Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Activists, Would-Be Teachers, Consider Rally for Teacher Shortage in NYC Area

Greenburgh, NY - Frustrated with their lack of employment prospects, activist would-be teachers met last night to determine their next course of action in light of new revelations that New York will be the only major city in America not to have a teacher shortage in the coming year.

Morale was pretty low in the dimly lit dining room of the local Pizza Hut as the small group of wanna-be teachers realized the full scope of their dilemma. The lone Android tablet displaying the article from the 'Chalkbeat' Ed news website was passed from person to person as they expressed emotions ranging from indignation to pure rage.

"We've waited long enough! When will this teacher shortage get here already!? " yelled Stephen Patterson, a certified English educator (who has yet to land a  job in the classroom), as he practically threw the tablet across the table to Annette Cannizzarroio. Cannizzarroio (who possesses an Astrophysics degree and is a licensed math teacher, with a Special Education extension and another ESL extension and works part-time at the Taco Bell across the street), simply scowled as she examined the contents of the article and turned her head. "There's a crack on the screen" she murmured, as she silently passed it along.

Hopes had been soaring high as late as last week when the New York Times published a piece declaring that, with the return of economic prosperity, a teacher shortage had taken root across the nation. "We finally thought we'd have a chance to land a job" explained Glenn Whitehalt, assistant manager at the eatery and host of the event, "Now", he continued, "I'll probably be stuck at this place forever". Whitehall, who possesses a bachelor's degree in Macro Economics with a focus on international trade, as well as an MBA and a Masters in Education, has been looking for a job as a city teacher since 1982 with no luck. Nows he leads this small group of potential public school educators, which he has dubbed 'TeachersNext'. They meet three times a week over some left-over chocolate pudding pizza to discuss strategic ways they can enter the profession. "A lot of people get confused about who we are.", he confided "They just don't get the idea that potential teachers can be activists too -and there are a lot of us future teachers out here just waiting to enter the profession. I'd say there are more of us than there are actual teachers in New York. I mean, is the press paying attention here? What the heck?"

Would-be teachers weren't the only ones who were upset to learn there would be no teacher crisis. Veteran teachers all across the city were hoping that a shortage would mean an end to the "meaningful observations" that the city's DOE has been pushing for well over six years now. "They have to end" tweeted @MzMedley4242, a music teacher from PS 9942 in the bronx. "They're just code for 'if I don't like you, you're Ineffective'." Seeming to run out of characters, she added "It's all a popularity conte"

Later asked via tweet whether she thought a teacher shortage would mean an easier time on the job, @Ms. Medley replied "st"

"freggin Twitter" she later wrote. "Of course! like, #duh"

ATRs were split on the news. Some exclaimed disappointment at learning that they would not be placed at a school to actually teach this year, while others expressed pure glee. "This is hugely upsetting." asserted Walter Tocanda-Cannon, a 24 year math teacher from Brooklyn. "I was really hopeful that I could finally go back to do what I was meant to do. I'm really good at it, you know? And this ATR thing is truly unfair."

"Thank Goodness", boasted Harold Millerz, an ATR science teacher from Manhattan. "This is the easiest gig I've ever had. I'd hate to think someone down there came to their senses! I don't want to go back into the classroom and teach again. That's for sure. Like never."

Many pundits expressed perplexity at the lack of shortage. "It just doesn't make sense" exclaimed education researcher Harold W. Arlin. "The pattern has always been the same",  "People go into teaching during recession, then quit for real jobs when the economy changes. I don't really know what's happened in New York or why New York is so different from the rest of the country".

Dr. Arlin, who was made famous for his groundbreaking research examining best practices on how to get children to commit fewer spelling errors on their weekend homework assignments (published in the now famous report "Friday Night Special"), further added "any other thought on this topic would be, really, conjecture until some real, bonafide research is conducted here. I got $25 million for my last grant. I wonder how much I could get for this puppy?"

Asked why the return of economic prosperity hadn't resulted in many city teachers quitting and finding a better paying job,  Michael Mulgrew, President of United Federation of Teachers, the union representing active and retired city teachers, waxed a bit poetic and simply laughed. "They won't get the back-pay they're owed  until 2020!!!" he said, flailing his arms. "No one's going anywhere, buddy!!". "Excuse me" Mr. Mulgrew continued, scratching the back of his head "nicked  myself shaving this morning".

But that type of understanding was tough to digest in Greenburgh.  Back at the Pizza Hut, Glenn Whitehalt raised his voice in frustration, declaring "Enough! We want a teacher shortage here in the city and we want it now. It's time to take to the streets and protest.". But his plea had no effect on the half dozen or so uniformed fast food and retail employees who began to meander toward the exit. "Get real, man" murmured one voice. "See you tomorrow, Glenn", bellowed another "save me some of that pizza with the Pineapple."

A dishwasher named Herb -who happens to hold a Ph. D in education leadership from Yale and moonlights as the famous education blogger "Keyboard Warrior" simply frowned. "Those kids might consider being grateful for what they have." he said, shaking his head.  "They'll probably make great teachers -someday."

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