Since the building is 100 years old, everything is externally wired and configured. This means that many of the pipes run outside of the walls and that all of the electrical wires are run externally as well.
The walls are made of a thin plaster that reminds me of what the Ancient Egyptians used to wrap mummies. Most classrooms' outlets fall out of the wall. As a computer teacher, power is very important to me, so I taped mine back up. (see photo below)
What's worse is, nothing ever gets fixed because for the last 4 years I've been here, we've been told we're getting new building. The excuse has always been, "Why fix it when there's going to be a new building anyway?"
We've had a student go to the hospital with burns from the radiator, and a teacher last year got asthma (she never had it before) from the air quality in her room. There are no excuses for the way our students' and staff members' health and safety are at risk.
This radiator is along the 3rd floor hallway. It leaks a puddle almost every afternoon. The white areas are where the water steams because the pipes are hot enough to evaporate the water.
Here is an example of one my outlets I taped to the wall. Otherwise, the whole thing falls to the ground. I have been told by a building engineer that there's nothing we can do because the walls do not hold screws. There are 3 computers plugged into a power strip connected to this outlet.
This photo is a history lesson within itself. You can see the old (who knows how old) PA system, as well as the old phone system. Rather than remove them, the District just put the new ones in and left the disfunctional, outdated equipment still on the wall.
Here is an example of external plumbing. There is tattered insulation covering pipes that reach over 100 degrees. This radiator is on the 1st floor where the Kindergarten through 2nd Grade classes are located.
Ahh...my lovely doorhandle. Why replace it when the building is being torn down anyway?
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Philly Teacher by Mary Beth Hertz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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