So I’ve ranted on and on here about the evils of my job. But wait, there’s more. I am crying pretty much every day. I need this job to be able to pay our mortgage. Yet working here has me so beaten down and defeated I don’t know how much more I can take. I also do not like being so negative on here all the time, but this is my only place to truly just vent and if I don’t get this off my chest, I WILL lose it.
Just this week:
- Principal and CEO met to discuss staff returning next year. One teacher, D, who is GREAT was being discussed. They don’t like him because he calls them on their BS. They left the door open during their meeting (dumb) and a few of us heard everything. They actually said “Let’s just say on his review that he shouldn’t be around children.” Yup. Making up a lie to get someone fired; and not just a lie, but a lie that can be career killing for a teacher. Our reviews go to the state boards of our certification. This could make him lose his. This has made us all scared. If they start taking a dislike to any of us (which I think they already hate me), with a lie they can ruin someone’s life.
- In our contracts, its stipulates that if we get good reviews we get bonuses over the summer. In this same meeting Principal says to the CEO, “Let’s just give them all low reviews so we don’t have to pay bonuses.” Not. Making. This. Up. Not only is this unethical, but as above, potentially career killing as our reviews GO TO THE STATE.
- Being a charter school, we need 300 students next year to make budget. Our secretary, who is on our side, says we have 180 and they are “discussing” just cutting everyone’s salary in half because of that. But to our faces, they told us that we have the 300 and no one is going to lose salary.
- By state law, we have to be informed, IN WRITING, if we are re-hired next year by May 15th. That didn’t happen. In fact, many of us got the “you are not being re-hired next year” letter. This was followed by reassurances that we WERE being rehired but that they were re-organizing and changing everyone’s position so they “had to fire” many people so they could “re-hire” in our new positions. BS. That is not the law. That is never done anywhere. In a school, when you are asked to change positions/grade level/subject, you get a new contract right away. Since we got the “you’re fired” letter we think they just either a) will not re-hire us for real and are just saying they are going to re-hire us so we don’t start all using our accumulated days and taking off or b) will re-hire us with “new” contracts with much reduced salaries. Since, as above, we have heard them blatently lying, none of us with the fired letter feel secure on their verbal “you are coming back” comments. I got one of the “your’re fired” letters.
- Our 6th grade language arts teacher got punched in the face by accident as she was breaking up a fight. It was an accident, she was not upset. Principal came to her, brought her an ice pack, the nurse wrote up the incident report, it was well documented. We were told to “stop spreading rumors” about this teacher, that she got punched in the face as it makes us “look bad.” The principal told us this. The one who helped care for the teacher AFTER SHE GOT PUNCHED IN THE FACE. We were shocked and said, “but she DID get punched in the face.” She gritted her teeth and spat out “Nothing. Happened. To. Mrs. D., got it!?” Seriously! Why would you lie about something that is DOCUMENTED and had many witnesses and that, you yourself, helped take care of?!
- We have one student, Z, who cuts class multiple times a day, every day. We have reported this and asked for help repeatedly. Nothing is done. Today we had an emergency where a student, accidentally, got seriously hurt and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. We were on lock down just to protect this student’s privacy and to stay out of the way of the EMT’s/police. She was told to stay in her room. She ignored that, slammed open the door and took off to go and see what was going on. Nothing was done. So, a student who wanders the halls IN A LOCKDOWN, which is very serious, has zero consequences. She and another student were caught hiding in an empty classroom during their math period…and…you guessed…no consequences.
- Students have caught on that admin does NOTHING no matter what they do and have begun to be so disrespectful it takes my breath away: calling us teachers names, boldly just saying, “No” to any directions we give, throwing their work on the floor and saying “I’m not working,” cutting class, fighting, etc. When we attempt to impose school rules/discipline, they say, “You can’t do nothin’, watch, nothin’s gonna happen to me.”
- Severe and repeated bullying by the same handful of students to a few girls, calling them horrible names, pulling their hair, pulling their pants down…and they have had zero consequences. Two of the students went home early today saying they wanted to hurt themselves because of the bullying. The teacher who heard that, reported it, of course, but it was ignored. Which is against the law. When a student says that, crisis prevention workers are required to be called.
- A teacher was out sick today. He let the principal know last night. She “forgot” to tell anyone else and did not arrange for a sub and was out today herself. At homeroom this morning we were all scrambling, including the vice-principal who also knew nothing about the teacher being out, trying to figure out who to cover his classes. We pulled one of the special ed teachers to cover but she has no experience with the kids and it was during that period that the student got seriously hurt as mentioned above. He was trying to open a window, the SPED teacher, who doesn’t know the room, didn’t know the window sticks. The student pulled really hard to open it and it shattered, ripping a huge wound in his wrist, spurting blood everywhere. He was taken by ambulance and rushed into surgery to repair the artery and get stitches. But if we had known the teacher was going to be out, we would have planned for a sub, told them not to open windows, etc. During the scrambling to find coverage for his class is when the injury happened…could have been prevented if we knew he was going to be out…not even the vice-principal knowing, seriously!
This all has just happened in the last five days.
So, when you hear news about how education sucks, about how can bullying get so bad that kids kill themselves, about why urban schools are such a mess and failing students, about how bad public education is…this is why. It’s not the teachers. It’s not the students. It’s people like our admin.