I just read on the BBC News site that Most schools aren't turning "green". This comes as no surprise to me, and something that I'd wanted to have a rant about for a while - the absolute WASTE of resources generated by just one school. Whilst one teacher on our staff battles on to try to win us "green" awards by creating a little garden that pupils can work on at lunchtimes, and organising the paper recycling, the rest of the school - pupils and teachers alike - continue to contribute to astronomical fuel bills and sheer waste of paper. Regardless of the PSE sessions and geography and science lessons, in practice the school is worse than any other place I've worked in.
Here's what is NOT green about the school:
1. The building: draughty most of the year, with windows rattling in rotten frames and doors continually left open. For over half the year the heating has to be turned up full everywhere to make a difference. For a few months in summer we swelter in the heat generated by the sun beating through the badly insulated building, whilst the computer suites bask in their incessantly whirring air conditioning.
2. Computers and printers left on - all the time. No matter how many times we are told to shut them down at the end of the day, most rooms contain equipment still left on at the end of every day, overnight, and even all weekend. It makes me furious.
3. And while it may grow on trees, paper is wasted every single second. Kids printing out their work send it through multiple times, and then when it is actually printed, it's full of mistakes so they have to repeat the process. Kids think nothing of screwing up a piece of paper and requesting another one when a drawing has gone wrong, even though they could just erase the mistakes. Two photocopiers churn out multiple worksheets and letters home (that get left on classroom floors) every minute of the working day. Weighty booklets of documentation are distributed to each teacher at regular intervals, and most of it goes unread.
4. The buses waiting to take pupils home sit there for at least 15 minutes at the end of the day belching out noxious fumes from their antiquated exhausts, making bus duty the equivalent of smoking several really big cigars.
And we're all guilty of something too - through choice or by necessity, most teachers live a good car drive away from the school, because nobody wants to live too near the pupils, or share a bus with them at the end of the day...