Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Is This Reasonable, Or Petty?

I understand saving a few bucks, but what do you think of this?

Beside her desk in the rear corner sit a refrigerator and microwave that give her easy access to Lean Cuisines, water and the four colas she often drinks to make it through the day.

Schara, like some of her colleagues at Roosevelt and other schools, depends on having easy access to food and snacks since she can't leave students unattended and the teachers lounge is at least a five-minute walk from her bungalow.

But as part of a new energy policy in the Glendale Unified School District, teachers must remove most personal appliances from their classrooms.

The rule was approved as part of a broader energy policy last summer, and district officials say cutting those appliances will save $60,000 per year. The wider program has saved $2 million, the district said...

The Jurupa Unified School District recently instituted an annual fee policy that will go into effect next year: $40 for refrigerators, $10 for microwaves and $10 for coffee makers.

The Val Verde district has banned the appliances outright.

I'm not one of these teachers, but I know teachers like this:

"I teach bell to bell, I'm flying bell to bell, every day," said Pat Rabe, a math teacher at Crescenta Valley High School. "And when we don't have access to these things immediately, we don't eat"....

Like others, Rabe often spends lunch doing extra work with students in her classroom but wonders if the ban will put an end to that.

"The students ultimately are going to lose," she said. "Because a lot of times if I have to choose between eating and helping a student . . . I'm going to choose to eat."
It seems pretty penny-ante to me, unless we're talking about something like a full-size frig to hold a couple of soft drinks.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I bring a small soft-side cooler with me to work each day. In it, I pack my lunch. Couldn't the teacher in question also bring a cooler? And if she thinks it's too hard to carry such a cooler, there are small luggage carts to help.

Perhaps some folks are not adaptable?

--chicopanther

Darren said...

That seems reasonable as well.

Steve USMA '85 said...

Reasonable, not petty. Each of those devices use electricity which the school system pays for. One little refrigerator isn't a big deal, but add up many per school in many schools and you are talking a decent bit of change. Plus, they are needed only five days a week at most. How many teachers think to unplug the microwave over the weekend or holidays?
Add into the equation that most of these devices are used or hand-me-downs that are not of high-energy efficient design or are no longer energy efficient due to poor seals or other reasons. Few teachers are going to buy a state-of-art mini-frig to use at school. Probably get it at a yard sale or the teacher who just retired.

David said...

Disagree. I think this is ridiculous. If you treat employees like this, don't expect them to go the extra mile in their jobs.

Re the school district that is charging fees for the appliances, how much will the administration of the fee program cost? I wouldn't be surprised if most or all of the revenue generated by the fees is eaten up in the program admin.

Anonymous said...

I think this is petty. She has a refrigerator so that she can *not* leave her room. And the district wants to mess with that?

This reminds me that my company thinks about eliminating the free coffee every so often. Take caffeine *away* from programmers? To *save* money?

But ... she can go get one of these:

http://www.warnersdockonline.com/warners/MA/grouppart.asp?MAJ=011&PRI=074&SEC=272&GRP=%201603

Take it home at night to recharge.

-Mark Roulo

Anonymous said...

I think it is petty, round #2.

Let me put two parts together and then try to come up with a headline:

    $40 for refrigerators
    $10 for microwaves
    $10 for coffee makers

Figure this is about $6/month.

And ...

"I teach bell to bell, I'm flying bell to bell, every day," said Pat Rabe, a math teacher at Crescenta Valley High School. "And when we don't have access to these things immediately, we don't eat"....

Like others, Rabe often spends lunch doing extra work with students in her classroom but wonders if the ban will put an end to that.


So, my headline.

    School district to fine teachers
    $6/month for working through lunch break.

-Mark Roulo

Curmudgeon said...

It is pretty silly.

But these are administrators we are talking about.

Anonymous said...

When I taught high school, the room I was assigned was built in the 1950s. It had an ancient forced air heater, but no air conditioning. This is in Southern California.

The windows were fixed so as to minimize opportunities for vandals, etc. On one side of the room, there were some casement windows just below the ceiling which opened reasonably wide. But on the opposite wall, the only windows that could be opened were constrained so they could open no wider than 4" at the top.

Basically, if it was 85-95F outside, it would be 80-90F in my room.

I brought my own fan.

While I was teaching in this room, the campus administrators had air conditioned offices.

I guess it's true that some animals are more equal than others, but if they had pulled this kind of nonsense back when I was working in this 1950's vintage room, I would have been pretty angry. The prior commenter nailed it, IMO: it is a morale issue, and what goes around comes around.

Administrators who would pursue enforcement of such a policy are effectively admitting they really don't have more important business to attend to.

Ellen K said...

Back when I worked as a freelancer at the Dallas Morning News, the News tried to take away all the various coffee pots that were running 24/7 in various niches and corners of the newsroom. Back then, and I assume now, newsrooms were staffed 24 hours a day. In the late night shift, even the worst nightowl would need some coffee to stay awake. There was nearly a union walkout over this issue. You know, if you just treat folks like people rather than making sweeping changes, it works out better. I don't have a fridge in my room, but there's a diabetic teacher down the hall that does. Likewise the teacher that is pregnant with twins has one because going up and down stairs is cumbersome.