There are a few things for which I am grateful each and every day: family, friends, the critters, good health. In addition to these incredibly important, yet fairly typical things, I am constantly reminded how grateful I am that I am no longer a public school teacher.
From a recent episode of This American Life, I learned about "the Rubber Room," a sort of Kafkaesque holding pen for NYC public school teachers who are awaiting disciplinary hearings. They report here for the workday, and sit, doing absolutely nothing -- sometimes for months or even years. It is not required that they be told the charges against them.
Some of these teachers clearly should not be allowed back in the classroom, but some people are there on dubious charges, and some merely had personality conflicts with school administrators. Though the BOE won't discuss it, it is estimated that somewhere between 600-900 teachers are currently assigned to these facilities.
Five Boroughs Productions is currently making a documentary about it -- here's the trailer.
UPDATE: Ugh. As if I needed another reason to be grateful. Sure, my institution's materials budget may have been cut by 75% for the remainder of the fiscal year, but at least my job is safe.