OK, funny story.....sort of.
So, once again the 7 EAs that work in and out of my classroom have polarized into 2 camps: 3 do nothing clock watching union calling lazybones and 3 do everything non-whining 110%ers and 1 neutral (the only man!)
Well over a week ago my dep't head created an alternative schedule for today because there was a field trip involving 3 of my students. They are taking religion this semester and the field trip was to the local cinema to see the new movie "Son of God." One EA was going to go with the 3 students and the dep't head (Fil) left it up to 2 EAs to decide which one was going to go.
Still with me? It starts to get really murky now....
After school yesterday Fil asks if they've decided which one of them is going to go. "Well, neither of us because it's a health and safety issue - what if one of them has to go to the washroom?" "You should send both of us...we called our union this week and they agreed with us!"
Of course Fil was gobsmacked and explained that due to our Crisis Response Plan which requires 3 EAs to be close by to a certain aggressive student only 1 EA could be spared. "Well then neither of us are going."
They waited for over a week to let this bomb drop. So the students, who have paid and have their tickets, aren't going to be able to go to the movie? Poor Fil didn't know what to say so she told them to go speak to the principal, he would have to decide.
Well, the principal really let them have it. He told them their union does not tell him what's safe or not safe in his school etc etc. He left it that he would discuss with the Admin team and let them know in the morning.
Well, I had an idea as I was a witness to this gross act of insubordination on the part of the EAs toward Fil, who is their supervisor. I quietly emailed the principal and said simply "send me, I have no safety concerns whatsoever with these 3 students."
These 3 kids are good kids - one has ADHD, Tourettes AND CP (bless him) and walks with an awkward gait. Another has neurofibromatosis but is just a really great kid, the other has a developmental disability and OCD but again she is an incredible young lady.
So....the principal took me up on my offer. He booked a supply teacher for me and when the EAs asked me in the morning who was going to go with the students I simply said "ME." (I kind of enjoyed that moment, I'm not gonna lie."
Two of the three students had been to this theatre many times in the past and knew where the washrooms were and all could use them independently. The theatre was only open to our school's students and teachers. They sent us in a cab and then we went back to the school in a cab. I took a flashlight just in case but didn't need it. We got seats in the back row so we could go in and out if necessary. Again, not necessary. I brought snacks but the kids had money, lined up and bought their own at the concession stand. All it takes is a bit of planning and forethought.
Needless to say we had a great time. They stuck to me like glue, rode the escalators like pros, were well-mannered and well-behaved and I enjoyed getting out of the classroom for a few hours.
I love my kids, I really do. But I am so done with the politicking, the calls to the union every week about stupid stuff and putting the kids last. Alas, I cannot speak my mind because that would generate many more calls to the union and no doubt I'd once again get charged with bullying, racism and what have you. So I am keeping my lips zipped except when working with my kids, god bless them. They are a treat.