The following report was filed by Thomas Forbes, a teacher who is becoming a NYCATR regular.
This week had me spending time at Eleanor Roosevelt High School (the DOE's name is Upper East Side High School). It is located at 76th near 1st Ave.
Most of the time I have been sitting in the library or study hall, or checking kids' names on a list to see if they have to pay for lunch.
I have not been in a school like this since the late 70's when I was in high school. Students have lockers, which they do not lock; they leave their umbrellas in the hallway to dry off, and they left their book bags unattended when school pictures were taken. No students are hanging in the hallways, wearing hats, sagging their pants half way to their knees or carrying cellular phones out where we can see them. It is amazing to see kids sitting around and talking about their classes and assignments.
I have become so warped after working so long in these completely dysfunctional schools, I did not realize any more that you can be a teacher today rather than a full-time disciplinarian.
Alas, I am waiting for 2:00 PM today to see where I will be going next week. In the meantime, I am trying to figure out a strategy on how to deal with a principal who is running a horrible school and then blames the teachers.