Friday, September 03, 2010

Hot For (Substitute) Teacher

Holy cow, what a week.

I'm exhausted.

Strap in kids. This is a long pictureless post!

Monday was Moochie's first day back at daycare. My checkbook winced after having a nice two months off from having to pay for that.

Chunky accompanied his brother to daycare on Monday and Tuesday because Dr. Mad Scientist originally had been scheduled to take a training course that The (teaching) Program he's in was offering to it's students. Training on how to use some electronic gizmos in the classroom...fancy schmancy things like that. Digital whiteboards, smart boards, digital projectors and projection microscopes... I remember chalk boards, and those transparency overhead projectors. That's about how fancy we had it.

Anyway, he didn't get to go to all of the training on Monday.

Because he had an interview.

Now, before you get all excited, keep in mind this was his fourth interview with his fourth different high school.

We weren't really expecting much, especially considering he was interviewing on Monday and school started in Newark on Thursday.

He emailed me later in the day to tell me that the interview went well with the Science Department Head, but not so hot with the Principal.

I figured it was another dead end when he said that.

A half hour later he emailed me to tell me "Oh by the way, they verbally offered me the job and I verbally accepted."

Grrr! That's bad karma coming back to me after informing him via email I was pregnant with Chunky.

*Cue hesitant optimism*

Tuesday, I packed up the boys again and Dr. Mad Scientist prepared to go to day 2 of Teaching Gizmos 101 Training put on by The Program. But 10 minutes after we left, the Principal of the school who interviewed him called him and told him they were sending the Recommendation to Human Resources to hire him.

*Cue a little less reluctant optimism*

He toodled off to attend the first part of Gizmo Training where he was called by Human Resources and summoned to their headquarters to sign his contract and fill out his benefit information.

*Cue mounting excitement*

Once he arrived at HR, it was apparently an effing mad house due to school starting in T-minus two days and general chaos due to the in processing of new teachers and tenured teachers who were reassigned as part of No Child Left Behind*.

I feel for those poor people working at HR. What a PITA this week must have been for them.

Anyway, after three hours of waiting he finally got summoned to have his paperwork looked over and his contract presented to him.

And they told him they couldn't give him his contract!

*Cue crushing blow*


Because he was offered the position of a Chemistry teacher.

His certification is in Biology. His Chemistry certification is "in process" down in Trenton.

The kicker?

All he needs is ONE item to complete his application for his Chemistry certification. That's his transcript from the NJ University where he was trained to be a teacher.

However, The Program that paid his tuition in exchange for him teaching in Newark for 3 years (and who also "guaranteed" to find him a position in Newark--they didn't find him this position, he found it on his own with some help from a fellow Program participant) failed to pay $166 in tuition.

That created a hold on his account and you can't get a transcript when you have a hold on your account.

Instead of going through the rigamarole of trying to get The Program to pay that $166 like they entered a contract with him saying they would do (and what's with the New Jersey University never telling us we owed them? Don't you normally send notices to people who owe you money??), because that would be akin to circumcising a baby mole with your eyes closed, I told him to just pay the damn $166 so he could get his transcript.

He put it on our credit card.

And the $166 showed as "due" for another two days because in this instant digital world of EFTs and lightning speed data transfer, the New Jersey University can't accept money from a credit card faster than 2 to 3 days.

For some reason, I can order a blow-up Mary Poppins sex doll on E-bay, pay for it with my credit card and shipped the next day, but paying money to someone we owe money to takes longer.

Cut to Thursday, the first day of school for Newark and Dr. Mad Scientist's first full day on the "job"--the payment is finally processed, but the hold still remains.

Meanwhile Human Resources and Anonymous Newark High School that hired Dr. Mad Scientist are treating him as a "permanent substitute teacher."

This means he gets to be a teacher, except with a) less pay and b) no benefits.


