Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Do As I Say ... Not As I do ...

YNN reports: "A Longridge Elementary School teacher returned to school Wednesday after running in the Boston Marathon earlier this week. Students and faculty came together for a big surprise.

Amy Lembo has been a physical education teacher here for the past eight years. She was at mile 25 when the first bomb went off.

She wasn't near the explosions, but heard the crowd dispersing, and was told that she had to stop running.
Teachers and students lined the school courtyard with a hand-made finish line waiting for her.
Lembo was joined by her two sons, who were not in Boston.
Longridge Elementary Teacher Crosses the Finish Line
Lembo said she's always telling her students that in marathons, and in life, there are times when you want to give up, but that's when you have to keep moving forward.

"My heart is just, that was so heavy for so many days, is just now – the joy is back. I love my Longridge family. Unbelievable," Lembo said.
Lembo said that this was her first Boston Marathon.
Longridge Elementary Teacher Crosses the Finish Line
As she was running, she said the thought of bringing home a medal to show her students kept her going. Now, she said a handmade medal she was given today by the students means much more."

SCATS ~~ Am I missing something here? I thought school was in session in Greece Monday & Tuesday of this week. Did we get stiffed by paying for a substitute teacher so that Ms. Lembo could run in the Boston marathon? Did we also waste time better spent on academics to give her a handmade "medal?" If a student did this during test week, it would be considered an unexcused absence!


Anonymous said...

Yes, you are "missing something here". Hopefully, someone will explain it to you someday.

Anonymous said...

My father taught me to never dignify "rubbish" with a response, but today I cannot heed his advice. Those students at Longrdige learned more important things than "test prep" in those 20 minutes at the end of the day,and the things they learned will stay with them for life. These lessons are of compassion, kindness, teamwork, support, perseverance and resilience all in the face of adversity. All wonderful life lessons of which it is obvious you know naught. Who are you to say that a teacher can't take 2 days off to run in the BOSTON MARATHON, or ride in a Missing and Exploited Children bike fundraiser, or any other positive life experience--teachers HAVE personal days. SCATS you have now made it painfully obvious that you care NOTHING about the learning of students; you are a bitter person with an unnatural hatred and/or jealousy of teachers. I honestly pity the miserable person you have made yourself out to be. You are a BIG part of what is WRONG with GREECE. You are one of the biggest PROBLEMS, spitting in the face of a wonderful act, finding nothing but negativity in it. If the money bothers you that much, I would bet my life that the teachers and staff at Longridge will chip in to pay for her sub for those two days.

Anonymous said...

Why yes I'm sure we got to pay for a sub at the very least. I blame it on the expired contract and a gutless schoolboard and administration. They've failed to negotiate a new agreement that's more in-line with today's realities than those of the contract that expired in 2006! Of course, one must also remember that contract was agreed to in 2004. In 2004, Kodak still employed in excess of 20,000!

How much has the economy and local working environment changed in almost 10 years? Why haven't we been apprised of the issues preventing a new agreement from being made? Or have they all just given up?

In the meantime, we tell our children that many things that teachers do are things the rest of us aren't entitled to do. They are getting to be of an age where they are starting to ask questions on their own. It's our way to counterbalance the pro-union messages they hear at school.

Anonymous said...

Your comments toward this great story of how a school is teaching it's students about being great people just goes to show what a joke this blog is. If this had happened in another district you would have criticized the district for spending too much time on academics and not developing compassionate children. You can rant and rave all you want about the teacher not being at school, but teachers are given personal days just like everyone else and they can use them as needed. I applaud the principal and the students for recognizing one of their own's accomplishments. What a great motivational tool to show students what hard work, determination, and focus will get you. Especially during this week of testing.

SCATS said...

To 6:43PM ~~ I knew I'd get blasted with this posting. Some folks are predictable that way, especially those who operate within highly dysfunctional sytems.

To 7:08PM ... and all of the other naysayers ~~ Yup, the GTA contract does indeed cover "Personal Days." In fact, here it what it states verbatim:
Legal, Religious, Business and Personal
Each unit member shall be allowed up to four (4) days of leave with full pay during
each school year for the following purposes: 1) religious observance; 2) legal
matters which require absence during school hours, i.e., closing on primary residence,
answering legal process, or party to a judicial proceeding; 3) family
necessities which require absence during school hours; and, 4) other purposes
of similar personal obligation or necessity.

