SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: 2021

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Retirees Being Swindled By UFT With Medicare Advantage Rollout

JOE NAMATH IS A SELLOUT!!!!
 I haven't really been paying too much attention to the change over, as well as the fight over, the switch for retirees from Medicare to the new Medicare Advantage. I've basically reduced myself to reading both James Eterno's blog and Norm Scott's blog for great information. I'm also getting some information from my step-mom who is a retired CSA member. She's not craxy about my proclivity for rabble rousing so she doesn't share much with me. 

Heck, this is going to effect me in 6 1/2 years, and I should pay more attention. From what I have read I don't like the co-payments, the referrals, and more importantly the "Trust us, it's going to be great" rhetoric coming from Mulgrew. But one thing really is bugging me.

What's the rush to sign everyone up by October 31? 

To the best of my recollection, the deal was done around July, maybe a little sooner (Please correct me if I'm incorrect). As far as I can tell, retirees are going into this blindly. They don't know which doctors, which hospitals or any other providers will be available. All they get is: "Trust us, it's going to be great."

Which brings me to two personal stories. In 1995 when I started with the DOE, I signed up with Physician Health Services. The only reason I signed up for PHS was all of our doctors were on it. I paid for it, unlike GHI which then and now is free. But eventually GHI got more of our doctors on it and we went to GHI. The key was doctors, a wide selection of doctors, and hospitals and providers.

Just recently I was looking at changing out from our top notch, world renowned UFT dental plan (SARCASM). I wanted to switch to the DENTCARE HMO. I researched it and found that not only are there very few providers, but the customer service sucks as well. It wasn't worth it. 

So, back to the Medicare Advantage. Retirees are walking blind into higgedly piggdly of a plan. There is not a list of doctors and providers. No one knows if their doctors that they have had a relationship with for years will be on this plan. No one knows if God forbid they are in treatment for a chronic condition they will be able to continue receiving the same treatment. This is where the UFT and other unions screwed up.

Why the rush? If as Mulgrew claims, "Trust us, it's going to be great," why not how all how great it is. This implementation should have started with NEXT October of 2022 for the sign ins or sign outs. This way, an educated choice of knowing ALL the providers will give those a basis to make a choice.

And beforehand why not have a true year to test out the new Medicare Advantage program. Incentivize retirees to sign up now in October 2021 and this way the kinks can and will be worked out. This way when others start opting in or out in October 2022 not one retiree will be going into this blind. 

Let's not forget the retirees who live where there re a dearth of providers. What of the retiree who has retired to North Dakota? Or the Alaska? What about where there are plenty of providers such as Florida but very few providers will be on the Medicare Advantage. Would the retiree who lives in Tampa have to schlep across the state to West Palm Beach for a prostate exam?

Something smells fishy here. This rush to get everyone in just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Yes, there are plenty of retirees who can afford the out of pocket expense of paying into regular Medicare, but there are plenty of others who can't. And we are only stronger as people, as teachers, as retirees, and as UFT members as our weakest link. These are the people we should fight for. 

The UFT rammed this through. This should have been better explained and had much more input from retirees. This change should have been voted on as a whole by the union. Too often this happens. That some change is just shoved down our throats which the very few decide for several hundred thousand. 

Too bad chapter elections have come and gone. It's time to vote out the leadership of the retiree's chapter. Perhaps a recall is due?

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Riddle Me This: When is an ATR Still an ATR?

 Back in June or late May we, and I mean we as ATR's, were told that the there was an agreement that the ATR caste system was no more. That we would be placed in the schools were were in last year and that was that. 

Obviously that for that didn't happen. I wasn't placed in the school I was in last year. I made darn sure. But I and others were still told that even if that happens, "you will be PERMANENTLY to a school." On these pages in June it was written about (Here and here). It was over. ATR's would be permanent and not feel like an outsider anymore. We will be on organization sheets. Be invited to holiday parties. Have mailboxes. Be on the the email blasts. And, most importantly, the Sunshine Club will remember our birthdays.

So why then am I still able to get into Open Market or the Excessed whatever it's called from September through April? Wanna see?

 

Why am I still considered "excessed"? I thought I was permanent. My time card says, "ATR." I'm not on the organization sheet. I don't even have a place for my stuff. And worse, the Sunshine Club hasn't asked me for $20.

How many ATRs are still the same predicament as I? Are some ATRs more equal than other ATRs? I do understand that to a point. Some are ATRs for no reason of their own. Some, and I admit to being one, are ATRs for being naughty. 

Oh, and we were told there would be zero rotations. I already know of someone who has been rotated. 

Sure would be swell to know what really is going on. 

 

 




Sunday, October 3, 2021

Stephanie Edmonds Sees Judaism as Something That Serves Her

 I am so happy I heard about Stephanie Edmond's attention seeking interview on CNN after it had aired. I would've reacted like Luke Fuchs. Fortunately, I watched the video whilst on the bike at Planet Fitness. However, I did scream out, "What a fucking idiot!" 

One thing she has said (In addition to the myriad of whacky things she has blabbered) when asked by CNN's Alisyn Camerota is if she had "taught her final class," Stephanie replied...

 "I just finished a class. I still have one more"

Let's get this straight. Stephanie was being interviewed in her classroom, during her prep, while still on the clock? This is allowable? I recall back in 2012 when admins were trying to find out if I was blogging during the school day. Someone thought they could get me for stealing time. What should it be called what Stephanie did? Prep time is for PREPARING. Not for the flowing of crocodile tears on CNN. 

At :45 Stephanie claims that...

 "she has a deeply held religious objection that this goes against my faith. Betrayal of my faith in God and for that reason I decided not to (get vaccinated)"

I've been Jewish since day I was born. I can't think of anywhere in Judaism where it says thou shalt not receive COVID-19 vaccine. Let's see what Chabad has to say. One thing that stands out is...

"Assuming that vaccinating when there is a high risk of catching a disease is similar to fleeing from an epidemic, then it’s mandatory for you to do it, and others can be compelled to do so as well."

We here at SBSB would all bet our collective salaries that Setphanie's son has had all his MANDATORY vaccinations to enter school. We would also hazard to be that Stephanie does not keep kosher. She enjoys mixing meat with dairy. She doesn't honor Shabbas (As we can see from her prolific tweeting from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday) She enjoys shrimp on the barbie and doesn't have separate plates and stove for Passover. In other words, Stephanie picks and chooses what she wants to follow in Judaism as a matter of convenience when it suits her needs. 

The Crack Team has since learned that Stephanie did put in for a religious objection accommodation to get vaccinated and was shot down. It is being appealed and it is pretty safe to say that she'll be shot down again. 

Growing up privileged in Fairfield County and attending an exclusive boarding school Stephanie has probably experienced entitlement. That daddy has always given to her what she wants when she wants it. That is not how the real world works. 

Camerota finally asks at 1:34 what we here at SBSB have been asking, "Where in Judaism does it say that you can't be vaccinated?" 

Stephanie's reply...

"Judaism is not a monolith, like all religions(WTF?) I'm a history teacher. Even a basic look at history will show us that people of the same religious fate do not always agree."

Yes, that is true. I agree. Yes, there are many edicts, laws from all religions that its adherents don't follow.  But again, there is nothing in Jewish law against vaccine or MANDATED VACCINES!

