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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Like Something Out of Kafka

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.


Gwen said...

I heard this too! It's like a twilight zone--you go in and have no idea if you ever get out again. And I guess you probably can't get references to help you get a new job when you're in the Rubber Room. It sounded HORRIBLE.

Andi said...

I'm sorry, I had to read it twice because I thought I hallucinated. That's insane.

Nathan said...

Ha. I may yet get canned for "criss-cross appplesauce", "finger-power", and over use of "you're being a great listener!"

mary_m said...

Ah, "you're being a great listener." That's right up there with "good eye" and "nice hustle!"