A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Of coffeepots and kings...

A Sour Apple Grimace to the Grinches behind this idea. In yet another show of disdain for teachers, the St. Paul, Minnesota school district is now expecting teachers to pay a fee for having electrical devices such as refrigerators, microwaves, or hotpots in their classrooms:
In announcing the policy last week, interim Superintendent Lou Kanavati described the $25 per appliance annual fee as one in a series of steps to save money. He said the district's energy costs this year could exceed $6 million -- far more than the $3.6 million officials budgeted for.

For now, the district is asking for voluntary payment, and there are no immediate plans to enforce the fee. People who pay it will get a sticker to affix to their appliance.

Still, teachers, counselors and other St. Paul school employees say they're outraged. Mary Cathryn Ricker, president of the local teachers union, said complaints are rolling in.

"I've been universally hearing from members who are frustrated at the least and insulted at the most," Ricker said. "They say, `We bring papers home to grade and we don't charge the district for electricity at home."'

Kenosha, Wisconsin has gone one better:
The school board in Kenosha, Wis., went much further, adopting a policy banning microwaves, coffee pots and food making appliances in classrooms.

Once again, had the nimrods who came up with this idea walked a mile in our shoes, they would realize that teachers have bladders the size of a competitive eater’s stomach and thirsts the size of Saturn (these two things may be related). Why? Because we are alleged “professionals” who are not allowed to go to the bathroom when the urge strikes, nor are we able to go grab a drink for our parched throats or wander to a coffeepot to tank up on life-giving caffeine whenever we feel the need. Who else in the working world (especially the white collar one) endures such conditions? This is why we have coffeepots (or in my case a hotpot for tea) and fridges. And don’t even start me on the fact that the compressor in the nearest pop machine in my building (a mere quarter mile from my room) has been frozen into a block of ice since last March, despite a plethora of pleas to fix the dadgum thing.

Then there’s our 20 minute lunch period. If we don’t bring in our food, we have to go to the cafeteria, which means we have to cut in line ahead of the students if we have a hope of actually being able to eat. And then there’s the fact that about 90% of the calories in a school lunch come from starches and fat (As stated on this school district’s food services info page: “Students, however, need more calories than do adults. The teenage boy has the greatest caloric need of any human being. The meal is designed for growing students; it may provide excess calories for adults.” Duh.) Not the type of diet for a person in a high-stress position.

**Update: The Education Wonks also have a post on this topic at their place.

Emerson said, "A man often pays dear for a small frugality." The authorities in these school districts hope to save about $100,000. What price good will?


At 11/30/05, 10:36 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Good point, and I agree completely. This may be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back.

At 11/30/05, 11:41 PM, Blogger Polski3 said...

Shoot, small appliances in the classroom. IF they wanna save some money, charge the teachers for heating their classrooms six months of the year!

On a more serious note, it is piddly crap like this that the public see and wonder what kind of people are teaching their kids that they would put up with such crap.

In the district where I teach, we are not allowed poporri (sp?) pots because some teacher left one on and IT COULD OF CAUSED A FIRE.

These rules must be generated by the people whom Dilbert's creator calls "In duh viduals" .

At 12/1/05, 4:36 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I sometimes wonder why we put up with all the crap that these idiots dream up at our expense. If they went to a local company, I'll bet they could get a $100,000 donation, great publicity for that company, and new customers for them.

What were they thinking?


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