"And while in Judaism there is no specific tenant"

And you wonder why she got denied her accommodation. SHE JUST ADMITTED SHE'S FULL OF SHIT!

"We can look to it (Judaism) for guidance."

Again, there is nothing in Judaism about Vaccines!!!!!!

"This is the decision I have come to between me and God"

Puke!

She starts to shed the crocodile tears about leaving. Blah, blah, she's crying about leaving her students. Well, if her students were so important she would sacrifice her well being for them. She would have risked everything for her students. But she hasn't. In fact one member of The Crack Team believes that she is vaxxed. And I believe that member of The Crack Team is correct.

Why? She wants to be a martyr. She is building her brand. She considers herself an "educelebrity." She does not care about her students, her school, nor the community. Whatever she can do to promote herself is all that matters.

To use Judaism as a crutch and worse to misinterpret what Jewish law says is just vile. She is the stereotype of Jews that got 6 million of us slaughtered.  I wish I could denounce my Judaism. I am far from a perfect Jew but I try. I don't use it as a crutch or use it for ill gotten means. 

I feel so filthy right now having listened to this woman that I need to find myself a Mikveh. 

But seriously. Stephanie. Please. Seek help.




Thursday, September 30, 2021

Goodbye, Good Riddance, and Farewell to Stephanie Edmonds

 

 Where has Stephanie Edmonds been? When we last saw Stephanie was April and I exposed her on You Tube. Then she went pfft. Like a fart into the wind. 

Both of her Twitter accounts have been deactivated. Her Facebook page as well as her Instagram page
have vanished. Heck, her You Tube channel has had no new content since April. Nowhere was Stephanie to be found on any social media or for that matter, any media whatsoever. Heck, Stephanie isn't building her brand. Remember, she labeled her self an "educelebrity."

Many have speculated that after my historic smack down of her back in April she turned tail and ran with her tail between her legs. Maybe. What would we do without Stephanie? 

Well, rest assured, she resurfaced this week. It makes sense. Where there is a camera or a microphone, Stephanie will find it. Oh, and of course, she would come across like a total idiot.

Earlier this week CBS 2 News found Stephanie, or should we say Stephanie found them, and she blabbered away (Link to Story. Link to Video). 

Stephanie, I am sad to report, is leaving the DOE. Read:

This is the hardest decision I’ve ever made in my life, but I feel like it’s an important one,” said Bronx history teacher Stephanie Edmonds.

Edmonds says she fought hard for schools to reopen last year, so students could get a better education. But now, she’ll have to say goodbye to those she’s mentored the past six years.

“I will not be coerced into inserting something into my body that does not fall in line with my religious faith,” Edmonds said.

Saddest decision? She spent last year HAMMERING teachers who chose to teach remotely because they, we, had underlying health conditions! She claimed we abandoned out students and SHE now decides to change her tune and abandons her students? She's so full of shit. 

Remember this tweet...? 


Inserting something into her body that does not fall into line with her religious faith? What faith? She's fucking Jewish. There is nowhere in the Talmud, the Torah, or anywhere where it says that vaccines are forbidden. Orthodox rabbis consider vaccinations a moral obligation. 

One wonders how much she takes her religion seriously if she had got pregnant while not married. Don't most religions have issues with having something inserted into oneself if not married? 

Hey, but she can do what she wants to do. It's her right. As one super SBSB groupie said, "It's Stephanie's right to be an idiot." Yes it is her right, and she does it so easily. 

But what does Stephanie care? Daddy makes shit loads of money. Stephanie can always return home to Connecticut's Gold Coast for shelter, for food, for money. Daddy will help with the rent, the car, the bills. Mommy will help with the child rearing. Stephanie is a child of privilege. But good riddance to her. Maybe she'll drop that fake Bronx accent and go with something more suited for the Gold Coast. But like in the Bronx where the students saw through her facade the Goyem will never accept her and see though her as well. 

Stephanie is the ultimate schlimazel.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Blood Will Soon Be on De Blasio's Hands

My dad always said that pharmacists know more than doctors. I do know that my pharmacist is on the ball. 

Early this year, or late last year I had a conversation with him on when we will see this COVID crap end. He basically explained the virus has to run its course. The worst of the virus killed and with the dead the
virus was buried as well. Soon the virus has to find a new host but with most people being vaccinated the virus has to go elsewhere. To the unvaccinated. And who are mostly unvaccinated? The children. And that is where it is winding up.

He and I had the same conversation about a week or so ago but he added something. Winter hasn't come yet. 

Here are the numbers thus far:


 Yeah, winter isn't here yet, and these numbers aren't good. I know of several schools in my district haven't shared one iota of any information concerning class closures. Heck, have parents of these schools been notified?

But why hasn't staff been notified? How do we know if a class closure is due to a student or a staff member? Of course if it is a student in a single elementary class most of the teachers in the school have probably yet to have contact with that student. What if it is a teacher? Staff members interact, should not all staff be made aware? Hey, what about cluster teachers? Shouldn't they know? Anyway, the ENTIRE school community should know! WHY AREN'T STAFF MEMBERS BEING INFORMED OF CLASS CLOSURES???

This mayor is wreaking havoc with the lives of students, the community, and staff members. All he cares about his keeping the perception of him being in charge and not caving into the UFT and the communities of NYC. He is pandering to the UWS and Brooklyn whitey white parents. Why? He needs their money and support for when he runs for governor next year. 

But meanwhile students and staff members are going to get sick and some are going to die. Worse, people in the communities of the students and the staff members will get sick, and some are going to die. Mayor De Blasio will have blood on his hands. 

A teacher without knowing there is an outbreak in their school can get infected if vaccinated. That infection can be asymptomatic or not. That same teacher can bring the infection into their home and into their community. Infecting people who are not vaccinated and people who are vaccinated and/or have suppressed immune systems. 

To the best of my knowledge, there is zero (None, nada, bupkus!) 3 feet distancing whether in the hallways or in the classrooms. To the best of my knowledge, there are class sizes with 36 students, 34 students and many others that size. To the best of my knowledge, the schools are not being cleaned with the same rigor and attention they were before the summer.

What is the UFT going to do about this? The time for a job action is now. How about this? All teachers gather outside the school 45 minutes before arrival and pass out informational literature concerning our incompetent mayor. Then to top it off, we all walk in 5 minutes before our contractual time. I'm just spitballing here, OK?

Something must be done on UFT's part. 

As for De Blasio. There will be a death. I hope I am wrong. The blood will be on his hands. Sadly, he won't give a shit.


Sunday, September 12, 2021

Starting Tomorrow We Try to Cheat Death With Solidarity's Help

Oh joy, we walk into Death tomorrow. Three feet? What does that mean? Yeah, it's one yard or 36 inches. But what does it mean? In elementary school, is there no more mini lessons from the carpet? How do we conference with students? What are the guidelines in cafeterias? 

Must windows be open? What about these so called air purifiers? Word on the street is they are useless. 

Are schools supposed to be providing masks? Hand sanitizers? How can 10 percent of a school be tested every other week and there be a proper tally of who is safe or not? 

Who can answer these questions and more? One would think that in each school there would be a meeting led by the chapter leader in which concern and issues would be addressed. From my experience this has yet to happen. Several SBSB groupies have shared with The Crack Team that they do not know of any meeting with their chapter leaders concerning COVID safety. 

