Sunday, October 7, 2007

Stachka! Stachka! Strike! (not a reference to baseball)

Well. The title says it all.

I am not allowed to strike, but that is of little matter anymore. The teachers are striking in Bulgaria. Many schools aren't actively striking, or only part of the teachers in the school are, but my school is actively on strike. This is quite interesting, seeing as I'm not allowed to strike and have to continue to offer my classes despite not having any students. My school just joined the strike Sept 27th. The teachers all show up at school every morning on time and sit in the teacher's lounge or smoking room until the school's regular hours are over. So for 8 hours teachers come to the school, sit there, work on school lessons (that they aren't teaching) during the period they would normally be teaching the lesson they are now working on, do paperwork, smoke, talk, and watch soap operas. The students don't come to school at all. I've seen perhaps 3, out of 500 students, come in and out of the school since the strike began.
This is a short article about the strike and news on how it's going:
I would like to correct one of the pieces of information in the article though: I have NEVER met a teacher whose salary is over 400 leva (200 euros) per month. Therefore the average salary of teachers is probably more like 300 leva (150 euros) per month. That's, on average, $212.14 per month for a full-time teaching position. There's a part-time teacher at our school that makes about 100 leva per month, 100 leva = $72. That is the lowest salary I've heard of though.

What does all this mean for me?
Lots of free time... once again. I'm trying to be productive, but it becomes hard when all you want to do is teach. Needless to say, this is not what I thought would happen when I came to Bulgaria with the Peace Corps. Well, at least part of it is not what I expected.
Boredom, Challenge, Free Time, The Unexpected: expected.
A Strike (stachka in Bulgarian or really it's стачка), Not Teaching during the school year, Watching Cable, Teaching Literature (or being able to if i was teaching at all), Eating Fruit strait from trees on the side of the street, Being Friends with my students, Eating Fabulous Yogurt: unexpected.
But, if you follow my logic, my expectations are all inclusive in the end. Even though it wasn't what I thought I was expecting I must have been expecting it, because I was expecting the unexpected and I have just told you what that was. Right? Sure. It all makes sense now.

1 comment:

rocksalive777 said...

That sounds...interesting. There was a big controversy over the budgets for schools in Kansas my senior year, but it didn't actually interfere with the school year (though it only avoided delaying the start of school by about two weeks).

So what are all of the students doing with their free time? More importantly, what are you doing with your "free" time?