Monday, June 02, 2014

Real Losers

I have a friend who is a fantastic teacher.  He is bright, worked hard and cares for his students.  Unfortunately his Principal did not like him.  Long story short, he ended up being sent to a rubber room where he spent 5 months and then, without even being told what he was being charged with, all charges were dropped and he became an ATR.

Friend has worked in various schools.  In each, he strived to do his best.  He cared about the kids.  But a big red R was branded on his forehead and no matter how many kids he reached he was never good enough for the administration of the schools where he worked.

Friend is disillusioned and is retiring this year.  He's taken enough abuse to last multiple lifetimes and he has had enough.  He's still being abused by his Principal but he's Teflon now and has told the evil bastard to bring on the "U".  The newbies in the school have been told to stay away from him.  The only people in the school talking to him are custodians, school guards and cafeteria workers, the ones the Principal cannot control.  It doesn't bother him since these are the real people, the ones he connects to.

The school system is losing an experienced, caring educator, one who has made a difference and would be continuing to make a difference if the system permitted.  His school administration and the city are winning as they are getting rid of another senior teacher.   He is winning because he will be able to collect a nice pension for the rest of his life.  The kids are losing but no one really cares about them.  Schools are a business and kids don't show profits.


Anonymous said...

Schools are technicallly a business, no matter how we view the situation or not. However, the reformers who are taking it to the business model are taking it 5 steps further.

Over the years and course of time, district public schools were in it to educate their students and provied best education possible. As much as I hate admitting this, the business end of of the public school system is promoting the district, keeping the student enrollment stable and growing(there are tons of districts with decreasing enrollment), and to P.R. I learned the hardway as a first year teacher Part of the job of being a teacher and administrator is P.R and promote yourself, school and district to show awesome all 3 are. It is part of the game anyone has to play, and its worse now with all of the current strings tied to education.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy that your friend is getting out and is able to move on with his life. His story is actually very similar to mine. I, too,ran afoul of a terrible Principal and was brought up on charges. I won my case, but I am still suffering because of this situation. I am not, unfortunately, old enough to retire. I am only 45. Thus, I am just trying to get 25 years in and leave to do something else. Moreoever, things are so bad for ATrs like me that I can't even apply for Summer School 2014, if you read the selection criteria.However, your friend gives me hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

OneMoreYearToGo said...

I'm 48 with almost 25 years in. I am also considering leaving. Of course, that means having to wait 7 years to get my pension, but considering everything I have gone through with students and administation, I believe the only way for me to survive physically, mentally and emotionally is to leave. Economic suicide? Maybe...but I'd be happier making less without the aggravation, etc...that comes with this job.