Monday, January 26, 2009

Dead Teachers Walking

We all know who they are. The unfortunate few--or not so few--who walk around with a bull's eye on their backs. All too often, they are good teachers who have simply run afoul of their admins. Most of the living dead I have seen are veterans, but occasionally the newbies are targeted.

There are several in my building. One of them came to me today, as she has a few times before. This is her second year, and already I can read the writing on her tombstone. She did one boneheaded thing a while back--nothing illegal or immoral, just boneheaded--and she's been on the hit list ever since.

She's hoping I have some insight, as I'm treated pretty fairly. Maybe she hopes some of that will rub off on her. Maybe she's trying to figure out what I'm doing differently. I do try to help her. I give her lessons, advice, and an ear to chew, but I can't help thinking it's already too late.

As a newbie, the admins have a right to terminate her at any time. If they want her out, I can't see why they don't just trade an S rating for an agreement to leave. Or just let her go. I don't understand at all how it's beneficial to keep her around without giving her the support she needs to succeed.

I used to have a bull's eye on my back, but I escaped. I know I'm one of the lucky ones. Most of the hunted are taken down.


proofoflife said...

How did you get that bulls eye off??

Mr. Talk said...

The only way I could--by getting out while the getting was good. I was fortunate to have contacts outside my district or I'd have gotten the ax for sure. I know several good teachers who weren't as lucky.

Anonymous said...

My principal put a hit out on me. Now I am in a Rubber Room. My crime is that I am a senior teacher on top salary. I am far from dead and have a lawsuit against the DOE and my former boss! Teachers must stand together! Don't become victims and stand up for your rights!

Mr. Talk said...

Anon, I'm sorry to hear of your plight. I wish you the best in your fight, and I can only hope that one day soon the UFT will also sue the DOE on a grand scale. Let's have the courts decide whether the DOE's tactics amount to age discrimination. I think we'd win that one.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Yep, you've just described me.

Second "U" rating this year (first was appealed, no word yet in 8 months). Ran afoul of administration last year for giving a writing assignment to a male student that sexually harassed a female student, and was accused by principal of corporal punishment for giving the writing assignment.

Had two interviews with other schools through OMT, nothing has come of it. What to do? Yes, I am tenured, older, and make the so called "big bucks".