Thursday, December 25, 2014
Santa Claus And The Leadership Academy Principal
Once again its Christmas and poor old Santa Claus finds himself in hot water yet again. This time Santa Claus was hired in one of those Bloomberg small schools, despite his checkered past, because he was inexpensive and untemured. The Principal, a 35 year old with two years of teaching experience and straight out of the "Leadership Academy" told the not so jolly old Santa that he was expected to work a "sixth period" without compensation as he called it student assistance and also handle the school cafeteria.
During the semester Santa tried hard but the students were a challenge, many of them were two or three grades behind and many had behavior issues that the Administration ignored. When Santa tried to impose discipline of his own in the classroom he ended up with the Leadership Academy Principal giving him a letter to the file, not once but three times for verbal abuse. His fourth letter to the file was for corporal punishment as OSI substantiated that he told one badly behaved boy that he would be getting coal in his stocking for Christmas. He also had an SCI investigation initiated by the Principal who claimed that Santa called some of the girls hookers. Santa explained to the SCI investigators that he said "ho, ho, ho and never called them hookers. Of course SCI substantiated the Principal's accusation that he used verbal abuse of a sexual nature and received yet another letter to the file. The administration provided no support and came into his classroom for "gotcha observations". When Santa Claus asked the Assistant Principal to model a lesson, the AP laughed and said that's your problem not mine.
Santa Claus found himself swamped with tons of paperwork, useless professional development, and calling or scheduling meeting with parents who didn't even bother to answer the phone or appear for their appointments. Worse, many of his students needed special education services but were either not receiving them or the school never hired certified personnel such as therapists, social workers, or guidance counselors because of the Principal's obsession to save money. The less services provided for the students the more money the school has. Worse, poor old Santa found nobody on staff to talk to. .There was no Chapter Leader and the staff consisted of 20 something newbies, many of them two year Teach For America wonders.
Finally, Santa had to prepare for Christmas and asked to take a personal day. However, the Leadership Academy Principal refused permission and told Santa if he takes a day off between now and the end of December, he will discontinue him. Santa reluctantly complied and on the last day of school, two days before the Christmas vacation, Santa was handed a letter by the school secretary that stated that he will be discontinued as of February. Santa contacted the union who expressed regret and said that they will represent him in his appeal to the Superintendent but alas, we know that those appeals are never won.
Poor Santa Claus, his every attempt to spread joy to the children of the NYC public schools is thwarted yet again. This time by the Leadership Academy Principal.