Let me tell you how fucking irked I am that we fell for this shit again. Just like we were lured into think The Program could hook him up with a job (because you know, he signed a contract saying they would) we fell for the teaching contract bait and switch.

I mean hooray, he's "employed" but why oh why did no one bother to tell him after three hours of sitting there and filling out the reams of new hire paperwork that he couldn't sign a contract?

I mean I get it, the rules make sense, but in those three hours guess what he could have been doing?

He could have been at Anonymous Newark High School getting three extra hours of orientation to his new "job."

After they delivered the news to Dr. Mad Scientist that he couldn't sign the contract they had the gall to inform him that back in the old days (i.e. 10 months ago when that Dickwad Chris "I Hate Teachers" Christie was NOT in office) they could have allowed him to sign his contract while his Chemistry cert was pending. But now that Krispe Kreme Christie is in office, they're under more scrutiny.

Thanks for rubbing salt in the wound.

The director of The Program called him today to see if there was something she could do to help speed up the process of getting him to the promised land of signing a contract (because after all a signed contract makes The Program look good).

He told her that the only thing he needs is that hold removed from his account at the New Jersey University so he can pay the school to give him a transcript.

She told him there's nothing she can do to help him with that, but told him once he gets that taken care of to call Human Resources so they can call Trenton (where they process certifications) and put pressure on them to expedite his certification.


First off, there's NOTHING you can do at your own university, but you have knowledge on how to put pressure on a State Agency?

Oh, and can I get a side of fries with my heaping pile of steaming bullshit?


On the plus side, a paycheck is a paycheck and if he hadn't gotten this "job" he'd be subbing anyway.

And Dr. Mad Scientist is really digging his new gig. There's still many, many more fucked up things that are beyond his control that all teachers are dealing with in Newark right now that make their jobs 10 times more difficult, but hopefully by Halloween (of 2012) everything should be worked out.

Except for maybe that Chemistry certification.

I get the feeling nailing that transcript down is going to be harder than oil wrestling an albino leprechaun.

Sometimes I feel sorry for those people who obtain jobs the normal way with no massive kinks.

What do they complain about? How horrible it is to have health insurance?

Poor things!

*Due to No Child Left Behind, two high schools in Newark had to be metaphorically blown up and rebuilt from the bottom up. New teachers, new administration..the works. But because you can't fire a tenured teacher without seriously good cause, you have to put them somewhere, and thus all the reassignments this year.

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Anonymous marymac said...

WTF, New Jersey university -- we can get a hold lifted within 48 hours max no matter how the money due is paid. Have you spoken to the bursar's/treasurer's/whatever they call it there's office directly? Couldn't hurt to check with them on Tuesday.

10:03 PM  
Blogger janna said...

But yay for a job!

(And my verification word is "usallyal," which is so close to "us all, y'all," which is a Texasism if I've ever heard one!)

10:59 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

Well, glad he has a job, but what crap about his transcript. Here's hoping he gets it back soon and gets to sign the contract!!

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy Cows!!! And he didn't trip once jumping through ALL of those HOOPS!! YAY! For DR MS!!!

You might try threatening them with your congressmen/senators or heck the Mafia.

Love, Mom

11:45 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

You know, I bet they don't know how much of a ruckus a bunch of knitters can cause....they should watch out. Let us know if you need us to crack some skulls. But yay! for a paycheck! of the few ugly things that originated in my home just won't die....

1:25 AM  
Anonymous elspeth said...

Apparently even in the era of email and general easier access to contacting people, it is physically impossible for a school to let you know if you owe them money. I had the same problem at our local community college - leaving me with an F for a class I never went to and never paid for! Stupid.

Anyway, I hope it works out for Dr. Mad Scientist soon!

1:49 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Congratulations to you and to Dr. MS! And trust, a chemistry certification is very much in demand everywhere. As my department chair says, "Biology teachers are a dime a dozen". Physics or chemistry certifications? Priceless!

