November 12, 2007

check it

Ok, so on Wednesday I got called in for a meeting on Friday, during which we would discuss my 'excessive use of force' with a student. Wha? There were 5 kids at the door, 3 of them had a pass but wouldn't give it to me, one girl ducks under my arm, I grab her shirt and then let go, and this is excessive use of force?

So I'm meeting with the assistant principal and my union rep, and the union rep had counseled conciliation and apology, so I was trying so hard to do it. And the AP is all, this is regrettable, you should never touch a child, blah blah blah, we'll see if the parent is ok with what you said, you should talk to your students the way you would like your own child talked to. You're the model, and you need to set a good example even when things are frustrating. Oh, and we hear you're not doing Drop Everything and Read the last 15 minutes of the day like you're supposed to! Every day! In math class! With no books!

In the Political Schmientist's words, "She called you in for one bullshit thing and then started giving you shit about another bullshit thing?" Yes. Indeed, that is what happened.

During the meeting, she gets a call. Another teacher was covering my class (the class in which the alleged incident had happened), and there had been so much noise in the room that the discipline head for the ESOL department - a woman who has been teaching in the school for 32 years - came down the hall thinking there was a fight. No fight, just chaos. They call one school police officer: no effect. Two school police officers: not much. The discipline head for the students in the class: nope. There are now five adults in the classroom, and it's still kind of a mess. So the assistant principal comes down, and I come down, and she screams at them about how the joke's going to be on them in life and threatens to suspend all of them unless they spend the last 20 minutes of the day (including the reading time) doing the worksheet they were supposed to do.

1. It took 7 people to cover my class for 54 minutes, and I'm the person getting in trouble for discipline issues.

2. Guess who prevented the students from dropping everything and reading for the last 15 minutes of Friday's class? Not me. The person who scolded me about how I wasn't doing it.

3. Every student turned in a paper with a name at the top. Maybe 8 or 10 of those didn't have any real work on them. Only one person got suspended. News flash: when you don't follow through on your threats, you make them meaningless! So now the assistant principal will have no clout with my students, which is bad for me and, ultimately, bad for them.

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