Worse, a friend of mine shared with me that she had called the UFT COVID hotline (or whatever it is called) and was hold an inordinate amount of time and just finally gave up. 

So what to do? Thanks to UFT Solidarity, we have somewhere to go. Read on...


Happy Night Before School!

This school year will be nearly unlike any we have ever experienced as UFT members. Now more than ever, UFT Solidarity needs all our members engaged and activated as activists and unionists in our schools. We have to power to protect each other and hold the UFT accountable.



Please make sure you and your chapter leader are familiar with the UFT's PPE Hotline. Ask your building rep, like NOW, if they've been in contact with the custodian, administration, and UFT regarding mandated PPE shipments to your building. If not, call the PPE Hotline immediately and make sure EVERY staff member in your school knows to wait outside your school until the UFT rep on the hotline gives the green light.


The UFT PPE Hotline is: 212-701-9677


Work with your colleagues and do your due diligence this week to document conditions in your buildings. Your video and camera applications will be your best friends. When in doubt, email your borough safety reps AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Then, submit a Google Form documenting conditions in your school. If the form does not work, email us at Solidaritycaucus@gmail.com.


Make sure you follow our newly updated COVID Action Kit. This is well worth the read! 

Also, we are pleased to introduce our newly renovated UFT Solidarity website! Our website is now located at www.solidarityuft.org. Please share this website with your colleagues and, when you can, explore its features.  Our updated Toolkit and our Getting Involved Page are two must-read sections!

Finally, please mark your calendars for our Council Meeting on September 22nd and General Member Meeting on September 29th. You should have received Google Calendar invites. Look for a new email about these events next week.


Union means coming together as one, in solidarity. Let's boldly lead, let's boldly enforce the rules, let's boldly fight like heck for the living.






In Solidarity,

The UFT Solidarity Council

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Wave of Death Coming to NYC Schools

 I am due one more retro payment this October. I was suspended in October 2015 which for reasons unknown to me I was classified as on "leave." So everything was pushed back for me. This goes for others who were on leave then. Which leads me to this question:

If I, or others, due retro in October, were to die due to the irresponsibility of the DOE and enabling of the UFT with the Delta surge, will the heirs receive the retro?

What is the acceptable number of deaths of staff and/or students for the DOE due to the Delta Variant?  Are staff more expandable than students? 

To paraphrase Colonel Trautman from First Blood,  "Will there be enough body bags?"

Has the DOE thought to have portable refrigerated morgues outside the schools to collect the dead bodies? 

On August 19, my son's college had ZERO active COVID cases. Today it the college has 22 active cases amongst students. And his college has a real plan! It's not a plan that was put together at the last minute. I trust his college's plan. I do not trust the crud put out by the DOE and enabled by the UFT.

How can we keep three feet distance in dirty, filthy, rat infested, crud infested, overcrowded school buildings? 

How many students are staying home on September 13? 200k? 250k? 500k? Does De Blasio have a plan for all these no shows? Will there be retribution upon the parents of all these no shows? I know if I lived in the city I would not send my child to school. It would like sending a child to their death. 

Why is De Blasio being such a dick? He's caving for the whitey white, entitled, smug, sniff their own fart Brooklyn and Upper West Side crowd. De Blasio has his eye on running for governor next year and he needs these parents on his side. Not just to vote for him, but to give him money as well. 

De Blasio is that self-unaware that he still thinks he was somewhat successful in running for president in 2020. His ego, his thirst for power is going to kill staff, and worst, the children of New York City.

There will come a day, and this day will be soon that a staff member or a child will die. Let's hope that appropriate legal action is taken against the DOE and any of its enablers. 


 



Friday, August 27, 2021

Mulgrew Comes Out of Hiding

We here at SBSB, along with The Crack Team, wish to give a belated thank you and thumbs up for Mike Mulgrew taking the suggestion from Monday's blog for a UFT Town hall for September 2 from 2-3:30 PM EDT. Though better late than never, I for one have had to change my tee time. Maybe I can squeeze in nine holes after the town hall. 

And as I have written in the past,  I will praise Mulgrew when it's appropriate we also give Mulgrew a proverbial thumbs up for once again reading these pages and finally coming out of hiding to led and sharing with the world the (hopefully tentative) safety agreement with the DOE

Many questions abound, Let's take a look at some of the highlights.

 Physical Distancing in Schools

The DOE will follow the CDC recommendation to maintain at least 3 feet between students within classrooms. When it is not possible to maintain 3 feet in a given school, the DOE advises layering multiple other prevention strategies. During meal service, schools will use outdoor spaces and additional spaces in school buildings where possible.

Does this mean 3 feet between the teacher and a student? How will this be enforced? This summer I did not see any effort to follow the three foot rule. As for a school that does not have enough space to maintain the three foot rule, what is layering? Will classrooms have a tier of desks? Multi-level classrooms? Tell us more! Are there schematics of this layering thingy for us to see?

As for meals, will meals be served outside when it is raining? Or snowing, or cold? Will students be forced to eat meals in bathrooms? Closets? Hallways?

COVID Testing

Every school will have 10 percent of unvaccinated individuals who have submitted consent for testing in their school population tested biweekly. Students and staff who are fully vaccinated are not required to be tested.

What happen if no one submits consent. And why only 10 percent? Why not everyone? You know how testing can be less invasive and quicker? Spit test. Twice a week. Spit into a bag. Results come back in less than 24 hours. 

Another problem is the Whiny Whitey Whites of Brooklyn, and the UWS are demanding that asymptomatic students must not be tested. Well how do we know who is asymptomatic? Duh. Watch out for these elitist and entitled types. 

Remote Instruction

The mayor has finally acknowledged the need for virtual instruction for medically fragile children and for those in quarantine, something we have maintained was necessary since last spring.

What about for those children that parents just don't want to send to school because they don't want their children to be dead children? Back in June I predicted 350k students staying home. It's going to be more I think. What then is the plan? 

Let's hope that in next week's town hall there is more information given. I am very interested in knowing what are the protocols for schools that do not follow safety measures properly. I am giving up a round of golf.

 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Mike Mulgrew Has Abrogated His Duty To Keep Members Safe

As teachers we kind of expect that Mayor De Blasio will not only lead students to their death, but have the same feelings about teachers as well. I get it. De Blasio doesn't care.

On the other hand, where has Uncle Mike Mulgrew been? Except for a few mass emails this summer and
a town hall on August 3 Uncle Mike has been surprisingly silent about schools reopening September 13. That's less than three weeks away.

Now, I can be wrong. Perhaps Uncle Mike is deep within the bowels of 52 Broadway formulating a plan of safety in the "UFT War room." Whilst erstwhile right hand man and golfing buddy LeRoy Barr. Yeah, I know. But anything is possible. 

But reports are coming into the SBSB newsroom that the Chicago Teachers Union is demanding a safety plan from Chicago Public Schools.

Less than a week before the start of Chicago Public Schools classes, the CTU is still negotiating with the district on a COVID safety plan.
In a morning news conference Monday,
Chicago Teachers Union members said it's still not safe to go back to the classroom with students and staff as the delta variant continues to spread.

And what do we get from Uncle Mulgrew? In the email of August 23, we get...


With the Delta variant continuing to spread and Pfizer just announcing the full FDA approval of its vaccine, the city believes that those eligible for the vaccine must do their part to help keep our children safe.

