It seems our Rocklin, CA teachers are currently at odds with the school district over some aspect of their contract. I would have to assume it’s about salary and/or benefits, because, honestly, if you’re getting all the money you want, you don’t tend to argue with your boss too much. Anyway, they seem to be at a stalemate in their contract negotiations.
I have mixed feelings about the issue of teachers’ salaries. Before I became an author with flexible hours and an unnervingly flexible pay scale, I had real jobs with steady paychecks, and we only got two or maybe three weeks of vacation each year. Teachers have the only job I know of where you get sixteen paid weeks off every year, so on the one hand, I think, pipe down!
On the other hand, I think all teachers should make ten times more than what they are being paid, because besides parenting, they are doing the most important job on the planet. (And in many cases, they are doing the parenting and the teaching, because many “adults” tend to outsource the parenting job by default in favor of malt liquor.)
(I also tend to think teachers should be paid more because my wife is a teacher, and I want a boat.)
I don’t know the particulars of the stalemate, but I do know one thing: based on the metric ton of property taxes I pay, along with the regular taxes, our school district should have more money than Uruguay. I don’t know where all the money goes, but I certainly know where the money is not going. It’s not being spent on the district’s IT department.
If any money was going into IT, they would certainly be able to afford someone who could fix their communications department. Even someone with the tiniest bit of knowledge about computers and one or two iotas of common sense could fix what is obviously broken.
Here’s my problem:
Last week the school district wanted my opinion on their new English Language Arts curriculum. (That’s what they call English now. I assume they have long-term plans to eventually drop the “English” from the title and just call it Language Arts. That way we can stop being so insistent on it always having to be taught in English. Time will tell.)
Anyway, they sent me an email with a link to a survey. That’s where a normal IT department would have stopped. Not at our district!
Moments after the email arrived, they called me and left a voicemail about the fact that they sent me an email.
Mere seconds after the voicemail about the email hit my inbox, they sent me a text message - to the same phone number that they left the voicemail on - to tell me that they left a voicemail about the email. I am not making this up.
Then they sent me another email (again, I’m not making this up, I swear!) to tell me that they just left me a voicemail to let me know that they sent me an email.
They do every single one of those things twice because I have two kids at the elementary school. The same elementary school! Last year I got all of them three times, because all three boys were there.
Three separate emails. Three separate voicemails alerting me to the emails. Three separate text messages alerting me to the voicemails regarding the emails. And three separate follow-up emails alerting me to the fact that they left me three separate voicemails about the original three separate emails.
But they only let me take the survey once.
If they can’t come up with the money for a new IT hire, maybe they could look into a sixth-grade internship. Even the kid who sits in the back of the class and eats his boogers could do better than this.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2018 Marc Schmatjen
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