaccination Yourself

I am appreciative of the UFT, NYSUT, and whatever other groups expedited teachers and educators into group 1B so we can get vaccinated. 

What I am not crazy about are the strings attached and what it appears to be that the only way
we can get vaccinated is through the DOE and/or the UFT. Why? Basically to control who gets it. 

Mulgrew and Chancellor Carranza said the same things differently. 

Mulgrew wrote...        

UFT members working in the schools right now will receive priority in our matching process, but we plan to move quickly to match all UFT members who wish to receive the vaccine with a provider.

Carranza wrote...

If you are working remotely right now, please wait for further guidance on when to schedule your vaccination. This will help to ensure that New Yorkers on the front line serving fellow New Yorkers in person in our school buildings will better be able to access the vaccine. 

Though I am not enthralled but what Mulgrew wrote, Carranza is coming across like he hopes plenty of teachers die before the vaccine gets around. 

The UFT is acting as an authorized re-seller of vaccine slots for the city and the DOE. In essence, the UFT is a ticket scalper, or in this instance, a vaccine slot scalper. This is not what the UFT should be doing. 

For shits and giggles I filled out the UFT survey last night. Even though I have a slot. But we don't have to go through the UFT at all. We can do this ourselves. Remember, always be proactive 

Here are some quality websites that can be accessed on your own without going through and/or relying on the UFT.

I think this is for the entire state of New York:

For NYC: This one came from another fan of SBSB

and let's not forget from yesterday's blog post care of a SBSB groupie


And here is article from Journal News in which huge hub will be used at the Westchester County Center for vaccinations. 

Take care of you and your family and loved ones. Do this yourself. It'll get done quicker.