I got no problem with mandating vaccinations. But getting everyone vaccinated takes time. Now that the Pfizer vaccine is about to be officially approved with Moderna soon to be, what not mandate for students 12+ as well?  

But, wait a moment. What bout keeping the teachers safe? Asymptomatic carriers will be walking among us possibly infecting those who are already vaccinated. These teachers can bringit home to those who are more at risk. What about the teachers and their families? Does Uncle Mike care? 

...so we know that as a union we have already done our part to help the city to beat this virus and protect our schools. 

Why is it upon us to protect the schools? Why isn't it upon the DOE and the city to protect ALL stakeholders? What is de Blasio's plan? The DOE's plan? Why isn't Uncle Mike pushing for one?

And I don't just mean a remote option. There is mask wearing. What happens if a student refuses to wear a mask? Testing. What if a teacher tests positive, does that teacher lose CAR days? What about clusters who see multiple classes? If three students test positive, but the students are all in three separate classes, does the cluster quarantine and if so does not lose CAR days? Where are the answers? 

What is the plan if there is no remote option and 500k don't show up September 13? Then what? How many teachers getting infected and/or dying is acceptable to the UFT?  One? Twenty? One hundred? 

It is time for another town hall post haste. We basically have next week to do it. The following week is Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah.  

Rank and file is demanding answers now. It is time for Mulgrew to make an appearance.


Monday, August 23, 2021

ATRs Are About to Get Screwed

So, what is to be of the ATRs this coming school year?

Back in June were told that all ATRs, irregardless of anything, will be placed at the school they were in for the 2020-2021 school year. We would no longer be ATRs but a permanent member of the school community. All this was to be completed by June 18. June 18 has come and went.

Then there was word that the principals raised a ruckus about forced placements and the plan was put on the table. Gee, is anyone surprised?

The Crack Team has found out that "the plan" is till going forward, however there is a but. Most teachers will be placed where they were last year, but some won't. And there will not be any rotations. 

So as of today, August 23, 2020, not one ATR knows where they are going or what they will be teaching. In fact I got a call today from an SBSB groupie wondering where she will be come September. She's anxious and new to this ATR stuff. She is a dear friend and wants answers. There aren't any to give right now. 

But there are problems afoot, Raise your hands if you can guess the problems.

Think about this. The ATRs that will be placed will be the young ones, the ones who don't make that much money and were basically excessed. Those teachers, though forced placed, will be welcomed by their school's administration and given the benefit of the doubt. 

Those who are labeled as "others" will not be welcomed in their school community.  Those others will consist of those with many years in the system and/or make too much money. Have institutional memory, are rabble rousers, have big mouths, have gone through hearings, etc... How long do you think it will be before a principal or an AP will start greasing the skids on these teachers? The Rubber Rooms (They never went away) will be full again. 

Here is another problem. How many ATRs received a preference sheet this past school year? If ATRs are placed at last year's school shouldn't they have some building seniority? Should ATRs have some preference choice? Are wee not teachers? If you prick us, do we not bleed? 

How many teachers have had an entire summer to prepare for their assignment this year? A lot. We will not be finding out our assignments until September 1 at the earliest. Some but not find out until September 3 when one should open up DOE Outlook. 

And worse, this might be a way for the DOE to save money. With the Delta Variant plowing it's way through New York City what better way to save money than to place ATRs in filthy overcrowded schools and hope that most of them die? 

Yes, we know that it is in the contract that ATRs be forced placed. But couldn't the DOE have not been dicks about it? Why not have spent the summer trying to match ATRs to schools? It would have been win win for everyone. But alas, the DOE must be dicks. 

But it would sure be swell to hear from the UFT.



Monday, August 16, 2021

The NYC DOE and De Blasio Are Planning to Kill Students This Year!

 Today is August 16. Staff reports to schools on September 9. Students report in exactly four weeks from today. De Blasio is still in denial.Worse, the UFT is silent. Children are being hospitalized and dying. The principals union, CSA has said it is impossible for their to me three feet of social distancing. Delta is raging through the South. The ignorant refuse to get vaccinated. The entitled whitey whites of the Upper  East Side and Artisanal Brooklyn are whining about their entitled babies having to wear masks in school. Meanwhile, regular Joe parents are shitting bricks about returning in September. There were 750k remote students last year.  I predicted, or intimated, at 350k not returning in September. There will be more than that. Social distancing in schools is a joke. So with all this information one begs to know.

WHAT IS THE FUCKING PLAN FOR SEPTEMBER?

This summer there was no social distancing in the school I was in. Students were right on top of one another. Teachers and students on top of one another. Staff on top of one another. No directions. No guidance. No nothing. Masks being worn at half mast. None of those special air filter thingys in the class rooms. I mean there were a few, but very few. Where is the direction from the UFT? Where is the leadership from the DOE?

The parents of the Upper East Side had a rally yesterday on East End Avenue against mandated vaccines in DOE schools. Geez, these parents are so indicative of the population of the  NYCDOE. Same with the parents of Artisanal Brooklyn. How they whine if their precious children will be traumatized by wearing a mask or dare I say it, learning remotely. Oh the horror. Little do they know their precious children's worst day is a great day for a child living in abject poverty. But what do they care? 

My son goes back to college in Thursday. I feel safe because I trust the plan his college has. The college follows through on its plans. The college gives consequences if the plan is not followed. The DOE only pays lip service to it's plan and gets away with it due to the enabling of the UFT. If I were a parent with a child in the NYC schools, I would not, could not, and shan't send my child to school. I would demand a remote option. 

De Blasio is coming for the students of NYC. He plans on killing them. He has an acceptable death rate before he allows remote. One student dying due to De Blasio is on too many. One student, infected because of De Blasio's false pride, is one too many. 

Parents should refuse to send their students to school in September and demand that there is a plan for remote learning. That the lives of NYC students are more important how an incompetent bozo mayor comes across.


Thursday, July 22, 2021

The UFT Enables DOE to Screw Members Yet Again

 Remember how Navin Johnson was so excited that the new phone books had arrived? I (and many others) wanted to have that same feeling when I awoke this morning. Today, after waiting since October would have had the remaining 50 percent of my retro. This is money owed us not just from October, but from
2009-2014. 

But alas, when you are really counting on something, something gets mucked up. And as usual the UFT is getting blamed. That could be debated. Hear me out. 

I do put the blame on the UFT for accepting the crappy 100 year schedule for our retro. I do put the blame on the UFT for not sharing with membership ahead of time that our October payment was to be delayed (They knew it several weeks ahead of time there would be an issue). I put the blame on not having the retro squarely on the DOE and the City for not making every single member whole today. 

I put the blame on the UFT for not only believing the bullshit reason why the checks didn't go in, but then  sharing the bullshit the DOE was spewing amongst membership.

The reason we were given was that the retro check was a "supplemental" check and not a payroll check. That this is why it would take banks longer for our direct deposit would be in our accounts. 

Which doesn't make sense.

How does a bank differentiate between a supplemental check and a regular payroll check? Money is money. If I went to the bank to deposit money into my son's account, would the bank know the difference if it was money owed for money for his birthday? Or spending money at college? Of course not. 

And if this DOE bullshit were true, why hasn't anyone seen their checks in the payroll portal? Do the banks have some magical ability to control the DOE's payroll portal? Doubtful. 

