Important PSA for teachers– READ THIS

I am going to make a big deal about making sure people know about this, because I feel like I went through some seriously life-changing shit in the last couple of hours, and at least at the moment I don’t feel like the Biden administration is doing nearly good enough of a job making people aware of this program.

I am, as many of you know, currently paying off a hefty amount of student loans. I was about to launch into details, but you don’t need them; suffice it to say that I left school for good in 2005 and since then I have sent $545 a month to some organization or another to pay off said loans. There have been various and sundry government programs that allowed teachers in certain districts or certain schools to pay off certain loans throughout that time, and I’ve used some of them (I was able to eliminate my Perkins loans entirely several years ago) but for certain others I didn’t qualify because I had consolidated my loans with a third-party student loan company and they were no longer directly serviced by the government.

I have made 146 payments at that amount while teaching for my current district. 146 is more than 120. That information, as it turns out, is critical, because:

If you have worked in public service since 2007, and I don’t know precisely how they’re defining it but working for public schools counts, and I think “public schools” means all of them, not just low-income, and work for them means any job, not just, say, math or science or ELA teachers or whatever, there has recently been a really important rule change that means that if you’ve made your 120 payments to anybody it will count toward your loan forgiveness.

In other words, because I was teaching while making 120 payments on my student loans, even though I wasn’t paying the Direct Loans program back, I am now eligible not only to have every remaining dime of principal and interest forgiven– tens of thousands of dollars, and sixteen more years of payments– but they will reimburse me for everything I’ve paid since that last qualifying payment.

The one tiny hitch is that you have to re-consolidate your loans back to the federal Direct Loans program first. Which I just did. The paperwork to have my district verify my employment is right here(*) and once I have that filled out and sent in and everything goes through …

Boom. No more student loans. Gone.

$545 a month back in my pocket, forever.

And then? A large check.

If you are a teacher go check this out right now.




(*) Y’know, Federal government, you could just check with, like, the fucking IRS on that; they know where I’ve worked. I promise.(**)

(**) Yeah, there’s probably some sort of privacy law that prevents this. I waive it. Go.


Looks like we’re gonna die. I’ll miss you all.



In which I work miracles

headdeskOkay, y’all.  Remember that to-do list I mentioned on Friday?  No?  Too bad, because this is it.  Some names changed to protect the innocent.

❏ Check (other teacher’s) data files
❏ Check pencil sharpeners
❏ Clean classroom
❏ Complete new Dropbox folders
❏ Create email roster for Parent Night
❏ Create/print textbook number rosters for each class
❏ Decouple 6th grade folder from dropbox
❏ Determine how math grades work– two classes, one grade?
❏ Determine which curriculum maps belong to Algebra class
❏ Email (yearbook lady) WRT yearbook
❏ Email staff about new Dropbox stuff
❏ Extra set of clothes for parent night
❏ Figure out DC fundraiser
❏ Figure out DC meeting
❏ Figure out the rest of the letters
❏ Figure out/arrange desks
❏ Find 7th grade workbooks
❏ Find some sort of bell-ringer book
❏ Find/count textbooks
❏ Finish student folders
❏ Get dates/schedule into lesson plan book
❏ Make sure we have a new yearbook advisor
❏ Mount whiteboard
❏ Move computer files over to my new account
❏ Nail bookshelf back together
❏ Organize file folders
❏ Print and bind algebra curriculum map
❏ Print out rosters– demerits, tardies, homeroom collectibles
❏ Print packets for Parent Night
❏ Pull one computer out from under table
❏ Put student birthdays on calendars
❏ Read through and mark up discipline plan
❏ Schedule union meeting for next week
❏ Seating charts???
❏ Talk to (four other teachers) about Success spreadsheet
❏ Track down potential new union members
❏ Track down union people
❏ Update data files for 2013-14
❏ Update materials/rules/discipline policy if necessary
❏ Update Teacher Assistant
❏ Write first day letter/email collection letter
❏ Write lesson plans for 1st three days of school
❏ Write sub/emergency plans
❏ Write syllabus for Algebra

Note that even though some things seem to be duplicates, they’re really not.  For example, “figure out desks” and “seating charts???” are two completely different activities– one is determining where to put the desks in the room, which is a pedagogical decision involving thinking about lines of sight, management, grouping, and other considerations (not to mention aesthetics) and another is purely a management decision– I’ve gone two years without a seating chart in any of my classes, but at least one of my groups I think is going to demand one.  Two of them, I think, can handle non-assigned seats.

I think only one item on the list is genuinely optional.  Maybe two.  Everything else needs to be done by 5 PM on Tuesday because that’s when Parent Night starts, and school starts on Wednesday.

You will forgive me if this is the only post today.  I have things to do.

Okay, stop the world, I’m getting off

Ladies and gentlemen!

I give you… the internet.