Ever since I started blogging about this crazy saga I have had friends ask me “What is a Rubber Room?” and “Are the walls covered in rubber?” I guess they are valid questions because it is a strange term to most not familiar with it. To quote Parent Advocate Betsy Combier, “The Rubber Room is not a place, but a process.” If you do a search, you will find plenty of articles stating that they “closed the infamous NYC Rubber Rooms.” Did they, or did they just break them apart and spread them throughout the city? Rumor is that there are more reassigned educators this school year than ever. The witch hunt is in full gear now and there is no end in sight with the UFT blaming the Department of Education and vice versa. Again, the children are last. There are definitely educators sitting in rooms for months without charges. I repeat…WITHOUT CHARGES! I want to say something very noble about one of them, but he asked me not to. Maybe when this is over and we are both exonerated I will buy the rights from him for the movie. [inside joke]
As my friends and family can tell you, I can never just sit and do nothing. So in my Rubber Room I can’t sit with my head down, I won’t play Minesweeper, or Fruit Ninja. I have asked for work, but was told there is nothing for me right now. I do have an itch to go around running Windows updates on the Children First Network (CFN211) computers upstairs or check them for viruses. As I walked by one day to check in with my supervisor I think I saw an Internet Explorer 6 icon from 11 years ago and got a little nauseous. I hope I was wrong. They might still be using Microsoft Office 2003 as well. I’m not blaming anyone but they have a techie just sitting down in the basement. I even emailed the network leader and cluster leader offering my services.
From: Francesco Portelos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, May 7, 2012 at 10:46 AM
Subject: Email to Charles Amundsen Cluster Leader
To: Francesco Portelos
Dear Mr. Amundsen,
I am a STEM teacher in a school supported by CFN 211 within your cluster. I am going for my administrator’s license and will have it by 2013. I was looking over your website and would like to know how I can get more involved. For the last 5 years at Berta Dreyfus IS 49 I held many informal PD’s before school, after school and during lunch periods. In addition I was selected by Principal Linda Hill to hold several formal PDs to turnkey the latest in educational technology to the staff. The results have been amazing.
I’m a Polytechnic University engineering graduate who took a $20,000 cut in salary to educate the youth of NYC in 2007. Unfortunately, since I started investigations pertaining to alleged financial misconduct as well as sexual misconduct by the school’s administrators, it is “I” who sits reassigned in the basement of 8201 Rockaway Blvd. What support can I give while I await my charges and what support can I expect from my network?
From: Mr. Portelos <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, May 4, 2012 at 9:51 AM
Subject: Support please
Good morning Ms. Mckeon,
My name is Francesco Portelos and I am an educator from R049 in your network. I have been recently reassigned to 8201 Rockaway Blvd. I thought maybe I can receive some support while I’m here, if that is ok. I believe Edward Hui had also sent some issue with the SLT and CEP to you as well.
I also get the sense that I make employees here very uncomfortable. I’m new to this feeling as I consider myself a man of character and integrity and one of the nicest guys in the world. Any support is appreciated.
No response, but I am sure with many schools under their supervision they have a lot on their plate.
Ever since I was reassigned, they don’t want me anywhere near DOE computers. I heard that the first day. I am the only one out of all the other teacher’s to receive this detailed notice of rules below:
I assure you I am no hacker and my friends from college probably read this and think it’s funny. [Pay no attention to the Bluetooth earpiece].
So what to do here while I wait my charges and have no work assigned to me? There have been a few occasions where I look up at the sprinkler pipes and thought “I should just do pull ups every day and work out like Sarah Connor in the insane asylum in Terminator 2. I mean I have lost about 17 pounds since they started their attacks in January. I had to buy a new belt. Might as well get fit. Again…sorry taxpayers. Just rest assured that I do not sleep and that my gears are working on finding a solution to make things right.
Wikipedia Explanation of Reassignment center.
Movie Trailer for Movie “The Rubber Room” 2008
A Video clip of Betsy and my attorney Bryan Glass explaining the current situation
‘Rubber Rooms‘ for Teachers Are Being Eliminated – NYTimes.com Hmmm… then I must be in some other purgatory limbo place.
Comments are appreciated.