Obviously, the teacher can't call it a religious observance, can't say there was a legal matter and can't blame it on a family issue. That leaves #4 ... I defy anyone with common sense to make a case that running in the Boston Marathon is either a personal obligation or necessity.

SCATS said...

To 7:41PM ~~ Are you that fellow that spoke to the BOE recently? Your argument makes a very valid point!

Anonymous said...

You know what is predictable, Scats? That you take anything that is good in this town and twist it into something snarky and negative. This absentee argument is a classic strawman. Could I point out that it's not up to you to pass judgement on what passes for a personal obligation? Sure. Do you believe that all the runners in the marathon were unemployed or 'skipping' work? I surely hope not. Since you 'knew' that you would blasted I'll give you some credit and assume that, deep down, you realize how petty this argument is. I could go on and on, but frankly, unlike this teacher, you aren't worth it.

Anonymous said...

Scats, again blah blah blah! If that teacher has 1/2 the determination in her teaching that she does in finishing the race, she is to be commended not vilified. The sacrifice and training needed two achieve it are what is truly amazing. As for teaching of life lessons, how many of the GCSD students' parents are even present to be teaching life lessons like the one she did?

7:08- you hit the nail on the head with this one!

SCATS said...

To 8:25PM & 9:16PM ~~ No, I do not believe all marathon runners were unemployed or skipping work. That's just silly. Do you realize that Monday was a HOLIDAY IN BOSTON, not in Rochester, NY?

Regarding parents teaching life lessons, might I remind you that we've been told (ad nauseam) about how it is NOT THE TEACHER'S JOB to handle discipline, to teach civility, to correct misbehaving foul-mouthed students, to teach basic manners, to instill a sense of patriotism or even to teach basic safety! Greece teachers have repeatedly told us those kinds of areas are NOT for them to worry about. They say it's the parent's job, not theirs. So how in hell can 7:08PM's "message" about teaching "lessons of compassion, kindness, teamwork, support, perseverance and resilience all in the face of adversity" be taken seriously?? Greece teachers have taught us THAT'S NOT YOUR JOB TO DO!!

Further comments should be aimed at showing:
1 - how taking Monday & Tuesday off fits into the language regarding Personal Days in the GTA contract;
and/or responding to:
2 - where can I find the specifics that directs Greece teachers to NOT teach about manners/discipline/civility, etc but permits them to address the feel good fluff "lessons" that 7:08PM listed?

Anonymous said...

7:08 -You wrote that you'd bet that the teachers and staff at LR would chip in to pay for the sub for those two days.

I challenge them to do so!

A Greece tax payer

Anonymous said...

Scats...I tend to side with you on a lot of topics but you are out of Line on this one. Not all teachers are bad and not all are out to scam the district. The students love this teacher and were showing their support along with the staff. You ont have to take every story even the good and attempt to twist it in to a negative. There is not a negative here to be spotlighted.

SCATS said...

I thought I was clear about turning this discussion back to the issues at hand. Comments that are primarily about SCATS, who I am, what I think, how I live, BLOG, etc. are NOT up for discussion, so they won't be posted.

SCATS said...

To 10:38PM ~~ Lotsa luck with that!! It will NEVER EVER happen ;)

Anonymous said...

Well good lord the woman is a gym teacher that marathon thing was probably her professional development.

I mean them gym teachers are a minority and the professional stuf the class room teachers go to probably don't help a gym teacher.

Then again it could have been one of them mental health days, Greece teachers are in on that scam, aren't they?
Gotta have a positive mental attitude to blow that whistle all day long you know.

Anonymous said...

SCATS, are personal days the only sort of excused absence in the contract, or is there a provision for vacation as well? What you described sounds like what we in the private sector call floating holidays, which are not the same thing as vacation. Granted, the regular academic breaks may be all the vacation that the teachers need, but there may be provision in the contract for other sorts of absence besides personal days.