And we should trust the UFT when it comes to the upcoming change to Joe Namath's Medicare Advantage (Read more about this on Norm's blog and James Eterno's blog)? 

What would happen if a teacher who has yet to receive their retro today dies tonight? Would the teacher's family still be entitled to the retro check that should arrive tomorrow? Would the monies have to be returned? 

I appreciate that there were UFT higher ups that were proactive today on social media. In the past, it would not have happened. But Mulgrew should have been at the forefront of of speaking out. Imagine if this were the PBA. Pat Lynch would be having a conniption fit. 

But as usual, the UFT is the schlemiel (For those that are not up on their Yiddish, schlimazel is the person that spills the soup, a schlemeil is the putz the soup is spilled on.) of NYC labor unions. The City knows that it can't get over on the other unions. They know when they need to defecate on a union, on a union's membership they can turn to the us. The City know that its bullshit will be accepted. They City knows the leadership will rollover. That when the UFT screams, "Never again!" is just an empty threat and will be coming back with its tail between member's legs. 

I hope by the time I awake tomorrow morning member's will be made whole. I'm not betting on it. 



Friday, June 25, 2021

Riding Into the Sunset Of the 2020-2021 School Year

 0.0 days left. It's done. It's over. Finis. Shabbat Shalom. Peace out! I'm outta here! Yippee Kai Yay! Whoo-Ooh!

The school year is over, it is done, it is what it is. Nothing to be se here. Nothing to do. Time to ride out of town. Like Shane and the Man With No Name, my job is done. Time to move on.

Auf Wiedersehen 

Au revoir

Vaarwel 

Do widzenia 

さようなら  

And happy trails to the 2020-21 school year as I ride off into the sunset...



Thursday, June 24, 2021

Looks Like ATRs to Remain in DOE Purgatory (ONE DAY REMAINING!!)

 One day to go!

Oh, the death of the ATR pool was greatly exaggerated. That according to the Post and everyone's favorite bastion of education reporting, Chalkbeat

The plan was originally if you were placed in a school the entire year and and received either an effective or highly effect MOTP you were to be automatically placed in said school. And something about not facing discipline.

But think about it. With all the craziness of this year, with not enough teachers at the beginning of the year, or through the year, an ATR was a godsend to the principals. They needed bodies.And ATRs provided the bodies. ATRs were seen basically as useful idiots. 

But now with the supposed grand reopening of school in September the ATRs are not needed. In particular, ATRs who have been naughty and don't make wads of cash. Oh, and those ATRs with institutional knowledge. 

Why would a principal want an ATR like that in their building? We gave up our seniority transfer in 2005 because principals want control. Sometime in the last ten years, I forget, ATRs were going to be forced place and the principals and their union were up in arms. Why should things be any different this time? 

And of course nothing changes with the Post and Chalkbeat bashing ATRs. 

From the Post...

And now teachers assigned to this pool, including some who really shouldn’t be teaching at all, will be given positions back in front of classrooms.

And from Chalkbeat (Christina Vega) using six year old data...

About one in five scored one of the bottom three rankings, according to data from the 2015-16 school year, the most recent the education department has shared publicly.  

But let's give her credit where credit is due. She did get one thing correct...

Teachers in the pool also tend to be more senior, and therefore earn higher salaries, creating a disincentive for principals to hire them. 

It would have been swell if Ms Vega bothered to spend some time speaking to ATRs. But I would guess that would be to difficult. 

Fixing the ATR problem is easy. Read it right here. It can be fixed. 

Being an ATR is like being in purgatory, actually Jewish purgatory. We are not wicked. Nor or we righteous. We are good people as well as teachers who have made mistakes. And learned from mistakes. 

...whose virtues and sins counterbalance one another shall go down to Gehenna and float up and down until they rise purified; for of them it is said: 'I will bring the third part into the fire and refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried'


 


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The DOE Screws Teachers Yet Again and Mulgrew Is Silent (TWO MORE DAYS!!!!!!)

 Two days left! 

This blog post was to be about how it is still up in the air whether or not we are getting end of the year ratings. Before press time The Crack Team received the following in an email from an SBSB groupie. 

 The DOE has decided to issue final teacher ratings for this school year. In mid-June, the state Legislature approved a waiver for school districts regarding the Annual Performance Review for the 2020-21 school year, but it recently amended the legislation to give individual school districts the choice whether to rate teachers. The DOE decided to proceed with teacher evaluations because most of the principals had already completed their work. All observations should have been completed by June 11.

We here at SBSB are confused. We could have sworn Mulgrew implied he would fight like hell if we were to get rated. At June 14 exec board meeting Mulgrew sayeth...

Working on DOE APPR. Called City Hall. We have a pretty good agreement, but this can't just sit. On the table with DOE and need them to decide which way to go. Most principals have submitted evaluations already. Assuming since work is done, they want to move forward. We are in pretty good shape with no one being harmed.
And a week before at the June 7 exec board meeting Mulgrew regaled with...

We are expecting teacher evaluation to be waived again. Not passed yet. Thanks to everyone for staying on top of issues. 

But it's over. Even though the bill Governor Cuomo did not give districts a choice!!!!!

But not to worry folks! There is a light at the end of the tunnel. At the June 21 exec board meeting Mulgrew rolled up his sleeves and shared with the world...

DOE decided to do APPR. Above 95% HE or E before MOSL even kicks in. We will go after anyone who doesn't do this correctly. 

Them's fighting words! We know now that Mulgrew has our backs. Again. 

Just wondering why the Oneonta School District isn't giving end of year ratings. Nor is North Rockland. Or Mount Vernon. Horseheads isn't.  

But we as UFT members shouldn't be upset or disappointed Remember. We have a seat at the table. That is what matters. Our seat is at the kiddie table. Where the only attention we get is from the old auntie with the Bozo eyebrows and the Double H bosom who has a cigarette dangling from her mouth. She just stops by to squeeze our cheeks. 

That's how the DOE sees the UFT and the rank and file.


 


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

What's the Plan for September? (3 Days Remaining!! Whoo-hoo!)

 Three days left!! Whoopee! On Friday, I am going back to the videos. But rest assured two great songs by two great all time bands (Not Rush!) for the last day of school.

On to bigger and better things. 

We're not at herd immunity in neither New York State nor New York City. September is right around the corner. De Blasio has sworn that there will be in person schooling only. 

Still, what if?

What if there is a good percentage of the parents that still refuse to send their children to buildings? Approximately 750k students have been remote this year. If only half of those students return (350k) that is still a sizable number of students not in buildings. Do you force these parents to send their children to school? Will the UFT back up these parents?

Hey, I understand the fear parents would have. But there are no answers to ,"What if?" for these parents now. Heck, my son wanted to take me to the Nets game Saturday night and I was having some qualms about being in an arena of 20k people. 

What happens if there is a spike come October? What is the plan then? Just remember on 9/11 how fast parents came to schools to take their children out. What does the DOE plan to do?

And with the lack of a plan what is the plan if there ever is a big remote cohort to teach the students? I know Mulgrew mentioned wanting some type of agreement with the DOE regarding remote teaching. This remains to be seen. 

Are schools still going to have the three foot rule? Must students be vaccinated to come to school? What about parents? To enter school must they be vaccinated as well? I know at my son's college and all SUNY campuses students must be vaccinated.

What about in school testing? Will that still be done?

