Sunday, September 27, 2015
Friday, September 25, 2015
The AP stood in front of the entire department and told them the worst room, the one with no ventilation, was going to be assigned to the teachers he did not like. Many smiled in relief but there were a few whose stomach dropped to the floor. They knew he didn't like them. They were not shocked when assignments were given out and they were assigned to that room.
Every knows this, but, did he have to say it? Where is the Principal? Why does he let this guy get away with saying this crap? Why hasn't the union even objected to a room that violates OSHA regulations?
I'm so lucky to not be part of this system anymore and they are lucky I am not part of their staff. I would take pictures and send them to every newspaper. I would have a recording of the AP's speech to send to the union. I would not sit back and take this crap.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Sunday, September 20, 2015
Someone told me that two book rooms at Packemin have been turned into a classroom for 34 students. The room has no windows. The only air comes from a fan.
PLEASE SOMEONE TELL ME THIS IS NOT TRUE!!!
I remember those book rooms. They were claustrophobic. I know teachers who used to work in there because it was the only quiet spot, but it was gross. I can't imagine children being forced to learn in that environment and a teacher being forced to work there.
I know the school is overcrowded, but still. What happened to OSHA rules about healthy work places? There is a requirement to provide outside ventilation. If this was true, the union would surely intervene. What happened to caring administrators? The Principal has a huge office with an even larger conference area and the secretaries have a pretty nice space too. This story has to be false. No caring administrator would keep a comfortable, extra large work space while forcing children into such an educationally unsound place. No, two book rooms could not have been combined into an airless classroom for 34 students.
If all this is true, maybe classes will be in here soon.
Friday, September 18, 2015
I was sitting and listening to parts of DeBlasio's speech on the benefits of Renewal Schools and how well students are doing in them. He ended the speech by pushing AP classes in all schools. He wants all kids to have computer science
I've taught AP and I teach in college. While these initiatives are great, he needs to address the basics. Students are graduating without basic skills in math, reading and writing. Studying is non existent. I'm not just referring to low income schools. I've seen students from Francis Lewis HS, Cardozo HS, Bayside HS and more, all top level schools who lack basics. They have gone through 12 years of school doing nothing and expect the same in the future. DeBlasio sounds good but he still has no idea of what is going on in today's schools. Nothing changes.
DeBlasio is ending by saying he wants kids to have hope and to believe in themselves. He needs to start doing this with a work ethic and a solid foundation of math, reading and writing. He wants to raise the graduation rate from 68,4% to 80% but this will only work if the diploma received is a real diploma, not a diploma like the ones given out today.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
I saw this cartoon and thought about a supervisor who had know idea about anything she was supervising. She picked the brains of the experienced and knowledgeable and then tossed them aside when there was nothing left to gnaw off.
You young ones beware. She hired you because you are smarter than she is and you make her look good but she will toss you aside too once she has extracted all the good you have.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
This is my 5th year free from returning to work after the summer but those memories are still clear. I was sad to see my days of lingering in bed and having lots of free time end but I was also excited about the new year, seeing colleagues and former students and meeting new ones. Oh, don't get me wrong even after 30+ years I still got butterflies in my stomach and didn't sleep much the night before but walking in that door the first day was a high I will never forget.
I am blessed because I still get that feeling the first day of classes in the college and whenever I get a call to cover another class. I won't say I don't enjoy the money because it is very nice but I wouldn't work if being there didn't make me feel so good. (Thank you pension for providing me with the means not to work, the pension that cost me blood, sweat and tears.)
I listen to teachers who went back this week who dreaded going back. They knew no matter what they did the year would not go well. Supervisors who had been gunning for them last year have already written up this year's review. Their fate has been predetermined.
Principals and assistant Principals are supposed to care about the students in their charge. They are supposed to want the best for them but how can this be when they make the people in their immediate care so miserable? How can a teacher be expected to do a great job when their is someone pointing a smoking gun at their head?