As for renegotiating the contract, why would the union ever agree to that? Surely they will not settle for anything less than more than what they get with no contract. Until some Carter-style inflation comes along to wipe out their guaranteed pay increases, they will happily refuse to negotiate. They have a deal so sweet that it might last them 100 years, or until the town goes bankrupt, whichever comes first. And given the precedents being set in California and elsewhere, they may get to keep their sweet deal even through municipal bankruptcy.

SCATS said...

To 3:22AM ~~ As per the contract, it states:
"B. Legal holidays and vacations shall be:
Columbus Day
Veterans’ Day
Winter Recess
Martin Luther King Day
February Recess
Spring Recess
Memorial Day"

So it MUST BE some of that "professional development" for gym teachers that 2:13AM mentioned.

As for renegotiating the contract, they were previously self-described by 7:08PM as "kind, compassionate, supportive, resilient" and a bunch of other things that proves they are there "for the kids." (Remove tongue from cheek now!)

Anonymous said...

What's new Pussy Cat?. Wow!, Sometimes too much catnip can be fatal. I agree though, enough already.

On point! To you outraged taxpayers a few observations.
Cost to you for a sub for two days, at best $200.00. Impact on those Longridge kids, PRICELESS!!!
Tom Jones

SCATS said...

To 9:24AM ~~ You are so far off-base you are no longer in Monroe County with your "cost to taxpayers" quip!

In reality, paying for teacher ABSENCES (that IS what this was!) results in a large dent in the annual school district budget! Even Babs has mentioned the need to reign in these costs!

Additionally, when a classroom teacher misses school, the students suffer! The continuity of learning is disturbed at least 22-25 times over, minimum at elementary school. The numbers get much higher for any teacher who has classes that change throughout the day, so it COULD easily impact 150 kids!

I know this was a GYM teacher, so curriculum isn't such an issue. However, the message her behavior sends is that this is not only OK to do for other teachers, but YOU, her supporters of it, have attributed her with some sort of phony "hero status" for doing so! Worse yet, you FLAUNT YOUR SUPPORT FOR AN UNEXCUSED ABSENCE (that IS what it boils down to!) ON TV!! It's a slap in the face to taxpayers!!!


Missing TWO DAYS of work to run the Boston Marathon is an UNEXCUSABLE ABSENCE as per the GTA contract, despite whatever framing you attempt to give it.

Again I will ask the two questions I have about this situation:

1 - how taking Monday & Tuesday off fits into the language regarding Personal Days in the GTA contract;
and/or responding to:
2 - where can I find the specifics that directs Greece teachers to NOT teach about manners/discipline/civility, etc but permits them to address the feel good fluff "lessons" that 7:08PM listed?

I can already hear the crickets chirping.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you here.

I have heard many times over how teachers are supposed to "work" the contract and if it isn't in the contract they should not be expected to do something.

I would suggest that turn-about is fair play and any type of leave that falls outside of a strict interpretation of the contract should be disallowed.

Let's remember that Teachers work 187 days a year and get every conceivable holiday off. If she can't find a marathon to run to run during standard time off, then she isn't looking very hard.


SCATS said...

To 1:58PM ~~ Finally, a voice of reason in a sea of insanity!

Your statement that "turn about is fair play" regarding the terms of the GTA contract is well made!

Thanks for the support!

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the other teachers in Greece, but this one is a shining example of a true role model. In this day and age where half our population is obese, causing health related problems to soar, one teacher who shows the commitment, hard work and dedication it takes to complete a marathon is indeed a perfect role model for our kids. Maybe just maybe she will inspire some of her students to have a goal and become as physically fit as she is. Running a marathon, as the people of Boston will tell you, is a wonderful achievement and any who do it should be commended and not maligned for a couple of days lost work.

You are beyond belief!

Anonymous said...

Many years ago, when that major PGA golf event was at Oak Hill, a teacher was turned in for attending on a school day and was docked a day's pay (plus some "punitive" damages, I think). Guess who turned him in? An ADMINISTRATOR who saw the teacher at the event! Ironic, huh?

SCATS said...

To 3:03PM ~~ Actually, that probably isn't out-of-line for that administrator, depending upon what contract he/she is under. You need to remember that most in admin jobs are 12 month a year employees who are ENTITLED TO VACATION DAYS. Teachers only work 187 days/year with several weeks of built-in vacation during that 10 month period. Their contract has no other provision for "vacation" time.

