Excess, an amount greater than is necessary. I guess I fell into that category.

Friday, October 14, 2005-, week 6 of my first year of teaching was the day I got excessed. As my former AP always says, “In other words” everything that I have worked towards in these past few weeks means nothing. More importantly, everything that my students have, or have not, worked towards means nothing.

I was shocked to say the least. I felt betrayed, sad, rejected and overall, utterly confused. I was pulled out of one of my classes, given the news and out of the building 20 minutes later.

Let me start with the reasons given for my excess.

“We don’t have enough money in our budget to pay the number of teachers we currently have working here.”

“Well the B.O.E did not send all the students they promised us so we have to cut down on the number of classes, and therefore teachers.”

What was going to happen to my classes, my students? What is this new school I’m being shipped off to all about? How can I have no say in any of this?

I was informed that my students would be dispersed among other classes and that the school I am joining is a wonderful place. It was pretty clear that I had absolutely no say in any of this.

Should I hand in my grades, my students work, or the school owned books I had compiled? Well, no one asked. No one needs them…no one cares.

This brings me back to a previous blog of mine, “Do They Care?” The “they” I was referring to in this case were the students; maybe I should have been referring to the administration or the B.O.E. How can the B.O.E not realize that with each teacher they excess there are 20-30 students for each class they teach that also affected.

All of that time spent with each class laying ground rules, making up missed homework assignments, quizes, tests, writing papers, reading papers and most importantly, getting to know one student, is meaningless. There is now no accountability for anything.

I think of the students I had who were failing because they did no work, were absent 75% of the time and when they were present, walked in late. I’m angered. Those students are now right back at day one. They are now on par with the students who worked so hard, never missed class, and rarely arrived late. At the end of the first marking period they will receive the same grade as the students who participated in class, and were conscientious about their work. That does not seem to make sense to me.

All in all, my being excessed is not about me. It’s about the students, and the message it sends to them when they walk into class on Monday to find their teacher is gone and they are receiving yet another program change.

No wonder NYC schools are so far behind. No wonder so many of the students act as if nothing matters to them, as if school is a meaningless institution. It’s what they’ve been taught!