Monday, April 09, 2012

Damned If You Care, Damned If You Don't

If you are a teacher in New York City there are times you just can't win.  Take Eric Chasanoff, for example.  Eric is a warm, caring teacher who had a young woman in his class who was not doing well.  He could have taken the easy way out and ignored her and let her fail.  Instead, he talked to her, encouraged her and did the unspeakable, HE PRAISED HER.  She passed exams and for this he was punished and eventually exonerated.  The Daily News and the NY Times are keeping the punishment alive.

Another teacher I know takes the opposite approach.  He feels kids should do well, or not, on their own so, when he has a child who is not performing well, he leaves that child alone.  He was recently observed by his Principal and written up for not involving this young man in the lesson.  This teacher, while still in the classroom, is also worried about eventually getting that ineffective rating.

Damned if you do and damned if you don't.  There is no answer to the right way to hold on to your job.  There is an answer to the right way of doing it and Eric has that answer.  I worked with this man and know that while he might have used an inappropriate phrase and let's face it, who hasn't--even the almighty education mayor and his poodle have done so, he is not a sexual pervert or a danger to students in the classroom.  I would have been thrilled if he had taught one of my children.

Not only is Eric and the other teachers being punished with these so called news articles, but every teacher in the system is being put on notice.  A teacher has a major job not only teaching, following ridiculous common core standards and now must censor every word and deed before it is actually said or done.  Robotic teachers and videos might be the wave of the future.  At least these things can't make the mistakes these educators made. 

(No reason for the picture except that I love these old wooden escalators in Macy's.  I hope they keep them in spite of all the renovations.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Agreed! Teachers who don't or won't reach out to students are not real teachers IMO. However, I encontered a problem with students who didn't want help. It's a horrible position for teachers. It's important for parents to support your efforts in writing to CYA.