Monday, December 14, 2015

Doing my duty(s)

More CISD memories to warm your hearts with disgust this holiday season...

I was given extra duties today. 

Teacher duties are extra responsibilities a teacher gets to make sure that procedures at the school run smoothly.  An example of teacher duties would be monitoring the cafeteria during lunch to make sure kids don’t cut in line, throw food or get out of control.  The teacher makes sure that students eat and don’t act like animals; actually, so students don’t act like unpleasant animals.  

Duties generally are no big deal.  Last year I had cafeteria duty before school, which was fine.  When the students entered the school, they had to come into the cafeteria and wait there until the bell rang.  Teachers kept an eye on the kids, chatting with them, redirecting them or allowing them to go to the bathroom one at a time. Our main job was to keep students from wandering in the halls prior to the start of class.  This way, teachers still have time to get prepared for their classes without having to oversee students until the official start time.

This year, I have metal detector duty, which means I have to check the students’ bags as they come in through one of the metal detector entrances.  All bags have to be checked to make sure students aren’t bringing in weapons, drugs or alcohol.  If you think this is stupid, my answer is that you are naïve.  We confiscate a LOT of knives, blades, and alcohol.  I suppose some of these students are so dedicated to their illegal behaviors that they feel it’s necessary to share them with the rest of the student body.

My other duty is hallway duty, which is essentially the same as cafeteria duty.  I stop students who are going down the hall and tell them to go back or go somewhere else.  I can let them go down the hall if they have a pass, but most don't have one.  Either the teacher forgot to give out a pass, or the student is trying to do something that shouldn't be done.  Most students are generally outraged about being stopped, (realistically or not) and combative, because the monitoring teacher can’t allow him/her in the hall.

My big problem with hallway duty is that I’m supposed to have a partner, Ms. Loomis.  Ms. Loomis NEVER shows up.  Well, to be fair, she was present the first week of school.  The second week Ms. Loomis was more than half an hour late each day.  The third week she quit showing up.  An entire semester has passed, and I haven’t seen her at all.

One morning I ran late and didn’t get to my duty post on time.  I received a nasty email from the administration, reminding me that I’m expected to be “at [my] post on Thursdays to fulfill [my] duty schedule.”  I talked to our vice principal of operations and pointed out that I was always there; this was a one-time incident, and that two people are supposed to be monitoring the hallway.  He promised he’d look into it.  I’ve still not seen Ms. Loomis in the morning, and that was three weeks ago.  I HAVE seen her going in and out of the teacher’s lounge.

Now I have extra duties, probably due to the number of resignations that are pouring in.  The email said that I’m needed to help monitor the main entrance on Wednesdays, due to the fact that it’s a “high traffic area.”  In addition, failure to “perform my duties could result in a negative evaluation.”  Not “could you please help us out,” but “you are REQUIRED to be here early for extra unpaid duty or else you’re in trouble.” I like the directive followed by a threat.  It’s motivating. 

What’s interesting is that Low High has three “entrances” that are technically “main entrances.”  The email didn’t specify which entrance.  Plus, it was addressed to Ms. Marlane. 

I didn’t show up this morning for extra duty.  I have a very good reason, though.  I was lost – in every sense of the word.