Yesterday marked the last gasp of the the city’s notorious and widely condemned rubber rooms, where hundreds of teachers, accused of violations from incompetence to financial malfeasance to touching students in their no-no zones, would spend weeks, months, or years as they waited for their cases to be heard, while still receiving full pay. It was basically like The Breakfast Club, but with much older people who, instead of soul-searching and bonding over their experiences, spent their time reading, napping, or losing their minds.
This year, one teacher called the police after another threw a fast-food wrapper into the trash can, nearly hitting her with the garbage.
Next year, instead of uselessly idling in the rubber rooms, most teachers under investigation will be reassigned to administrative or non-teaching duties. But the memories and the friendships, well, those will last forever.
As the guitar player strummed a few bars of “Let It Be,” one woman began to clock out one last time. “You sound like a sick cat,” she snapped at him. Undeterred, he kept right on.
Don’t you … forget about me.