Friday, December 17, 2010
"Dare To Be Remarkable" Part 2: The Saga Continues AsThe Union Gets Involved But The Teacher Is Excluded From The Meeting.
If you remember back in November I wrote an article about my friend the ATR who was required to teach out of license as a teacher who had the class and went out on a long-term illness. A parent didn't like the fact the teacher was not certified in the area of instruction and made his life a living hell as the "C rated Principal" failed to take the proper action, urged by everybody, to remove the student from the teacher's class. The result was the Principal decided to make the teacher a day-to-day-sub. However, the best laid plans often go astray, especially when it comes to the DOE. Therefore, my friend the ATR saga continues.
Josh came to school thinking he was finally rid of the student and the parent only to be told that the "C rated Principal" could not find an ATR in the certification area and she could not get another ATR since they are no longer free to the school. This concerned Josh since he knew that nothing good will come from his continued interaction with the student and the out of control parent. Just as Josh started to despair, he found out another teacher took a long-term medical leave in his certification area. "What luck"! Josh could teach in his certification area, get away from the student who is causing him trouble, and hopefully lead to a permanent position. Sounds logical right? Wrong! This is the DOE where up is down and right is left. Sure enough the "C rated Principal" gave the only other ATR in the building the schedule and she is not certified in the subject! Why would you not have Josh teach in his certification area (remember he was and is an excellent teacher)? However, this "C rated Principal" is known to make decisions that defy reason and this is just another example of her poor leadership.
Josh decided to make the best of the bad situation and tried to find common ground with the student and went out of his way to engage the student in conversation. Wrong move. You guessed it. The student told his parent about how Josh was paying interest in him which resulted in the paranoid parent calling the Superintendent's office and yes, even the police, by claiming Josh was harassing her child. The police dismissed the complaint after contacting the "C rated Principal" who assured the police that Josh was just trying to find common ground with the student and did nothing wrong and the parent is out of control. Thankfully, the "C rated Principal" finally did the right thing this time. She called Josh in and warned him not to engage the student in any conversation that does not concern the classroom. Unfortunately, for Josh, the nightmare with the child and the parent is not over. When he realized that the situation was untenable he finally reached out to the union leadership for help. He took it to the Borough Representative who bucked it down to the Special Representative, who dumped it on the District Representative. Josh was not pleased with the union's "buck passing". However, he figured maybe if the District Representative went in with him to meet with, the "C rated Principal", this could be resolved. The District Representative did show up to meet the "C rated Principal" but excluded both Josh and the Chapter Leader. Once the meeting was over, the District Representative left the building without talking to Josh or the Chapter leader about what was said and agreed upon at the meeting, To date Josh has not been told anything about the meeting and he is still teaching the very same schedule that could result in further harassment by the student and his parent.
Here is another case of our union's secrecy that only seems to have negative consequences when it comes to the teachers they are supposed to represent. I can only hope in this case I am wrong and my friend Josh's saga comes out with good results.