leaving for GVA

in 3 days, on Friday evening, i'll depart the good ole USA for my new home in Geneva, Switzerland for 3 weeks. I haven't traveled outside of the country in years, since 1998, unless you count the tiny islands off Puerto Rico, back in 2005, but that's still a commonwealth of the USA.

the program that i'm participating in is called the Global Program and i'll be getting a 2nd masters in education with a concentration in global education technology. right up my alley. i'll get to visit the United Nations and people from the International Labor Organization, Red Cross, and so on.

there are 18 other students in my class. i'm nervous, excited, scared, and amazed all at once.

and d got me an awesome new camera to take really really sweet photos with.



current events

looks like mr. mulgrew might have some competition. eterno sounds like a good guy, not content with the status quo. it will be interesting to see if he can gain some recognition and rise up from underdog status. i'm willing to help.

another noteworthy piece about nyc schools losing out on federal funding because teacher tenure is not based on students' academic performance. and we all thought obama was a liberal in terms of education. makes me pine for kucinich.

where's the island of the hippies i'm so depserately seeking?


summer in the city

now that summer is officially here, and the rain seems to have trickled off for a few days, the insomnia has not kicked in yet, and i have gathered most of my thoughts to regurgitate here.

1. i moved to a new email address. makes logging in here kind of annoying, dealing with heaps of spam to delete, though i could just ignore it, i feel like some type of maintenance is obligatory. let me know if you'd like the new one.

2. the statement, 'less is more' does not ring true for me. i believe more is more. and adversely, less is well, less.

3. i'm leaving the country for 3 weeks in 10 days. first time out in many, many years. will be based in geneva, but hopefully will be able to explore a bit of france, spain, germany, and/or italy.

4. found out i will be teaching 24 periods a week next year. i know, the sarcastic 'poor baby' is playing through your mind right now, but it basically means all of the other tech things that were formerly done in 7 periods a week will now be squeezed into two. inventory, repairs, trainings, collaboration, tech requests, equipment updates, the yearbook, open lab hours, will no longer happen in timely manner, all for the sake of not hiring a drama teacher. i don't mind to teach more, that's why i'm there, but if administration thinks i can do what i did in 280 minutes a week in 80, they're going to learn pretty quick that i don't work that way. i was shouted at when i pointed this out in an informal meeting.

5. an old colleague pointed out to me that my position is posted on the open market. i verified, and indeed it is. after a few nervous hours, i got in touch with the payroll secretary and found out that it's all a glitch due to someone's maternity leave paperwork getting screwed up. i'll admit i was imagining what it would be like to be excessed, having to report to some central facility each day, until a position becomes available. i like my classroom though, and i wouldn't want to be away from it.

6. i'm planning on building a reward center this year, which will include beanbag chairs, or some type of cushioney space on the floor where kids can do their work from when they show that they've been focused and productive. it might become unmanageable with 12 different classes though. i'll have to figure out how to introduce it and structure the system.

7. even though mayoral control expired, everything is still pretty much the same as before. we now have a board of ed, like old times, and it's looking like with the departure of uft leader, randi, we'll be looking at some stalematery in terms of a new contract. we did just get back our pre-labor day days, which was nice, and they cut a day off the kids' calendar by putting them back in school a day later, but it's looking like the teachers' union will follow suit with the police, and lower the starting salary and benefits for incoming new teachers so that the older ones can continue to receive the same benefits we've been getting. nothing is certain until it is, and i'm sure there'll be huge headlines about all that.

8. i'm headed off to geneva to take 3 more classes towards my 2nd masters. i'm thinking a lot about what i'll do with it, and if i want to continue teaching in the city after i'm done. i keep thinking about DC, philly, the pacific northwest, canada, europe, and israel. maybe in august i'll have a better sense of the future.

that's it for now.