Most principals and the like are covered under the GASA contract. Here's a link to that document. The vacation info is on page 18.

SCATS said...

By the way, KUDOS to that administrator for DOING THE RIGHT THING :)

SCATS said...

To 2:30PM ~~ It is her job to inspire her students DURING THE REGULAR SCHOOL DAY, when she is expected to be at work and they are in her class! She is no role model, not even if she was like Mother Teresa before this week, when she took off from her RESPONSIBILITIES (her students) in order to scratch another item off of her personal bucket list. It's as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Well, I tell you what, I went and blew that picture up, and that woman does have a much better figure than that bunch we paid to dance & prance to entertain the kids a couple weeks back.

Truth is I'd need to see it up close to be sure, but going on what I have to go with I wonder if she might be able to inspire them dancing teachers to shape up.

Good Lord, Spandex season is just around the corner, and we sure don't want the little darlings exposed to Spandex controlled rolled blubber. How will they ever learn proper diet when their teacher ain't inspiring?

Maybe this woman got Marathon time off in exchange for some extra duty, like teaching dance.

Charlie Hubbard said...

Scats; your 12:04 posting hit the nail on the head.

Charlie Hubbard said...

An add-on to my previous posting - I believe administration needs to clarify how this (or others) takes place.
I would remind readers the number 1 complaint from employers when asked about the readyness of our graduates was - they do not know they are to be at work 'everyday' 'on-time'.

SCATS said...

TY Charlie!! Your point about employer expectations is right on the money, too. Our kids need role models. Sadly, those that "teach" them often aren't, as we see in this specific case. Plus, look at all of the others running to support the indefensible. Worse yet, they engaged the kids in this quagmire of bad behavior.

I would hope that administration in DO would step-up & deal with this situation, since clearly, LR's school administrators have no problem with this brazen behavior.


Anonymous said...

I find 12:04's posting to be condescending and insulting. Why did you post it, Scats? It added nothing to the topic of this convwrsation.

Anonymous said...

How is this any different than a music teacher taking a day off to perform in a community event, a physics teacher taking a day off to tour the Ginna nuclear power plant, a technology teacher taking a day off to tour a plastic injection plant?

SCATS said...

To 12:38PM ~~ Who said it's different? If your examples are real, this is the first I've heard about them. Perhaps those teachers were smart enough to not broadcast their AWOL status on local TV news.

I see no accommodations in the GTA contract for "taking days off" to do the things you've suggested. Let them make those arrangements during holidays, school vacation time or over the summer.

Again, bucket list activities should be pursued on their own time, not the school district's.

SCATS said...

To 9:55AM ~~ Excuse me, but I POSTED @12:04AM in response to another person's comment! Just because you don't like my position doesn't make it insulting, etc.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Scats. I meant to say "Why did you allow 12:42's posting?

Anonymous said...

Charlie you are still a one trick pony and have been since one can remember. On this absenteeism issue, Charlie, GCSD is not Kodak. By the way where did IT go. Look how you were repaid for your record of working even when you were too sick
to keep food down. Baaaah!!

SCATS said...

To 2:47PM ~~ I enjoy those postings for the humor, that's why.

To 4:30PM ~~ You are WRONG, as usual. I can recall Charlie being called similar names for his positions on contracts, discipline & other issues. The "one trick pony" inside GCSD are all of the poor, poor victimized union employees who just refuse to be accountable for ANYTHING that happens on their watch. Y'all remind me of Obama!

Anonymous said...