It's time the UFT in conjunction with the DOE share worst case scenario, or rather, any and all plans for the safe return to school buildings come September 2021.

Monday, June 21, 2021

EXCLUSIVE! UFT Members to be Made Whole For Spring Break (And....4 Days Left!!!)

 Four more days left.

But, I digress 

The Crack Team has been on top of the whereabouts of monies owed teachers due to spring break 2020 being ripped away from us. However, The Crack Team are very impatient group and they decided not to wait till July 1 but rather they took matters into their own hands. They traveled 6 weeks ahead in time Yes, you read that right. Using a proprietary time travel method that was create in SBSB labs, The Crack Team has returned with the MOA. Exclusive to this blog only, it will be known what our union agreed to. 

1. Full restitution will be made to each and every UFT member. 

2. Full restoration will be made only to  UFT members who have been in service since January 1, 2010.

3. Full restitution will be made in 10 payments stretching over 14 years. Each payment will also have a deduction of 10% to allay the costs incurred by the DOE and the City.

4. An across the board $20 payment will be immediately paid to each and every eligible teacher. Then full payments in 2024, 2027, 2029, 2031-2036. 

5. To make up those who quit, were terminated or died and lost out on their retro checks such members will enjoy full restitution this time. It is only if you retire you won't be made whole.

6. Each teacher will receive two coupons, each $15 percent off, for Denny's.

Now, in the report from The Crack Team states that the city originally just offered the coupons for Denny's. Mulgrew was thisclose to agreeing, but he had to be talked out of it. However, when everything else was agreed upon, he still held out for the Denny's coupons. For those of you who are fans of Denny's remember this; Mulgrew had your back. 

The Crack Team found that those who retire not being eligible for restitution was just a judgement call.   However, off the record, The Crack Team was told by someone deep inside the UFT for retirees to just fake their own deaths and they will still collect. 

The Crack Team though did overhear the UFT discussing this deal and overheard...

"We made a great deal. It could have been worse. At least we had a seat at the table."

Maybe Spock is wrong? Can the space- time continuum can be changed?


Sunday, June 20, 2021

Next for the ATRs?...Oh, 5 DAYS LEFT!!!

Five days left! We are in the home stretch. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Praise be. 

So ATRs are going to be teachers again. That's nice. But there are some issues. 

As for me I have been an ATR since December 2015. That 6 1/2 years. What training have I had on the latest reading, writing, and math curricula? It's more or less been some perfunctory gesture of administration, mostly on Monday afternoons. The big training, being sent somewhere on PD days or huddling with someone from Teacher's College, well never happened for me. And I am sure there are other ATRs in the same boat. 

Even if we have had sufficient training, when have we had the time to utilize such training? We aren't in a position long enough nor even a school long enough. We are not up on the latest year to year. We aren't even in the same school year to year. 

I used to pay for my son every winter for catching lessons. It helped because he was able to utilize what he was taught. But if he played right field would those catching lessons help him? Or if he played right field and had to catch a game, would he not be rusty or not acclimated to what he had been taught? 

It's the old, use it or lose it approach. 

But we will hear, "You have the same rights as every teacher in the school for PD." I have in the past asked to be included in specific PD's.  However, I was told, "We can only afford X amount of teachers to attend the PD," or something to that effect. And, if we cause a ruckus about not being able to participate then we get targeted. ATRs do there job and they do it they best that they can under really complex conditions. But, ATRs want to stay below the radar. It's a fact. 

Now, about this "forced placement." I understand, it's in the contract, the DOE can do it. But just because something can be happen, doesn't mean it should be happen. 

It's funny, since when does the DOE believe in the sanctity of the contract? Time after time the DOE picks and chooses what it will and will not honor in the contract, so why can't the UFT use this to ATRs advantage?

This announcement a few weeks ago didn't happen in a vacuum. And it didn't happen without the UFT knowing about it beforehand. Can't  the DOE in conjunction with the UFT work with each teacher (Say those who have been ATRs for five plus years) and together to find a good fit for the school and the ATR. It would be a win win situation. Everyone is happy, every gets something. 

Instead, ATRs are thrown blindly back into society without any say or possibly eroded skills. This is like after doing 45 years in prison. You leave with a suit and $25 and told, "Good luck, you're own your own, deal with it." ATRs don't even get to fill out a preference sheet! We can have a life long first grade teacher thrown into teaching 6th grade math. Does that make sense?

Oh let's not forget the old, "Well, you are a common branch teacher. You have a license which means you can teach 6th grade math even though you have taught 1st grade for 20 years." Blah, blah, blah. Yeah, that's true. But when I decided to have my shoulder replaced, I went to a shoulder specialist, not a proctologist. Yes, both are licensed medical doctors under the State of New York, but only one has the experience and ability to replace my shoulder. Same with attorneys. 

And how will principals feel upon being forced an ATR they had no say about invading their building? Particularly mature teachers with many years in the system making a lot of money with institutional knowledge? How fast will ATRs be written up for failing to put the toilet seat down in the co-ed staff restroom?

What is the mechanism that will prevent undue harassment upon ATRs in schools they are not wanted? One, of course, is taking advantage of what the open market offers, but we know how well open market works (Sarcasm).

It sure would be swell if the UFT can have some type of meeting for ATRs before this big change takes place. There are many, many questions to be answered.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Fun With Danielson Observation. (And a Blog Post Without a Video or Lyrics or Forced Metaphors and There are 6 Days Remaining)

 OK, I heard it and I will stop. No more videos. No more lyrics. No more forced allegories. But the days will still be counted down! 

The Crack Team heard you and I apologize. We hear at SBSB wish to thank those that filled took the time to share what they thought of the blogging the last few weeks. 

So today's topic? The continuing fallacy of Danielson. We were told this is good. That administration will be more accountable. But, and this is why Danielson is so easy to get around for certain administrators. People do and will lie. Pathologically. 

My lesson, which the top teacher in the school assisted me with, was reading Spoon by Amy Krause Rosenthal. Better, it was direct from Into Reading right smack off the DOE's website. The objective was...

Demonstrate understanding of key ideas and details in a text by asking and answering questions. 

So far, so good. 

I got ineffective for strand 3c for, ready for this? That after asking a question and getting my responses in return I would model and show in the text how one found the answer.

It was noted...

"For example, when the students struggled to provide an answer, the teacher encouraged them to go back and lift the text."

I give up. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.  Is this not what I stated in the lesson plan. Is this not what I have heard for years about drilling the students to go back in the text to help them? /facepalm

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Seven Days Remaining For ATRs...No More Looking Back

 Even though The Kinks are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame I have always thought they have never truly gotten their due. If you think about it it The Kinks were at the forefront of Heavy Metal and if you look at their early seventies stuff one might even say the preceded Bowie with all that glam and glitter. 

One of my favorite albums of theirs is "Schoolboys in Disgrace." And one song from that album has some lyrics that really hit home for me, that I feel about this school year and moving forward is "No More Looking Back." 

No more looking back, No more living in the past, Yesterday's gone and that's a fact, Now there's no more looking back. Got to be hard, Yeah, look straight ahead. That s the only way it's going to be

Next year is a new chapter, a new beginning, now more than ever. Just from a personal standpoint that I was not happy with certain things this year at my school. There is now nothing I can do about it. I realize that and I accept it. There are also many positive things about the school I was at this year but sometimes it just best to ride off into the sunset. 

It's also the end of ATRs as we know it. It's going to be a brave new world out there for us. There is a lot of anxiety out there for us. We don't know where we are going or what we will be doing. It would sure be swell if the UFT would have some type of virtual meeting with us. But I understand, after listening to Mike Mulgrew at the DA today, that there are lots of other stuff going on. I know they don't have all the answers now, but sometimes just touching base show caring and acknowledging our feelings. 

But we as ATRs must look ahead and not to the past. We need to go forward. It's just easier to go forward than just spinning our wheels or looking backwards. 

In a perfect world the UFT, the ATRs, and the DOE should have worked together to find everyone a good fit.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Eight Days Remaining...Working Them Angels

 Keith Olberman once commented the first time he was fired by ESPN...

"Happiness is seeing Bristol in your review mirror...."

For me, on June 25th I will feel like Keith but only using the words of ("Workin' Them Angels," Rush, 2007 "Snakes and Arrows" CD)...

Driving away to the east, and into the past/History recedes in my rear-view mirror

What a trippy year. Observation wise that is. 

I'm with three teachers, three different classes, and two grades. All were remote. When do I get observed? May 10. A informal observation. My first day with that class was May 4. So of course my informal is first thing in the morning of my fifth day with the class. 

Oh, let's not forget it was the first time I was ever observed using Danielson.

Fast forward to last Monday, June 7. I was told what I would be teaching. Something I hadn't taught in over 20 years. But my co-teacher is one of the best teachers in the school and got a lot of assistance for which I shall be eternally grateful. It was a darn good lesson. How'd I do? How is a 45 minute window supposed to rate me for the entire year? How is a 15 minute window with students I barely know a microcosm for the entire year? 

I know one teacher that started of in person, was switched around a few times, then went remote and switched around a few times more. How can this teacher be rated?

How can Danielson be used this school year? Oh yeah, observers can only rate on what they see, not what they see. Guess what? People lie. People lie big. It happens. It's systemic. 

Let's see if we are getting end of year ratings. 


 


 

 

Monday, June 14, 2021

Nine Days Remaining...Revolution 9

Nine days remaining. Nine days remaining. Nine days remaining. Nine days remaining. 

Get, it? A little play on Revolution 9. Haha. 

I was 16 when Jon Lennon was assassinated.  I, like many others, were told of this by Howard Cosell. I was watching the Patriots-Dolphins game that Monday night when Cosell had to seek attention and be the one to share it. 

There are many cool things about the school I am at. Please remember, I have nothing against the school. It's just believe that it is not the right fit for me. But one cool thing is they have had the "John Lennon Education Bus" visit in the past. I would love to be there if it ever returns but that doesn't seem like it would happen. 

Wouldn't it be great if we can instead of turning all our students into test taking drones look towards John Lennon and teach them how to think independently? To shower them with art and music? Let them explore more of the world than what they know? 

In my 25 years of teaching I have seen so many creative students. Whether it comes from art, music, words, or speech. How can these students break free when we stop teaching in January to prepare them for some inane test, which the last two years have shown to be irrelevant? 

How can teachers get the best out of every students with the sword of Danielson a millimeter from their throat? All we hear is differentiate, blah, blah, blah, but there is no differentiating. Our students are force fed curriculum that doesn't jibe to their current life or knowledge. We don't give the students to learn and grasp the world their way. We all just shuffle them through the same path of standardized testing just so some yutz at Tweed can feel good about themselves. 

Let's give them the John Lennon treatment. Let them be different. Think different. 

As for Revolution 9. I still don't get it, but it is different. And that's cool.  


Saturday, June 12, 2021

Three Questions for the UFT

My dad always said, "You can always ask, the worse answer you'll get is no." He was very wise. So I'm going to ask.

Having said that, I have three questions for the UFT. I am not going to editorialize or add extraneous information to the questions. I do not know if others are thinking the same as me, all I know is I am only speaking for myself. 

Question #1 (Multi-part): Now that ATRs will be placed does this mean that principals have no say? If so, is there not a chance that principals will be quick to drum up accusations, charges, false stories on ATRs? Is there any mechanism to prevent this? 

Question #2: There has yet to be an official announcement from the UFT regarding Governor Cuomo's signing a bill stating that there will be no ratings this year. Other unions in the rest of the state of notified their membership as well as a release by NYSUT. Are there any updates? 

Question #3: Are there any updates to share on being made whole financially for giving up our spring break in April 2020?

Thank you for your time.


Friday, June 11, 2021

Ten Days Remaining...Say Goodbye to Hollywood

 In the September of 1981 Billy Joel released a live album of his more obscure songs, "Songs in the Attic." The release also coincided with the beginning of my senior year. That June in yearbooks across the country, and at least in Westchester County (including my HS girlfriend)chose the following quote from "Say Goodby to Hollywood..."

So many faces in and out of my life/ Some will last /Some will just be now and then/ Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes/ I'm afraid it's time for goodbye again

Its time for goodbye again to yet another school. And there have been so many teachers faces in the last 5 1/2 years I have been an ATR. 

But more importantly, there have been so many students faces. And this year that's all we saw, their faces. 

I know this remote teaching was put together at the last minute. But I have seen and heard a lot of great things. I think there are plenty of students who for the first time got to be heard in a class. There weren't the behavior problems that we have become so accustomed to. Students who have had a hard time in the past staying focused and staying still in an overcrowded classroom were finally able to have the tranquility they have so desperately wanted so they can learn. 

This year I had been with three different classes and worked with fantastic students. I enjoyed so much working with these students in small groups all day which we would never be able to do if we were in person. 

I worked with a few decent teachers and one great teacher, This great teacher worked with miracles with her students. Her students were not only sharp as whip but tech savvy as well. By the way, we are going to have a generation of really tech savvy kids. Starting with next year's third graders. 

But the students of this class responded to their teacher. They did their assignments. There were enthusiastic to learn. They grew! Emotionally and academically. This is something AARP and Danielson can't show. 

But alas, like Shane left little Joey alone I must to ride off into the sunset. 


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Eleven Days Left...Solsbury Hill

 Eleven days left. This hasn't been a bad school year, just really different. And strange. But let's not get into the negative. These blog posts counting down the days are about feeling good, about being happy, and about moving on. 

Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel was his goodbye to Genesis. In fact, The Crack Team researched the song more and for those who didn't know the hill is in Batheaston in Somerset, England. One day when I get to the UK I will visit this hill and feel the freedom that Peter Gabriel sung about.

Peter Gabriel said about the song...

"It's about being prepared to lose what you have for what you might get ... It's about letting go."

And not letting go in a bad way in my opinion. It's just time to move on. And it is time to move on to my next school. Someone said I hated it there. Nope. Just not a good fit. It's like the difference between buying a suit at Barney's as opposed to Sears. 

Their are parts of the song the so resonate with me, what I am feeling now.  

Eagle flew out of the night /He was something to observe/ Came in close, I heard a voice /Standing stretching every nerve/ Had to listen had no choice I did not believe the information/ (I) just had to trust imagination /My heart going boom boom boom /"Son," he said "Grab your things, I've come to take you home.

I am ready for the trip, I am ready for to be taken by the eagle to guide me but also let me know that change is not only good but everything will be alright. That'll I'll be safe. 

