A few weeks ago a new procedure for the teachers was instituted. It took me awhile to figure out exactly what it what, but when the school director first introduced it, there was quite a hubbub. And by hubbub I mean screaming and yelling between the school director and one of the teachers in particular. I have become unusually desensitized to the yelling in the staff room and assume that in the next few minutes they will be chuckling and laughing with each other. However in this case, I knew it was serious because other teachers were telling those involved to be quite. The bell was rung and the teachers slowly dispersed for class.

Finally, my co-teacher was able to explain that now every day two teachers must be on “duty”. Being on “duty” means to ring the bell at the end of class and the end of break. It also means that during a free lesson one needs to sit at the desk downstairs by the main door and the other needs to stand at the top of the stairs during the lesson. If one of the teachers on “duty” has class, than another teacher with a free lesson has to fill their spot. This means that teachers have basically no free time, and due to the weather- be cold. It also means that Mandatori have nothing to do. They sit in the office on the main floor and watch the expensive monitors that show all angles of the semi-dilapidated school. Yes, the school/government spent money on a surveillance system rather than new chalk boards or any number of essentials that are lacking. Yay for priorities.

The Mandatori office is in the far corner of the school and if they needed to intervene, teachers or other students probably would already be on the scene. They no longer seem to patrol around the school. They sit in their heated office, watching the screens, playing on their phones and taking notes if some teacher comes to them with a student or specific problem.

Occasionally, one will still poke her head into a classroom if the door is left open. But the threat of opening the door has changed. In the past, a teacher quietly and somberly opening the door during class meant that a Mandatori would soon be on the way to berate the children. Now, the door can be open for an entire class period without the slightest hint of one.

I then asked my co-teacher what theMandatori’s purpose was, and she shrugged her shoulders and said “They are supervisors now”. She said this with a wry smile.

I can only wonder what the next change will be in the daily routine of teachers.