Re your 9:36 comment, SCATS. Have you looked on the district webpage? I believe LR is the second story--and certainly not in the way of bashing this amazing person as someone who took two days off for "fluff". Also, at this "waste of time" event, many parents of LR students were also moved and expressed how these types of moments were more important life lessons than any academic lesson taught for 20 minutes. Lastly, I believe the lessons that event taught fall under discipline, civility AND manners. Not to be snarky, but maybe runnng is her religion, so those days fall under #1 in the contract under personal days. Or, perhaps she felt personally obliged to run this PARTICULAR race, which only takes the cream of the crop, so it falls under #4in that part of the contract. That is the thing with "language" SCATS--lots of inferring can and does take place. The NYS exam makers ensure that our students know how to do it (infer, that is)--not that you would know anything ABOUT the NYS test since you are neither a teacher nor a student. So, I now answered your questions about the district view and on the contract. You may not like them, or feel they are valid arguments, but then again, that is what makes the world go 'round. Some people are right, some are wrong, and many times there are two sides to a story. I think you know you are wrong here in this instance, hence posting more stories so this one disappears further down your blog. Why would the news pick up this story if they thought it was negative? Why didn't they run the story from the point of view you are taking? Ahhh, because they know that MOST HUMAN BEINGS WITH AN OUNCE OF COMPASSION AND COMMON SENSE would find this story uplifting AND inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Making a snarky comment about "blowing a picture up to get a better look at a woman's figure" is HUMOR? C'mon, Scats. You're better than that!

SCATS said...

To 7:44AM ~~ I'm not surprised at all by what is put onto the district's website. I seriously doubt that each item gets reviewed by Babs first. Hopefully, she has MORE important things to tend to ... like dealing with TEACHER ABSENTEEISM. She has discussed it as an area of major concern for both the budget, as well as academic achievement. So please don't try to convince me that she's onboard with this unless she actually states it herself.

As for your interpretation of the contract language, I sincerely hope you aren't an ESL teacher. If you are, please reacquaint yourself with the meaning of necessary/necessity. Some synonyms are: "requirement, compulsory, inescapable."

As for "posting more stories so this one disappears further down your blog" and the rest of your drivel that follows ... are you serious!? LMAO!!

First of all, I do not control the flow of news about Greece, I just share it.

Secondly, I keep a full week of news on the BLOG front page. If this isn't enough for you, let me know and I will adsjust it!

Thirdly, it is the "most viewed" BLOG I've posted in the past TWO WEEKS, even though it's almost 3 days old!

Fourth, you are basically claiming that I'm running away from controversy! That thought is hysterical, since most claim I do the opposite. That just goes to show that I can't possibly please everyone, so I please myself :)

As for the rest of your drivel about why other media does what it does, you will have to ask them.

By the way, you FAILED in your attempt to answer the two questions I asked, especially my second question. So it's back to crickets chirping ...

SCATS said...

To 1:05PM ~~ It's not the specific item you mentioned that makes it humorous. It's the overall picture it paints ;)

Anonymous said...

MEMO: from BDW
To: Damn CAT

You're damn right I have more important things to do than eyeball that silly website. I've been rehearsing my ability to belt out torch songs while sprawled across the top of that delightfully expensive piano we keep hidden away in the climate controlled room, and I've been hitting the gym.

After all I don't know when this gig may end, and a girl needs something to fall back on. I assure you when I dofall back it will be on a nice butt too, unlike some BOE members from the Tammy Fay school of makeup.

For your information I have personally Memoed a couple flunkies to look into this time to run situation and stall it until the public forgets. After all I have studies showing the taxpayers have a pretty standard Time To Forget, and this should go away before the Budget Vote.

Now puttitat, go chase your nice new yarnball while I handle GCSD. I am after all a credentialed professional while you're little more than a litter box raker with a keyboard.

Anonymous said...

You couldn't have edited out the "woman's shape" part of the posting? (I think I've seen you do some editing before, no?)

SCATS said...

PLEASE NOTE I received a VERY lengthy comment with lots of dictionary content attached. It wouldn't post due to exceeding Blogger length. I've never had that happen before. It came to email with many links & other attachments. If you resend a shorter version minus the extraneous crapple, I'll try to get it posted.

To 2:47PM ~~ I have to post it, edit it, delete it and then repost as part of my comment. A lot of hassle, ya know?

Anonymous said...

Sure is starting to look like there are a bunch of wimmen on this site with Buttoxus Maximus who are jealous of a woman who at least appears to deserve that Spandex.

Sheishh ain't any need to get all uppidy cause the clothes that make you worth looking at don't come in your size, get up off the couch and work off the Butterball.

Hell, that there teacher would turn my head to look. She's a whole lot better than that bunch dancing a week or so back.

SCATS said...

To 3:17AM ~~ I posted this on another comment too. I want to be sure you see it.

I've let you have your fun. This is the last round of such comments aimed at personal appearances that will be posted.