Background: a TA wrote me a note and was trying to remind me to be loving toward my students even when I am getting frustrated (btw, I never get frustrated...ever).
"Love pactient, love is kind, we are called to love" (emphasis mine). Yes, pactient is a great word.
~P.M. (TA Period 3)
The teacher's union in our district (DVUSD #97) is rallying the teachers to picket for good faith salary bargaining. We will be picketing tonight at the DVUSD Board meeting (I have CCC or I'd be there), and tomorrow morning before school, and again after school, with schools rotating days from then on out until issues are resolved. The district has hidden numbers in the budget for next year, won't reveal them to the IBN team (the bargaining counsel of classified, certified, and district administration), and tells us there is not enough money but for a 1% raise. Other districts, mind you, have a salary schedule (where there is an incremental raise per year of experience and per specified amount of post bacheloriate education) and a percentage pay increase (normally another 1-5%) on top of that. We don't have a salary schedule anymore, and we are being told there isn't enough money but to give us all 1% as an increase. The teachers complained, some voices were heard, and the district upped that to 1.5%. This is still not enough of a raise, since there's no guaranteed salary schedule increase, and it's not ethical to withhold budgeting numbers from good faith negotiations. Not only this, but the state of Arizona overwhelmingly passed a measure a few years back titled Prop 301. Those in AZ at the time of the voting should know of it. Prop 301 was a proposition to give teachers a pay increase based on some performance hoops to jump through, but it was welcomed money as far as teachers were concerned. The only problem is the money first goes to the district to be dispersed from there. The district then gets to decide on how to distribute that amount. Our district has decided to give it's teachers only about 43% of that money (that was my latest update) when other districts are divvying out closer to 85% of that money to teachers. How is this reasonable? Would the general public, who overwhelmingly voted for this money to go to teachers, be satisfied with how DVUSD #97 is mishandling (and then misrepresenting) those monies and numbers? To top this all off (I know, that's a lot already), the district just built for itself a new building at the DO (district office) which cost over a million dollars to construct. We are a top-heavy district in need of some major oversight changes. The monies meant for teachers are being used to construct buildings and hire more administration to a district that says it honors its educators. There is too much money being used in this district for things that don't touch the lives of our students or affect their educational process in any way. Don't we even exist as an educational establishment because we are here to educate the generations to come? Aren't the students why we do what we do in the first place? Sure, those becoming teachers aren't in it for the money, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be reasonably compensated for the professional duties that we perform. In a profession mostly made up of women, should we pay teachers less because, more than likely in some minds, this is the family's second income? Just because we get holidays and the summer off from school, does that mean that we work any less during those times? Is this going to be the only profession where someone must hold an outside job just to pay the bills for the family? What do you think?
So, if you know my food preferences at all, you'll be surprised by this story (maybe not if you know my personality at all, though). Yesterday, a student in my fourth hour (the class right before my lunch) brought in a bag of home-grown habeñeros. He was giving them to other students to watch them squirm from the heat. He then asked me to make a deal with him. If I ate one, he said, he would then be quiet the entire hour (he normally is a talker). I told him that I would reverse the order: if he was quiet I would eat one. He was quiet, so I took the one he selected for me, I bit it in half, and then bit off the other half from the stem. I now know that most people would simply swallow it at that point, but not I. I proceeded to chew it up in my mouth. FIRE! I have never experienced such a flame of spice in my life (and hope to never again). The power of the wallop was so intense, it cause a gag reflex in me and I almost threw up. I held it in, happened to have some Gatorade, washed it all down (yes, I did swallow it), and then proceeded to put more Gatorade in my mouth in order to take down some of the residual heat. It didn't work that well. Thankfully, lunch was just a couple minutes after I chewed it up, so I was able to get some relief while at lunch (temperature-wise, heat makes the burning flame up worse). What helped it calm down most? Just some iced tea. Yeah, I was surprised. So, I made a deal, lived up to it, paid for it, but at least the student was quiet all hour, right?