Sunday, December 23, 2018

50 Years ago NYC Teachers Worked Xmas Week to Make up days for 68 strike

I was just watching a segment on TV about Apollo 8, the first time humans circled the moon and it was on Xmas Eve, 1968. There are so many memories of 1968. The major events of that year were pretty awful -- Tet offensive, assassinations of King and Kennedy, riots, colleges closed down in the spring.

Not all bad though. I started dating my first serious girl friend in February 68 - and married her 3 years later in June 71.

For us here in NYC, the historical teacher strike that lasted most of the fall. Makeup time had to be found.

My friend Arnold Poss (now deceased) and I had booked a trip to Florida for the Xmas week where we had agreed to drive a car down for someone and fly back. Arnold felt sick on he way when we got to South Carolina and wanted to go home. I dragged his ass the rest of the way.

Soon after, the makeup days were announced and they included days during the XMAS vacation - and at double pay. We couldn't change plans and were on the way when the Apollo was circling the moon on Xmas eve and where they took that iconic photo of earth.

I was in my 2nd year as a teacher - actually, an ATR - a sub in one school - and I had finally mastered the essentials of subbing. In January of the new year of 1969 I heard that a teacher/lawyer escaping the draft had gotten a good lottery number and was leaving a very tough class - 4-8 - kids reading at 1st and maybe low level 2nd grade. With only 6 months left to my teaching career (I figured) I might as well ask to take over that class, which I did on Feb. 1, 1969 - with an awful cold and cough that lasted a month -- and with the entire month being very cold with snow on the ground a bunch of time.

Other vacation days were taken as make-up for the strike. But the toughest was the extended day - we started early and went later - I think we began at 8 AM and went to 3:15 through early May - we were paid extra - I think my salary was about 6500 a year -- we won raises in the 1967 strike.

That February, 1969, in my second week with that class, I became a real teacher - who knew what I was doing -- and hooked on the kids and the job.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating). Or because your comment is irrelevant or idiotic.