What’s that? You didn’t realize that we have duties other than teaching? Well, let me set the record straight by giving a ‘fer instance’ about what’s in my box this morning.

1) An attendance audit (12 pages) listing all of the tardies, absences etc. that are on the district computer. I’m asked to review the whole thing for accuracy and then fill in the blanks:

“I, (teacher’s name), verify that the attendance in the following Attendance Audit Report is correct and to the best of my knowledge.”

Of course, I can’t spare the 2-3 hours it would take to review every item, so I merely glance at it and sign it with the note that I can’t verify every item. Sounds Orwellian? Read on!

2) A notification that a 504 meeting will be held on Thursday for one of my students, with two pages of paperwork that I’m asked to fill out and bring with me when I attend the meeting. Though, (surprise!) the meeting is actually scheduled when I’m teaching, 7th period, so I will just fill it all out and drop in the counselor’s box.

3) A ‘homework request’ for a student who is suspended and who has a rap sheet of disciplinary log entries on the district mainframe that fills two, count ‘em, two screens since the beginning of this school year. Me, I’m glad he’s gone and don’t want him back, but since it’s requested, I’ll just go ahead and attach copies of all the work he hasn’t done in the last four weeks and send it along with an alligator clip. Actually, now that I think about it, this sounds more like Kafka than Orwell. But I digress....

4) An announcement regarding our school site’s new ‘Saturday School’ disciplinary program that goes into effect March 1st, which I am requested to read and explain to my second-period class. That’s actually time well-spent, if the administration follows through with their plan to make students accountable. We’ve been assured this program will not be another ‘Breakfast Club’, and I hope that this is so....

5) A guide on how to establish a new email account, as the district has (without explanation) dumped their old email (Groupwise) just a few days ago, and gone to Outlook Express. Me, I was able to follow the directions and catch up on the email in about five minutes. Many of my technophobic colleagues are doubtless still clueless. Anyway, I was able to go through the backlog of email in about twenty minutes, which is not too bad. Of course, who knows how many emails were lost in the transition between platforms?

6) An attendance sheet from last Friday (I had a funeral to attend), that I must now enter into my computer.

There was also some notes about the activities of ongoing program, plastic bags for the school recycling bins and a flyer from my union (the Fresno Teachers Association) about new, more user-friendly providers of dental care.

Unfortunately, not in my box is my W-2, which apparently the district will have to send out again, which required a phone call to discover. But, as you can see, there’s a good hour’s worth of work in my box today. Is that typical? No, there’s usually only 10-20 minutes of work, but it’s still stuff I have to find time for. Which is why I’m blogging about this near midnight!

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