Friday, May 25, 2012

DOE Decides to Torture New Teachers For A Change

The NYC DOE has become pretty adept at torturing teachers. Up until now, they've pretty much stuck to shoving bamboo shoots up the fingernails of veteran teachers, however. We've endured rubber rooms, ATR pools, public shaming by the puppet chancellor, and the TDR fiasco. Newer teachers have pretty much gone unscathed. They're the ones the DOE calls talented and energetic, and who the DOE tried to spare from layoffs. That looks like it's about to change.

I personally know of two new teachers who have been publicly humiliated by the DOE using an entirely new method. Even though they work in different districts, the same thing happened to them, which I have never heard happen to anyone before, so I assume it must be a new DOE strategy for making teachers miserable.

Both were up for tenure this year. Both are extremely hard workers and beloved by their principals. Both deserved tenure and both were recommended for it. Both received it, and got official letters telling them the good news. They shared their good news with their teacher friends, and there was much rejoicing, partying, and back-slapping.

Then the DOE took their tenure back.

A teacher at my school was notified that his tenure was revoked because despite having the required three years in the system, he has only spent two of those at my school. The other teacher I know, in another district, had her tenure revoked because superintendent didn't like one of the comments that a supervisor made in the teacher's observation last year, despite the fact that the teacher obviously corrected that deficiency and was recommended for tenure by the principal.

If I know of two cases of this happening, I can only imagine how many times this has happened across the city. The DOE spends a lot of time talking about how important it is to retain talented new teachers. Why is it treating them like this?

Because it can. Because if you are a teacher, you are the enemy. Because it wants to let teachers know that this isn't a job they should expect to have for very long, even if they are granted tenure.

Get used to it, new teachers. Don't expect to get through the 40 years or so you'll need under the new retirement system to call it a career. The DOE is planning ways, even now, to get you to quit or to fire you well before you've ever climbed the salary scale or become vested in the retirement system.

And expect them to humiliate you along the way, no matter how good you are.

No comments: