Today we had a staff meeting at the school's administration building and while the sounds of a football and volleyball matched droned on below the windows of the second floor staff common room, we spoke about what was to come for the returning students. They arrived on Monday (and it is still nice to see the familiar faces here and there) but they have no where to assemble for classes. All the participants of the sports competition have taken up residence in what was their classrooms.
A little clarification is needed. Apparently St. Francis was chosen to host the games for the district's senior high schools sports competition. I didn't know this was going to happen until a fellow volunteer mentioned it to me last Friday. His school was part of the teams participating. Since it was new to me it did not mean that it was a surprise to the school or the faculty, but with most of the competitors taking up residence in anything that had a roof, it seemed like the campus was turned inside-out by everyone's arrival.
With the campus crowded (I would hazard a guess of 300 extra students now everywhere on the school grounds) it seems pretty clear that there will be no classes beginning this week. One more week and I can return to teaching. I hope.
Which brings me to another point brought up at the staff meeting. There was recently a change in the pay of teachers across the country. They are government employees and after several years had passed without any change in the pay of teachers, the government decided to make a new system of pay go into effect. That change was begun with the police officers of the country. They saw a rather large increase in pay in their monthly salaries. It was presumed that teachers would also see an increase in their pay stubs, but apparently the new regime worked out for allocating funds made one thing apparent: not everyone was going to see large pay increases. Most saw very small increases as a matter of fact while others were even more surprised to see pay decreases. Talk has circulated that there will be a strike called for if the government does not change its position on teachers' pay. Our group has been asked to wait and see what happens. Right now it would appear that there will not be a strike on the campus, but Monday is a long way away.
So long as I get to come back to an air-conditioned computer lab and have students stop in to check email, I will be happy.