“It’s On The Calendar, Of Course.”

So many awkward meetings, so little time in class.

The title of today’s post comes from an often said statement on campus about various meetings. It is just as often untrue, due to lack of planning, which is frustrating.

Tuesday featured a Professional Development Schedule, which shortens the day. That time )which is intended to be used on lesson planning and content creation) was, as has been the constant for the year thus far, thrown away on a WASC activity. All of these activities are fundamentally worthless, since they don’t drive any kind of instruction. Instead, they are a kind of bureaucratic apologism that is intended to “crowd source” the various documents that will be needed for the people who visit our campus.

Once that was done, we had a Faculty Meeting.

After hours Faculty Meetings have some pretty clear contractual rules attached. They need to be announced 24 hours in advance, with an agenda, and the opportunity for Faculty members to submit and/or propose agenda items. Suffice it to say, that this didn’t happen. When I walked in on Tuesday, it wasn’t even on the “Calendar,” and when the item was posted (at 8:36 AM the same day) there was no agenda.

I mentioned this to our Union Rep. He in turn spoke to the principal, in front of him, who straight up lied to his face. “It was on the Calendar since Sunday,” was the direct quote. We called over the union rep, and showed him the time of the file’s creation on screen, and he just shrugged.

This is pretty much why I fail to trust UTLA. This was a legit breach of contract, that forced me to work additional hours at no further pay. The representative wasn’t interested at all in pursuing it, though. Instead, he stood up (he apparently got an agenda item) and spoke at length about he he needed our support for the probable strike. It was a rambling speech, involving paranoia about the district being broken up by a monopoly, all at the behest of some murky “moneychangers.”

After that, the principal came in. He had a whole lot to go on about, much of consisting of scheduled PR events for the school, designed to make it (and him) look better. Of course, that happened after the “shout outs.” Apparently a television station is coming to our school on the 2nd, and will be doing a series of small spots (a minute or so each), showcasing all of the “great things we are doing.” Apparently, no one mentioned to him that my students wrote a @#$%ing book, because it got neither a “shout out” nor any minutes on television.

I had mixed emotions about that. I didn’t really want any “respect” from him, and definitely don’t want to feed some kind of Public Relations Monster. Still, it mildly rankled that such a major achievement came together so quickly, and there was actually NO awareness of it. Or maybe there was.

I say that because one of my main contributions to the meeting, which I reluctantly put forth, was immediately contradicted by him. It was in an excessively passive aggressive way, which always irks me. I can imagine a world where he has been told by some administrator about what I’ve done in class, and am doing…and simply easier forgotten it, or ignored it because it came from me.

That meeting went on for an hour. An hour past the first meeting, which was an hour and fifteen minutes.

That’s two classes, and then some, that I could have taught. For the month of October, easily three whole school days have been lost to meeting time, if not more.

I stopped keeping track. It was depressing, and did not seem to warrant a “shout out.”

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