Friday, November 05, 2010
Dare To Be Remarkable And Expect To Be Punished For Your Efforts
I have a friend who was assigned to a school that has a motto "Dare To Be Remarkable". The teacher believed that the school's Administration was actually serious in wanting innovative and interactive teaching in the school. He had been in a previous school where the students considered him the best teacher in the school but alas, he was excessed as the school cut back staff However, to the teacher's surprise and disappointment the "C Rated" Principal had other ideas. Now the teacher is being falsely accused of "verbal abuse" and was given a Letter-To-File (LIF) for his efforts to "dare to be remarkable". As you can guess there is a story to this.
My friend, let's call him Josh, is an ATR and was assigned to the "C Rated" Principal's school this school year. Everything seemed to be going well when he was told to take over a program that was not in his subject area for a teacher who suddenly left for a long term medical emergency. He instantly connected with the students and many of the students enjoyed his storytelling and easy to understand method of teaching. However, there was one boy who resented the teacher because he was not certified in the subject. He then told his parent things about what the teacher said. Most of it untrue. It did not matter that all the other students liked the teacher and that the teacher had warned the "C Rated" Principal about the problem with the student previously. The teacher felt threatened in this climate of students filing false accusations and being believed by the Administration so he requested at least twice for the student to be transferred to another class since it could only end with the teacher being continually harassed by the student's parent. The "C Rated" Principal assured the teacher that she knew the parent and her complaints about the teacher were being ignored and he shouldn't worry. Unfortunately, the parent kept complaining about the teacher and eventually the "C Rated" Principal felt the heat and started an investigation of "verbal abuse". The "C Rated" Principal's investigation upheld the "verbal abuse" allegation based on the one child's testimony! It did not matter that all the other students supported the teacher and claimed he was a "great teacher" and refused to say anything bad about the teacher. The "C Rated" Principal, under pressure from the parent, upheld the "verbal abuse" allegation and removed the "great teacher" from the classroom and made him a day to day substitute. Now the children are upset and many parents have complained to the "C Rated" Principal but to no avail.
This teacher "dared to be remarkable" and refused to teach scared. However, in the end the accusations of one student and his parent was enough to derail a "great teacher" and remove him from the classroom hurting the 150 children in his classroom. DOE's "children last" just keeps on continuing.