7:18 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Holy cow. Glad he got the position even if it really isn't the position.

Crossing fingers the university releases things and he gets that certification. I'd call them Tuesday.

7:34 AM  
Blogger dmcL said...

Wow, that's nutty. I'm glad he's employed but go-lly that's a freaking mess.

I read this out to DH and his first comment was "So they (The Program) broke the contract by not paying that $166. Doesn't this mean that Dr. MS is freed of his obligation? And if they can't even handle getting $166 to a school, would they really be able to hold him to the contract if he left NJ?"

8:13 AM  
Blogger Discoknits said...

Congrats to DMS on his new job! Nothing's ever easy, eh!

9:03 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Congratulation to Dr. M.S. for getting a job, but good Lord, what a pain in the ass to have to go through all that hassle!

The Cleveland Public school district is going through the same thing too, with reassigning teachers, and closing buildings. There's a lot of out of work teachers around here.

One of my daughter's Girl Scout troop leaders got her master's/teaching certification a few years ago, but is still substitute teaching, because she can't find a permanent job (which is a shame, because she's fantastic with kids). One school district where she's subbing wanted to offer her a permanent position, but couldn't because they only had room in their budget for a teacher with a bachelor's degree, and having a master's (which she specifically got for the purpose of teaching), they would have to pay her more money, per union rules, and it wasn't in their budget. How crazy is that??

I hope the university gers everything straightened out with Dr. M.S.'s certification quickly!

10:16 AM  
Blogger Crafty Christina said...

I'm glad Dr. MS found a job but the fact that he'll be doing the same work for less pay and benefits is really sucky.

When the transcript does eventually come through, will the High School give him a contract and hire him as full time teach?

So sorry you guys had to go through this lameness.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Tactless Wonder said...

Wow, thanks for having me walk down memory lane...well bureaucracy-wise the state of Hawai'i was very similar when I was applying and being denied employment because they INSISTED that I had no teaching credential/degree from Stanford...because they mixed the innards of my file with the woman applying for the Teaching Assistant job when we interviewed with a local principal at the same time.

I too am thinking good thoughts your and Dr. MS's way. Dude, it's about time, no?

2:50 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

Holy Cow. I think my head would exploded by now if I were you.

7:00 PM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

I'm glad DrMS has a job! Sorry they're f'ing you around. I'd think the schools would be so glad to have someone of his caliber there that they'd jump through hoops for him.

And let's not talk about the Gov......

7:26 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Very frustrating!

But it's good that he's enjoying his job. That can certainly make a huge difference.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

P.S. What your Mom said ... about the Congressmen/Senators. I had a similar circumstance when I got out of college of having a hold on my transcripts because of an unpaid fee, and I wrote the Dean a letter stating, basically, that if they didn't give me my transcripts, I couldn't get a job, and if I couldn't get a job, I couldn't pay them. I cc'd all of those government people, and whaddya know, I had a certified copy of my transcripts within the week. Ah! Yay for bureaucracy!

9:04 PM  
OpenID artfulstarfish said...

UGH! What a nightmare! remaining cautiously optimistic over here!

11:14 PM  
Blogger weezalana said...

Good freakin' Lord! Talk about a bait and switch! Well, even though he's getting stuck going to the prom with the homely cousin, hopefully soon the prom queen will sidle up and give him a dance!

1:22 PM  
Blogger DPUTiger said...

GAH! Wow, hope the transcript stuff gets cleared up quickly. But yay job!

10:37 PM  
Blogger Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

Good lord! This brings back such "fond" memories of the bs I have had to wade through in my schooling and employment life. It still goes on. NCLB might be scraping out the innards of our schools by next year. So far they're just pouring salt in our wounds. What a farce.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Jeebus the paperwork thing is never ending! When they get that paperwork sorted, can they start him up as a 'real' teacher? or are you stuck in 'permanent sub' for the year?

9:37 AM  

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