Conversations with Well-Intentioned People


As if the craziness of PARCC testing weren’t enough, I feel compelled to engage in this kind of conversation with people who mean well, but have no clue.

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Person: How many more days of school until SUMMER VACATION?

Me:  I have no idea.  I know there are not enough days left to finish the massive amounts of material and practice it all before testing.  We lost a lot of days due to inclement weather.

Person:  I heard that the teachers have to make up the days but not the students.

Me:  That’s correct.  Apparently the folks in the capital district can’t pay us for days we don’t work.  Then again, they can’t pay us for the days we do work either.

Person:  What do you mean?

Me:  By conservative estimation, teachers who get to school 20 minutes early and leave 45 minutes past dismissal, and work for 120 minutes on the weekends rack up 20*180 + 45*180 + 120*36 —> 16020 extra minutes of work that they don’t get paid for.  This comes out to 16020/60 —> 267 hours they don’t get paid for.  Which translates to 267/8 —> 33.375 days they don’t get paid for.  Which is more that 1.5 months of work they don’t get paid for!  This does not include all of the papers taken home at night, ball games attended, and hospital visits made to sick students.

Person:  Teachers earn a salary, they do not clock in and out.  So, you need to work until you finish, like a lawyer.

Me:  Trust me, we don’t get paid like lawyers, AND we do clock in and out in our district!  Via fingerprint!

Person:  Well, you are just dedicated, not all teachers are like you.

Me:  More teachers are like me than not.

Person:  Well, anyway, I bet you are looking forward to that long summer break!

Me:  Actually, I have two jobs in the summer.

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I will stop here, but you get the gist.  I assembled this conversation from five different conversations I have had with various well-intentioned people in the past three weeks.  If you see a teacher, the best thing to say is THANK YOU.

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