Tuesday, July 06, 2010
The "Bad Teacher"
The education deformers always point to "bad teachers" as the reason to eliminate tenure, seniority, and layoffs. Of course most educators realize that the education deformers (Mayor Bloomberg, Chancellor, Klein, Secretary of Education Duncan, and President Obama) idea of a "bad teacher" usually has nothing to do with their teaching skills but age, salary, and Principal dislike are the main reasons why teachers are labeled "bad". Yes, I am sure some "bad teachers" are reassigned for cause, maybe 10%? However, the really "bad teachers" that fall under the radar inhabit the New York City schools but because the administrators fail or refuse to target these teachers for one reason or another. Everybody who has been in their school for at least five years know who these "bad teachers" are. Parents, students, and staff talk about them all the time. This post is about one such "bad teacher" that has caused massive student failure at his school and the Administration does nothing about it.
This "bad teacher", I will call him Damion, works at a school with a troubled history and with very needy students who look for support from the school's staff for their academic, and social problems. The staff, for the most part, help the students when they can. However, Damion is not one of those caring or nurturing teachers who will reach out to help students in trouble. In fact, his attitude is just the opposite, he gets paid to teach and nothing else. He shows up barely on time (in some cases he misses his first period class) and is out the door as soon as he can. His teaching style makes it difficult for students to understand the subject and he does not care how many of his students struggle. Therefore, many of his students are lost and try to leave his class before it is too late but can't due to the ban on "teacher shopping" at the school, This ban was put into effect primarily due to the many students who wanted out of his class. Damion was known to have failed so many students that the school had, at the last minute, was forced to run a summer school program for the subject because of his many student failures. Damion does not care for the students or the school. Time and again he has tried to move to a different school with a a better student body only to have the principals of these schools realize that his bad attitude toward the students and his poor academic results is not for their schools. Damion has also been known to violate union rules and cooperate with investigative agencies against his teaching colleagues. Yes, it is called snitching. How disgusting!
You might ask. "How can the school's administration allow this uncaring, and uncooperative teacher who does not work well with his colleagues to stay in his job?" Easy, he works for a soft-hearted Assistant Principal who never has given a "U" rating. Therefore, the AP complains about Damion's teaching skills and attitude all the time but still gives him an "satisfactory rating" year after year. Damion is the first one to complain about our union but fails to vote or join with his fellow teachers in organizing action to help the school or the students. No wonder he falls below the Principal's radar. He never participates in any school activities or events. "Out of sight, out of mind". It is "bad teachers" like Damion that should be terminated but he never will be. For the students sake I hope that the AP and Principal wake up and jettison this "bad teacher" but I highly doubt it.