Is this the best we can do?

Published December 20, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I have an inherently bad attitude. I embrace this truth about myself. I try to keep it slammed down with caffeine and medication, but today it burbled to the forefront.  While I am eager to earn money and become gainfully employed and be self-supporting and all that crap there is a lot that has compromised my cherub like demeanor.

My eagerness has been compromised by the realization that after the first of the year I will be working at three part-time jobs and will still be short $12.50 of my minimum weekly revenue. (And because I have to behave in an ethical manner because I am now considered a public servant and I shouldn’t go around participating in bare knuckle brawls and/or amateur strip nights to make that extra $12.50.)

It was with this attitude I slapped a smile on my face that either said I was having another stroke or I was about to attend a four hour mandatory orientation to substitute teacher. It amazes me that they always hold these workshop things in windowless rooms lit by soul robbing fluorescent lighting.  This particular event was conducted by a guy I have known for thirty-eight years. It sure made me feel like I have done absolutely nothing with my diplomas, degrees and credentials then it occurred to me the only thing more boring than a substitute teacher workshop is GIVING a substitute teacher workshop. ( I wanted to weep for him when he told us that he had to record the voice instructions for all of the Substitute jobs in the entire system. Considering that our district operates with an at least 200 teacher deficit, that’s a  lot of  descriptions.)

The first thing that rolled all over me like onion breath on a crowded elevator was that the assistant/greeter guy did not have a firm grip on the usage of grammar in spoken English (to be fair, a good percentage of the subs didn’t either.) The second thing that I found offensive was how he fell all over the only Caucasian female in the room.

Way to go, my brother in the struggle.

We started late because a handful of folks came in a good ten minutes late. I thought this was huge inconvenience to those of us who showed up fifteen to thirty minutes early AS WAS SUGGESTED BY ALL OF THE INFORMATION WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN.

At that point my surl-ometer (that thing that controls my level of snark) was turned up to eleven.

A few things that were pointed out to us as a group

* We are not allowed to accept bribes

* I can not commit any felonies while I am employed by the school district.

*If I feel I am being sexually harassed, I am to make it clear to the harasser that I am uncomfortable with their behavior and request that they never do it again. I must then document the process and if I do not do so I may not have a case should the harassment become unbearable. (My first step intervention is a karate chop to the throat. While that would cut down on the paperwork, I suspect that would make ME the bad guy.)

* The Fraud, Waste and Abuse hotline is NOT to be used to air grievances. (We were not given the number for that one.)

And what I find most disturbing of all:

If the substitute calling system can not find anyone to accept a job in a high needs area, such as Special Ed classes that require diapering, feeding and lifting or Bilingual Education, it will start calling anyone and everyone in the system until the job is filled.

So, you see, the students that are in the most need will be taught/assisted/interacting with just anyone.

If the mere thought of that doesn’t disturb you to your very core, the next time you are in a large group of people, take a glance around. How many of them would you want teaching your child?

It was not my intention to fill everyone’s head fill with silent screams.

But now you know.

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