A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How do you keep your job as a teacher without actually showing up?

So there's this teacher who claims that she has all kinds of esoteric, bizarre health issues. She has been out of the classroom eight times as much as she has been in the classroom. Her students have been in the hands of short-term subs and permanent subs for the LAST FOUR YEARS.

She basically shows up for a couple of weeks each year and then disappears with symptoms of scurvy or trench foot or whatnot.

She has written no lesson plans, done no grading, done no teaching for nearly her entire tenure in our district. She has also discriminated against students who do not share her ethnicity.

By the way, while claiming to be so incapacitated that she cannot possibly come to work, she has been seen in the mall and has been in texting contact with some of her students. During the school day, even. It's really good to know that her thumbs are apparently the only working body parts she possesses, along with a very active VISA account filled with a salary she has not earned.

Needless to say, this is her tenure year, and she realizes that this pattern may impede her chance at receiving what is called a "permanent teaching contract."

So what strategy has she devised now?

Apparently, now she is claiming racial bias and a hostile work environment from her fellow teachers and colleagues who have been left to put a bright face on a bad situation for four... long... years. Right now, all that has been promised is that she won't return to this building next year.

Really? I guess I shouldn't be surprised if she ends up being an administrator three or four years from now. I mean, the last time we had a totally incompetent teacher on this team, she was promoted to principal and then moved to a neighboring school district as an assistant superintendent faster than you can say, "Nincompoop."

This kind of situation develops due to poor hiring decisions, refusal to admit that a mistake has been made, and laziness on the part of... everyone. I will be ABSOLUTELY FURIOUS if the administration doesn't do the grunt work and get the documentation to make sure students get the teacher they deserve.

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At 2/18/10, 6:30 AM, Blogger Ricochet said...

We had one like that. She faked having cancer - shaving her head, etc. She was nominated to some national super teacher award before being exposed.

But teaching? Not so much.

At 2/18/10, 7:53 AM, Blogger NYC Educator said...

Nice work if you can get it. The thing is--when admin gives tenure like candy, the cry from far and wide is that teachers shouldn't have tenure. That's a false conclusion. If admin doesn't do its job, it's not the fault of working teachers.

Those of us who actually speak up most definitely need tenure. I'd surely have been fired if my former principal could have managed it, for reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with my abilities.

At 2/18/10, 3:48 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

Ugh. Like there's not enough drama in high school WITHOUT this sort of nonsense?


At 2/18/10, 7:33 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

NYC, you are absolutely right, as always.

And actually, this is a middle-school position, which makes what she is doing all the worse in my opinion, since middle-schoolers are a more fragile breed.

It's people like this that give educators a bad name. And they do not exist without bad hiring decisions and bad supervision by administration. That's the spark and the oxygen for this little explosion. She's just the gunpowder.

At 2/19/10, 11:34 AM, Blogger NYC Educator said...

I don't buy that stuff about giving anyone a bad name myself. There are bad apples in any group. People who use such models to give a group a bad name are usually morons, bigots, or both. There will always be people like that in every group. If your administrators do what they're paid for, there will be fewer. If not, it isn't any fault of yours. Or mine either.

At 2/19/10, 6:02 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

But public school bashing voucherites can and do use this as fodder. No question.

At 2/21/10, 6:11 AM, Blogger NYC Educator said...

True--but it doesn't make them right, and if your friend weren't around, they'd either find someone else or make someone up. With people like that, it really makes no difference who you are or what you do.

At 2/27/10, 8:46 AM, Blogger Duez said...

It really is amazing what happens in schools. There is so much good going on, but there are always stories like this. It is amazing.

At 3/1/10, 7:55 AM, Blogger Margaret English said...

I am sure that this post will ring bells with every teacher who reads it because there is at least one such lazy bastard in every school in the world. We can all think of thier names and their achingly familiar patterns of behaviour.

Ricochet's story is a shocker.


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