Thursday, March 17, 2005

Public School Teachers Are SCREWED

OK, in case you're having a hard time guessing, I'm angry. Oldest Sister (not to be confused with Big Sister) has always been the over achiever of us girls. She's brilliant. She has her MBA and worked on Wall Street for about a decade. She found something she loved even more than the market though -- her tutoring kids after work. Soon she went back to school to take education classes so she could teach full time -- and she did it! So she gave up the lucrative world of business to enter a field that is having a hard time luring talented people -- the public school teaching system. As always, she was a huge success. But her kids were a handful so she decided to transfer to a supposedly better school. And what happened next is what's pissing me off.

Enter the charming assistant principal, who apparently has not one compassionate bone in her body. Needless to say, we all had a hard fall with Big Sister's being diagnosed with breast cancer. Oldest Sister had meetings and her classes monitored often during this time. One such visit, the AP monitored a class before Oldest Sister was set to have surgery to remove her own "suspicious" breast tissue (it was benign, thank G-d). Did the AP care? No. The feedback she'd give my sister was cruel, not constructive. My sister tried to take it in stride and improve her focus. Meanwhile, parents were thanking my sister for making a difference in their kid's lives, etc. (You'd think that would matter, but I digress...) Did that help? No. This past week Oldest Sister was told that she would not have a job with them next year. Essentially, they had a personality conflict with her. Probably cause she wasn't a 23-year old pushover on her first gig.

But here's where it gets ugly. They want my sister to resign, so she won't be eligible for unemployment and can't sue. If she doesn't resign, then they will not give her a favorable recommendation, which means she can pretty much kiss another teaching job good-bye. I have one word for you -- blackmail.


I find this disgraceful. They are lucky my sister wants to keep teaching. If this is the way public schools treat their teachers, it's a wonder they have anyone willing to do it.


At 9:37 PM, Blogger MaxedOutMama said...

Esther, that is pretty low down nasty.

What about the union? Can they help?

Teachers really do need unions, as bad as some of them can be. My mother used to be one of the negotiators for her school district.

I can't believe blogger is actually allowing me to leave this comment!

At 10:46 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Blogger has not been my friend lately. I feel your pain. :)

Yeah, can you believe that? My good friend's mom is a principal and she said that's SOP in the education world. I find that hidious. I think union knows all about it and can't do a thing to stop it. They haven't been any help with anything she's been through over the last several months.

I bet the stories your mom could

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Gindy said...

I made it through again. I have a friend that worked with special ed kids(I told this story before). He was in very high demand. The parents liked him and the principal liked him. Even with that he was so soured by the system, he picked up and moved his family to Missouri of all places. I know other public school teachers. They all love to teach, but they all complain constantly about the beuracracy.

Are you a family of sisters or somehting?

At 9:39 AM, Blogger American On Line said...

Yes they are screwed as are most emplyees these days; the unions have been marginalized, new legislation 'reforming' the law make the courts useless, and seeking redress for what used to be a no brainer, no longer exists.

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Sergeant America said...

It's a "wonder" ... why our educational system suffers? Release "quality" and retain "quantity!"

Even though it may be a "case by case" scenario, the majority of "educators" funneled through the university/college system our Nation has in place causes the "light at the end of the tunnel" to become more faint as the days grow darker ...

At 12:38 PM, Blogger RomanWanderer said...

Ohhh it works!
Anyways, I was going to say, that is pure extortion. Is private school an option your sister would consider? I have a friend who got a teaching job in a great pr school by showing them viedo clips of her teaching the year before.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger patrickafir said...

Oy... I know people in the educational system and I regret to say that I hear about nonsense like this more often than one would think. I find it amazing how petty, ignorant, and sometimes downright stupid some of the people teaching our kids are.

I think she'll beat it, Esther, but even if she does, it is a disgrace that it's happened at all.

At 3:02 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

How can they force a teacher from the public school system?
It is an impossible thing to do in Australia.
If the teacher's status is "permanent" that is.
Unless of course you kill a kid or another teacher.

At 4:48 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Wow, go out for the day and miss so much! :)

gindy, yep -- 3 of us. I'm the baby.

Marty, SA and patrick - i totally agree.

RW, I'll ask her. Luckily, she's gotten a second interview at one place and another has asked her to interview, so she sounded better today.

felis, she didn't have tenure yet at this school; if she had, they couldn't have done this. she had it at the school with the discipline problem kids...

Thanks for feeling the outrage too, guys -- you're the best!

At 5:18 PM, Blogger MaxedOutMama said...

Sgt America, don't shoot, but I believe the problem is more with the system than the teachers.

It is the "do-nothing" teachers that are easy and cause no problems. The kids might not learn that much, but in a bureaucratic system who cares.

The ones who are really pushing are more likely to cause complaints from parents. That's a story my mother could tell.

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Hmm...I'm not sure I read SA that way MoM.

So how did you mean it, SA? :)

At 5:48 PM, Blogger Gindy said...

"How can they force a teacher from the public school system?
It is an impossible thing to do in Australia."

Tenure is everything. Once you get that you can practically anything and get away with it. Not really but close to it.

At 6:30 AM, Blogger Sergeant America said...

MoM ... in my poor attempt at verbiage, that's EXACTLY what I wanted to offer! ;)

Meaning to envoke "Occam's Razor, :)" I seem to have managed to declare "Captain Corelli's Mandolin?" :O

Peace ... out!

At 6:35 AM, Blogger Sergeant America said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 6:35 AM, Blogger Sergeant America said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 6:35 AM, Blogger Sergeant America said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Blogger is not your friend, SA. LOL.

I'm not sure which came first -- the chicken or the egg. If they treat teachers like they have my sister, then it's no wonder they can lure great caliber people to teach. That said, I do feel that some of the people going into teaching these days are not our best and brightest. How can it be? If you pay teachers poorly and treat them like crap, you can't be surprised when the business sector snags the top people.

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Sergeant America said...

Sorry, "E"

I thought(?) I "knew" what I was doin' when the dreaded 404 jumped up and bit me in the keyboard ... LOL

(I even ... posted my reply over @ my place ... ;) )


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