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S.L.A.M day 1

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

After the STEM fellowship program was canceled due to insufficient enrollment, I decided to teach summer school. Here is my first day experience with S.L.A.M. (Summer Learning And More).

Today started off great.

I got to sleep in. I got to walk to work for the first time ever. When I arrived to my summer school site this morning I couldn’t be more happy about what I found.

Jackson Elementary School has the most welcoming appearance of any school I’ve been in. The doors open up into a pristine hallway lined with the flags of the students’ nationalities lining the walls. The bulletin boards have current news and actually interesting events listed.

By 9:10 a.m. everything changed.

The principal and acting IRF (instructional reform facilitator) of the summer program welcomed everyone to the building and told the assembled teachers that they had received an email from the District this morning. Like every other time I’ve heard "we got an email from the District this morning," the news wasn’t good.

Due to yet another staffing snafu, nine teachers were to be bumped out of the building and have to pick another school tomorrow morning at 10:30. I was relatively certain I would be called as my summer school seniority is quite low. Sure enough my name came up as number nine.

So, I lose practically all of the two days of orientation and have no idea what school I’ll be able to pick tomorrow. It’s a big system, budgets are in flux, people are unpredictable, I get it. But I’d really appreciate if the District would start getting more things right in terms of staffing … like, soon.

See everybody else who got bumped tomorrow at Franklin High.