And that is what we all want. To feel safe. It is a big thing for me. Just because I don't feel safe with a person or a place does not mean that I don't like that person or place, but it's just how I feel. Simple. 

For all my bluster on these pages the last 13 years I'm an introvert at heart.Yeah, I know it does not seem that way, but I am. But sometimes moving on from a school is a good thing. 

"Hey" I said "You can keep my things, they've come to take me home." 

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Twelve Days Left

Ah, today's school day is over. At lunch the perfect song came to me for today. Xanadu by Rush (Yeah, I know, but it's not going to be all Rush videos for the next two weeks).

Xanadu as on 1977's album A Farewell to Kings (By the way, Primus will be on tour starting in August playing AFTK in it's entirety). It was also on 1981's live album Exit...Stage Left. I like the song better live than the studio version. When I saw Rush in 2004 at Radio City Alex Lifeson pulled out his double neck and it was just awesome. They only play half the song in this 2004 version.

So why did I pick Xanadu? As many Rush fans know Neil Peart did not like touring. This was a long tour and the official DVD was shot in Frankfurt, Germany. Neil wanted the tour to end. That's why at 1:14 into the video you see Alex and Neil eyeball each other and both hold up two fingers. Two days to go on the tour. Or two more shows? I forget. 

Yes, I know 12 days left not 2, but I feel how Neil felt 17 years ago. 

But I went over the lyrics and some words struck me about the upcoming end of the school year. 

To break my fast on honey dew
And drink the milk of Paradise..."

...time has passed me by
Stars stopped in the sky
Frozen in an everlasting view

Weary of the night
Praying for the light

Enjoy the video.... 


And for those who wish to see entire song, this is from 2015 r40 tour 


 

 

  


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Thirteen Days Left

 I am in a darn good mood today. I just found officially that there will be no ratings for this year! Have a look here. And, best of all. There are 13 days left for me in at my school. 

So I am going to switch gears. No more snarky sarcastic posts. I am going to have some fun. How so? Music! Actually music videos that for me represent the last 13 days of this wacky, different, never before seen 2020-2021 school year. 

Of course we need an intro and ho better than Gob Bluth to start us off. 

The Final Countdown

Thank you Gob for the introduction. 

Next up Prime Mover by Rush. 

I love this verse with a passion. We leave our school every June only to come back in September. But we don't return. We are continuing our journey.

From the point of entry /Until the candle is burned/The point of departure/Is not to return/Anything can happen 

 


Saturday, April 24, 2021

Student's Speech Needs Ignored By Administration

 My balls are being busted by the scheduler because there was an ambiguity in the schedule. Instead of trying to work together to clear up the matter I was brought in with my chapter leader. But what to do with an administrator that fails to heed to the unambiguous need of a child when brought to that administrator's attention? A need that really hit home for me. 

From the age of about 4 1/2 to about 8 I was in private speech therapy. I was told that when I was about 2 3/4 I stopped speaking when my brother was born and didn't start up again until about 4 1/2. But I remember my mom driving me to the speech therapists office once a week from Flushing into Manhattan and then from Westchester into Manhattan. 

I had a whole bunch of issues. I recall that from 1st grade to 3rd grade I was always put in the lowest reading group at the beginning of the year. I would assume it would be because of my "marble mouth" and after a few weeks put in the top reading group. This even after the speech therapist told my mom I would not ever be a good reader. 

But I am fine now. Mostly. I have trouble with back to back words with similar sounds if I go to fast and I still have the lisp. It's much less noticeable now. What really decreased the lisp was more the braces than the speech therapy. But the lisp could be an advantage. In college I met this girl and she said, "Oh, you lisp, that's so cute!" 

And that is why I am empathetic to Joe Biden. Years ago I was told by a friend who was a speech therapist that she could tell I had speech therapy. I asked why and she said that she noticed that when I have trouble pronouncing a word I revert back to what I was taught as a child.

Enough about me. This student, (henceforth known as Boba Fett) who was new to me in February I noticed that Boba had an articulation issue. It was obvious. In my non-professional opinion it was something quite correctable as was my son's back when he was in 1st grade.  

Was it hindering Boba's learning? Boba is on grade level for reading. Could it in the future? You never know. Can being teased and ridiculed count as effecting learning? Can poor self esteem count as effecting learning? Yes, to all the questions. 

In my scheduling meeting with The Scheduler I brought this up. I saw The Scheduler write the information that was given and told me that this would be shared with the appropriate staff member and it'll be looked into. To the best of my knowledge, it hasn't. 

Boba Fett's language at home is Spanish. I do not know if an articulation issue in English transfers into another language and vice versa. 

But look at The Scheduler's priorities. I am shat upon for an unambiguous schedule why is concern about a child in which there is no ambiguity ignored by The Scheduler? Take responsibility. Be proactive. At the very least if Boba Fett did not meet the guidelines for in school speech therapy, one can be rather certain that Boba Fett's parents could have been referred to any number of well qualified outside agencies.

A manager at McDonald's is held to a higher standard than The Scheduler.


Friday, April 23, 2021

The UFT Syncs Up With The Godfather Movie

 For the last month or so Showtime has been showing Godfather Parts I and II as well as the reformatted version of Godfather III. Coppola moved some scenes around and added some scenes to Three which made the story easier to follow. However, I still cringe every time Sofia Coppola is on screen.

But I love the opening scene of The Godfather. The scene is so well written and performed it got me to thinking. What if Bonasera was not an undertaker? What if Bonasera's daughter were to be a teacher? What if it weren't 1945 but rather, 2021? What happens when you mix chocolate and peanut butter? What happens when you mix the UFT and the Godfather? You get a sync of some sorts. 

I can't believe I have to put the following disclaimer, but I know if I don't there will be a few that do not understand parody and satire. So here goes:

In no way, shape, or form are myself nor The Crack Team denigrating Italian-Americans. The Crack Team and myself are also not advocating any violence whatsoever. In the same vein if we here at SBSB did a mash up of the UFT and the Wrath of Khan it would not be as if we advocating space travel, the stealing of the Genesis device, hijacking a Federation ship, or leaving UFT officers marooned on Ceti Alpha 5.

Thank you for your understanding. Have a good giggle.

Bonasera: I believe in teaching and teacher unions. Teaching and teacher unions have given me a comfortable lifestyle. And I raised my daughter to be a proud teacher and a proud UFT member. I gave her freedom but I taught her never to dishonor the profession or the UFT. She found a "principal," not an educator, but TFA at a good elementary school. She worked hard for him and the students. She came early and stayed late. I didn't protest. Two months ago it started, the observations, the letters to file, with with the help of another administrator. They gave her U ratings and lied in their evaluations of her. Lied in the discipline letters. She fought back. She kept her honor. So they denied her tenure. Like an animal. When I went to the her apartment her soul was broken. Her eyes were filled with tears.. She couldn't even eat because of  how sad she was. But I wept. Why did I weep? She was the light of my life. A great teacher. Now she will never be able to teach again. 

I went to the UFT, like a good teacher. These two administrators were reported by my daughter. The UFT did nothing! Gave her bad advice. Nothing! I stood at 52 Broadway like a fool, and those two bastards, continued harassing other teachers. Then I said to my wife, "For justice, we must go to the  Don Corleone UFT Caucus." 

Don Corleone UFT Caucus: Why did you go to the UFT? Why didn't you come to us first?