All you incompetent, miserable APs and Principals, you guys know exactly who I am talking about. You, with little or no experience. You, who took licensing exams multiple times. You are getting your kicks now but your time will come. May you have as many sleepless nights and stomach problems as the ones you are perpetuating on good, caring teachers.
Monday, September 07, 2015
The new Principal came up through the ranks. He understood what went into making a good teacher and he really wanted to be an effective administrator. I so wanted to believe him and then he told me about his school.
The first thing the Principal told me was that 87% of his staff was rated either effective or highly effective. And, although he knew how these ratings were arrived at,, he didn't seem to care. He talked about the 62% graduation rate at his school and gave me the impression he would do whatever was necessary to raise this statistic.
I felt discouraged after my meeting with this Principal. He worked his way up in the system but he was still a Leadership Academy graduate. Stats were all that mattered
Saturday, September 05, 2015
First I would like to address all the teachers who don't have tenure. You NEWBIES better listen carefully. When I say jump, you ask HOW HIGH FATHER? I will answer once and you must remember and then jump higher every time. I have the power to give you an Ineffective rating and take away your license. I will not hesitate to use this power on anyone who displeases me. I expect 100% passing in all your classes. Anything less is not satisfactory. And please don't tell me you are working hard. If you do your job correctly you won't have to work hard at all.
Second, I would like to address those of you in your late 20's to mid 30's. A few years ago you were the sweethearts of the department. I coddled you, made sure you only had good students in your classes and gave you good programs. I made older, more experienced teachers observe you, not because you were good, but because it humiliated them. Well, guess what? You guys are no longer the chosen ones. Look around you and see those straight out of college. They are the new, good teachers. You have moved down on the ladder so watch out. There is a chance I might be coming for you soon.
Lastly we have a few seasoned teachers around. Those working so many years that they are beginning to stink. I know you were once considered to be good. You always had good results and could handle difficult students but like the litter in my cat box, it is time for you to go. You think I can't do anything to you but I can. I've already stacked your classes with the most difficult students in the school and have written up all your observations, all of them totally unsatisfactory. Your union is useless when it comes to stopping me. I will hound you day and night, make you dread coming to school . I will make you so sick you will be forced to retire. I've done it to others and I will do it to you. You guys in that second group beware. Most of you will not make it here.
Now don't try to go against me. Even the Principal has my back on this issue.
Now that we got all the ugly business out of the way, let's all get busy and have a productive year. After all, we all want what is best for our students.
(Picture is a real cocktail bar at a street fair in Brussel's Belgium taken this summer-change duck to teacher and you can get this AP's message.)
Thursday, September 03, 2015
Tuesday, September 01, 2015
Everyone knows that schools do better with experienced staff. Even a teacher with only three years under her belt will do better than a newbie straight from college. And, even experienced teachers transferring in need a bit of time to learn the procedures of a different school.
So now I'm starting to wonder what is wrong with one particular Principal. The school is in a great neighborhood with easy parking and access to public transportation. The students are relatively good, no gang violence or any real problems of any kind. Heck, there is even a great teacher's cafeteria, something very few schools have now a days but teachers are still leaving in groves.
I've heard that 10 teachers (I might be wrong on the exact number) walked out of one department this year, a department with very needy students. Now I am not around but I am guessing that 10 teachers from one department can only mean there is something wrong with the supervisor. Does this person know how to be a supervisor? How does this AP do when it comes to training and helping teachers? Can the AP deal successfully with problems that arise? Does the AP treat all teachers fairly and equally? I've heard stories (count them as stories as I am not giving any proof) of shenanigans with grades and credit recovery and with regents proctors who supply answers during exams. Can it be the teachers don't want to participate in this cheating scheme?
Now back to the title of this post. Shouldn't a Principal notice something is wrong when so many teachers walk out the door year after year? Or, maybe the Principal doesn't care. Maybe this Principal approves of this behavior. After all, the school's statistics are still good and the school is still one of the highest rated in the city.