I wrote an elaborate entry about the politics at my school right now, but then I hit “reload” by accident, and deleted it.
Suffice it to say, some rumors are accurate: the head of the reading department resigned. Her reasons for doing so are still murky, but I now have two working theories. The first is that she was denied off-campus housing, and was thereby irritated. The second is that her department was likely to be merged with the English department at the end of the school year, and she didn’t want to be around for that.
Said merger and aquisition now may happen this year. So much for a colleague’s suggestion that I be appointed to the post in her place. Ben, you may be teaching vocabulary this year in addition to your usual program. Sorry.
My big concern is that there is a curious synergy here. If the reading department goes away, that means that every period becomes five to ten minutes longer. It also means that four teachers will be underemployed. The school has sixteen sections spread across its five grades, usually; teachers usually teach four classes each. Thus, four teachers suddenly have no classes, or several have fewer classes than normal.
There is another situation concerning another area of school life. We have approximately one hundred boarders this year, and about sixty day students. Day students pay considerably less than boarders, for obvious reasons of housing, health, and food. We have about a hundred and thirty beds in six dormitories. If we closed down two buildings, the two smallest dormitories, we could save the heating, water and electrical costs associated with those two structures. Curiously enough, this would also free up — four teachers. Each dormitory has to have a primary dorm parent and a relief parent. Closing two buildings thus involves saving not only operating costs, but salaries as well. These are potentially the same salaries that could be saved by shutting down the reading department.
I find myself curious about how this will play out. Earlier this summer, I was told that I would teach a history class, an English class, and two public speaking classes. Recently I learned I might lose the history class in favor of a reading class. With reading classes going or gone, genuine reading teachers will scramble to teach classes in the English department. I would thus be left with two rhetoric classes meeting twice a week which I don’t care about, and “two other classes to be determined at a later date”. Given that Faculty Orientation starts week after next (sept 6) and school starts September 11, I wonder if there will be any other classes at a later date to offer.
In other news,
is my current wordcount for my RPG project. It’s going well; if anything I’m worried about not having enough words to do all that I need to do. Right now I’m statting up stuff that I have no business statting up. If they don’t like my numbers they’ll have to change them, themselves. I’m a describer, not a mathematician.
So why did I offer to teach algebra today? Oh, yeah. Flexibility in the face of unprecedented change.