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'Don't take it out on Mr. Coffee' Opines a GUSD Teacher

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Photo: Dan4th via Flickr
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With their counterparts in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) staging sit-ins to protest pink slips yesterday, Glendale Unified School District (GUSD) teachers are whining about smaller things in today's LA Times. Smaller things as in small kitchen appliances.In order to save $60,000 a year via reduced energy use costs, the GUSD has put a ban on the use of small kitchen appliances in their classrooms. This means that if your Spanish teacher wants "an extra cup of coffee to get through the afternoon" he or she will have to "ir a la salón" (that's "go to the lounge") to get it. That's right, they can't have a coffee maker in their own classrooms. The injustice! "Sure, schools are experiencing financial desperation, but don't take it out on Mr. Coffee," offers the anonymous author.

The editorial points out some of the considerations that, hand-in-hand with the ban, make doing their job well difficult:

Many teachers, determined to help their students achieve, no longer bother with schmoozing in the teachers' lounge. They arrive early to meet with working parents, spend recess counseling students, forgo lunch breaks to provide extra tutoring and stay late grading papers. Most are probably buying tissues and other supplies for the classroom that aren't covered by the district.

While the job of California's teachers becomes increasingly difficult in the era of teaching to the tests and facing massive budget constraints, some might have to consider the fact that they remain employed, unionized, insured, and paid as incentive and appreciation enough for now, particularly when some, such as the over 3,000 recent-hires in the LAUSD, are losing not just their creature comforts in the classroom but rather their jobs. "Let them plug in again," laments the author--a far cry from "let them eat cake," albeit, but one that might ring hollow to the folks who are about to be thrown off the sinking ship named "California Education." Let them pack a granola bar or take a walk down the hall, and let them count their blessings instead.