Friday, February 06, 2009
I Think He Needs Help
Another teacher in my department had a major problem with Mr. AP this week. While I don't condone, excuse or forgive his behavior, it has gotten me thinking. I'm not softening, I'm just starting to wonder.
Mr. AP and I were friends years ago. Well, not actually friends, but we were very friendly. When he was Mr. Teacher, we joked around all the time. He taught bilingual classes right next door to my pre-calculus classes and would often want to come in, as we taught many of the same kids. I always hated having another adult in the room and never let him in. This was a running joke between us.
Everyone was happy when Mr. Teacher became Mr. AP. We collected money (not an easy feat from my cheap department) and bought him a really nice desk chair. When Mr. AP left our school (for a short time) to go to another location, we wished him well. We warned him to be careful about his mouth. (He was difficult even then, but he could be talked to about his problems.) I even went to visit him at his new school. Unfortunately (for everyone), the new school did not work out and he returned. Many of us welcomed him back. He has always been hard nosed, but he listened. If he was rude to someone, I used to wait until he calmed down, point out his behavior and he apologized to the offended party. He used to speak to me as both a friend and a colleague and ask for advice (unofficially, of course.) He sometimes listened and when he did not listen, he had a good reason for not doing so. There were always people he picked on, but not the way he does now.
I realized, after speaking to my colleague , that he is really in serious trouble. He must be having some sort of breakdown. His behavior now is totally irrational and out of control. To know him now is to despise him. I even wonder if the abuse he received from Suit has scarred him irrevocably. I've gone from being angry at him to worrying about him. I even spent 10 minutes defending him to a student today.
Being a person in a position of power is not a good job for him. He has let power go to his head and he has abused it royally. Running a department with terror is not a good idea. He needs a major intervention, something to help him see what he is doing. He needs to suffer some repercussions for the things he has been doing. He also needs help, which I hope he gets.