Shaddup Already!


Of course

This has been my fall break so of course I've been sick.

My first problem was when I made the oh-so-mature decision to schedule an evilly long dental appointment during my break so that I wouldn't have to take a day off. I should have known better, really.

So Tuesday, I was at the dentist from 10:30 until 2:30, most of that time spent with my mouth open. The good news is that I no longer have an amalgam filling in my entire head. Regardless of which side the medical community is on in the mercury debate this week, I'm glad to have all that deadly metal gone.

My lingering head-coldishness hit me full force on Wednesday and I've been sleeping ever since. All the sudden, I wake up and it's Friday.

Now Friday is generally a day to rejoice for the upcoming weekend, but not when it's the Friday of your week-long break. Where the hell did the week go? Oh yeah, it went to massive doses of Tylenol and Benadryl.

I got my A++ bonus in my paycheck this week. First of all, explain this A++ crap to me. Jebbie screws up with the A+ plan and so he adds another +. How ludicrous is that? Seriously. If he expects the utmost quality from pre-programmed automatons teachers and subservient drones students, then don't we have a right to expect excellence from the antichrist governor?

Alrighty, back to the bonus, as a person living on a fixed income, I am thrilled to receive any extra money. However, as a teacher, I'm appalled at the amount of money that is spent on these bonuses. Let's look at it, shall we?

I work in a school with just about 150 teachers. Let's assume that 125 of those were at the school last year, so they are eligible for the bonus. The bonus turned out to be just about $1500. That's each, my little pupils, each. That's a figure of $187,500. We haven't even looked at the partial bonuses received by support staff and those teachers who went to other schools in our districts.

Make no mistake about it, I'm thrilled to receive my $900 (after taxes), but think about what all that money could buy. And frankly, it's not the high-performing schools that need the money. I think about my classroom right now. I have four computers. One is mine that the students can't use. One doesn't work at all, one works so slowly that a child logging on could conceivably graduate high school before they could get anything productive done. One works okay.

My principal wants us to use all these Internet resources with the kids. She doesn't want us to use Internet resources to plan lessons, she wants the kids on certain programs on a regular basis.

We have one computer lab and the media center has 30 computers. I did mention that there are approximately 150 teachers at my school, right? That means, if I'm lucky, pay the right people and sleep with the rest, I might be able to schedule some lab time for my class once in 2009. I guess that's pretty regular.

So we go back to the bonus money. All the middle schools in my district got bonuses, most of the elementary schools got bonuses and a few of the high schools did. The productive things we could do with that money to help struggling schools is staggering. They're throwing money in all the wrong places.

Hey, I have a novel idea, pay teachers like the professionals we are, take away a skewed, one-sided means of evaluation and give schools the support they need. Who knows? Something that outrageous could work.

I beg, beg, beg, beg, beg of my Florida readers; do NOT vote for Charlie Christ Crist. Think about it, he's had so long to screw up the state and he's taken every opportunity as the Education Commissioner and Lieutenant Governor. Don't give him complete reign to screw us up further.

Vote for Jim Davis.

If for no other reason, we could have a governor with the same name as the Garfield creator. How cool would that be?

*Disclaimer: I choose who receives my votes based on where they stand on certain issues. I back Davis because I agree with his agenda for education. However, if you want to vote because you have a fond memory of an orange kitty cartoon, I'm okay with that.*

Help end world hunger