Last spring, I was very close to throwing in the towel and retiring. I had passed the magic age of 62, and had 27 years in, so my pension would cover my living expenses. I was eligible for social security, had lived frugally, and had saved. I was in a good place financially and in a bad place emotionally, physically, and psychologically. But then they announced that there would be a Rubber Room 2, and I just had to stay to see the sequel.
I hated sitting in the Rubber Room. What a waste of life! My life. Minute by minute. I tried doing something productive--reading, writing, learning something new. It was impossible. I couldn't concentrate. It was very loud most of the time. Some people dealt with the strain by socializing loudly and constantly. Some people were clearly emotionally disturbed and acted out in very bizarre ways. (See Chaz's post of September 15, 2010)
It would have made for very interesting and even amusing blog posts, but I held off. Anything negative that I wrote would have been used against all of us: "And that's why those people are there". You can't blame this blog for the closing of the Rubber Rooms. But now that they are closed, the stories will start coming out.
And that's what I want Bloomberg, Klein, and their Slave-Minded Administrators to know. Eventually the stories will come out. Kids who are in elementary school today will one day write their dissertations about the New York City Teacher Witch Hunts and your part in it. You can try to bury what you did, but you have generated too much paper for that to be possible now. You have people like me who will dedicate the rest of their lives to collecting and dispersing it as widely as possible. Try explaining that you did it all for the good of the little children, or because you were just following orders. I want to live to see you squirm as you try to explain away your lies.
400 years later they are still writing about the Salem Witch Trials. The prosecutors are seen only as persecutors. The same thing will happen to you.
As for the UFT leadership. If there is/was collusion between the UFT and the DOE, as many believe, then that will inevitably come out too.
So as I was saying, I was seriously contemplating retirement, but then came the news that the Rubber Rooms would be closed as of June 28, and that all reassigned teachers would be re-reassigned to other locations where they would actually be given work to do. No more sitting on their asses all day doing nothing. I didn't want to miss that.
It's only been a week, but this is what has happened so far. Before the beginning of the school year, every reassigned teacher was supposed to receive a notice telling them where to show up on September 7, 2010. That didn't happen for a large, but undisclosed number of teachers.
On September 13, as other teachers were welcoming their students, we were being welcomed in various DOE administrative offices. Most of the administrators in these offices had been given very little, if any warning that we were coming. From what I have heard, all the teachers were treated with respect by administrators and workers in the new offices. However, we have been assigned to do low-level, menial jobs that have nothing to do with teaching. We are working side by side with people earning much less. Actually, they are working and we are just sitting there, waiting to be told what to do.
Many of my rubber room colleagues look back fondly on Rubber Room 1. I do not. But so far, from what I can see, Rubber Room 2 is designed to have the same purpose as Rubber Room 1 -- Teacher Abuse.
I still haven't been charged with anything. I want my charges. Paper, you know. Lies written down in black and white and signed and dated. History.