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All I can say to this is … “Wow”

May 24, 2011

I was reading this story over at the “Failing Schools” blog and was struck by just how bad the demonization or criminalization as they put it of teachers has become.  I encourage readers to take the link and check out this story, it CAN happen to anyone.

“At the beginning of last year, I was still wrestling with the choice of whether or not to return to my school for another year. On the one hand, I really enjoy teaching, and looked forward to continuing to work with my colleagues, and working with a new class of fourth graders. On the other hand, the atmosphere in which I was working was downright toxic, and diminishing my overall quality of life.

I batted the decision back and forth until mid-March. At the time, one of my closest friends in the building (and, just two years prior, the school’s Mile High Teacher of the Year) was nearing the end of an incredibly stressful remediation plan. (For folks who don’t know, a remediation plan is one of the necessary steps to be taken before a non-probationary teacher can be terminated.) Despite the fact that we believed the plan was unjustified, and despite the fact that the plan required her to do an absurd amount of extra work and documentation, my friend did every last thing asked of her. She didn’t miss a single day of work, even though the job had gotten so tough on her and her health that she started losing weight.” (There’s more…)

These types of hard-nosed tactics against teachers are happening for all sorts of reasons, like speaking out against something as this person did in LAUSD.

“After yesterday’s battle for the hearts and minds of America’s youth at LAUSD, I shouldn’t have been surprised when AP Rene Martinez came gliding through the door at 8:30 this morning to stull me. Even though I have always had excellent stulls or teaching evaluations in the past, but when I saw AP Martinez, who has become a regular fixture around my class, since I reported the fraudulent graduation in June 2009, I already knew this wasn’t going to be a friendly visit. The fact that I now had the audacity to publish part of an interview and reading test results for one of my ex-students made it only a matter of time before Principal Seary, AP Martinez, or AP Janine Antoine would show up to stull me again. I don’t know, there is just something about being stulled that sounds obscene and the non-stop harassment that I continue to be subjected to only seems to support this meaning of the word. Frankly, I’m not really sure what it is supposed to mean.”

Obviously, I am not in either of these locations so I don’t know if what these teachers went through was justified.  In full disclosure, I worked with a teacher at a middle school in my district who went through the same thing and I think that teacher probably deserved remediation.  But, reading these stories makes me wonder whether or not a principal, vice-principal, or district management can enter into remediation against you because you are vocal, or because they simply don’t like you.

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