Friday, August 31, 2007

Rolling Black-Outs and Education?

Eleven thirty-five a.m., just sat down to lunch in the cafeteria with about one hundred-eighty students and fellow teachers, and the room was suddenly plunged into darkness. As you can just imagine, the squeals and screams that erupted were deafining. Just another "CUC Rolling Blackout".

After getting them to quiet "a little", we finished lunch and went back to our already heating-up classroom. There we stayed, my students and I, trying to learn and teach in that environment until almost two p.m.. Does anyone do their best in an uncomfortable environment?

Some schools contacted CUC, found out it would be out longer than two hours, and let their students go home. We could not contact CUC, because phones are tied to power. This meant that we just had to endure. One cannot teach computer, use the overhead projector, or a Power Point presentation if the power is off. This can make teaching very dificult! It is not always easy to come up with enough creative teaching methods to fill two hours in the dark.

CUC and the schools have to find a better solution to "keep the power on" for education's sake.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Teachers / Victims ?

After a month of meetings, moving classrooms, setting up a new classroom and more than a month of problems with CUC, I'm finally able to set down and write for just me.

In a Letter to the Editor, last week, Richard A. Pierce stated that "Victims are entitled to our compassion, but not if they have chosen their own misfortune." In teaching, both on this island and off, teachers do not set themselves up to be the victims, but are becoming the victims.

The Legislature and PSS(Public School System) continue to take advantage of teachers. They take whatever teachers are willing to give to this island and to their children, without consideration of what it costs to the teacher. Teachers have to buy everything for their classroom. This year, even trash bags! What's next? Toilet Tissue? Well guess what, we are almost there!

Teachers did not go to four years of college, sometimes much more for their masters and beyond, and keep up with the latest and best practices in education, just to be taken advantage of! No! No teacher ever went into education because of the money. They go into it for the joy of sharing information with their students and seeing those "lights" go on when a student "gets it". But, enough is enough!

How can the legislature give themselves a raise, keep public access from their records, etc...? How can CUC continue to waste electricity-by putting in not one, but four cameras in customer service, by having the third floor so cold that they need to wear long sleeves to work, hire more employees-even though there is supposed to be a hiring freeze on, etc...?

But, teachers keep getting told there is NO money to hire more teachers, there is NO money to buy supplies, they have NO right to complain or question, etc...! How much more do teachers have to contribute before they are accepted as a part of the community and are treated equally?

I hope and pray that teachers here will wake up and assist ACT NOW CNMI to make working conditions better for all of us! This is as close to the forbidden word of "Union" as we will ever get. So, all teachers ACT NOW!