shameful teaching

It’s hard to believe in a place where you should feel safe (in particularly kids)  that it may be a place you dread due to harassment and violence that goes unseen OR, even worse, IGNORED.  The latter being more likely. (Sad Truth)

As an adult in a school district and one who joined the profession to help kids feel welcome and safe, it is shocking to discover that public schools hide a dirty little secret.

There is a giant Rug of Shame.

What is it do you ask?  It’s the black hole in almost every school where they throw away the nasties that they don’t want to the public to see.

What are some things under this Rug?

What you’re about to read, my friends, may SHOCK you. (Yes…all TRUE)

Things that are hidden under the Rug of Shame:

  1. Inadequate decision making that causes undue harm to students.   
    1. Example?  I remember the first year I worked in the school that opened my eyes to this corruption.  It was the summer of 2005 and I had a been teaching summer school, excited to be in the career and “saving the world” my way.  The room was scheduled inside a room that was overheated and lacked ventilation. Their remedy?  To install ceiling fans.    The Problem?   The ceiling was inundated with Asbestos. (yes…that cancer causing agent that is in all the lawsuits now).   Rather than move the classroom, the decision was mad to cut through this ceiling WHILE students were in class and install these fans.   YES, there was dust EVERYWHERE.   The interesting thing about this is when you voice your concern (especially as a new teacher), you are scoofed at and told it’s no big deal?   Really?   Because as I recall, asbestos does LIFETIME DAMAGE when inhaled and there was inhalation going on X10.    Messed up huh?  Years later the whole wing of the school was renovated and you know what I saw everywhere?  “DANGER ASBESTOS AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY”  and that’s only because it was being done by an outside contractor and not the inside maintenance crew.
  2. NOT all student OR teachers are Equal.
    1. A school is it’s own little world.  There are things that happen that are easily covered and not ever spoken of again.  Some students and teachers are treated differently.  Here’s a basic run down of how student’s are dealt with in a public school setting.
      1. Two Students do the same “bad thing”
      2. Both Students are written up.
      3. Both students go home and tell their parents what they did.
      4. The school or teacher may or may not call home as well.
      5. The next day Student A’s parent gets on the phone with the office.  (Let’s call them Parent A) and Parent B parent does the same.
      6. Parent A hears the same exact thing as Parent B in regards to the conduct that was written.
      7. Parent A becomes irate and irrational and can’t believe that “such a little thing” would cause a problem and would warrant a conduct.  They threaten to call the superintendent, tell all the parents and yes, some even go as far as threatening to call their lawyer friend to check up on it.
      8. Parent B listens.  Understands.  Does or does not agree but accepts it is part of the rules put in place and makes sure the student is aware of what not to do in the future.
      9. The time comes for the principal, who has encountered both parents, to give out the discipline. The principal has had multiple problems with Parent A on many occasions with their multiple kids. (there is a pattern).  Parent B is a first timer.
      10. The kid with Parent A received a reduced sentence.   The kid with Parent B does not.   Believe me…IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.
      11. KId B and KID A never know and if they do…they just shake their heads.
      12. NOW…I’m sure you’re asking yourself why.
      13. The reason is simple. THE RUG of SHAME.   It is easier to please the parent and not have them call back than it is for them to teach right and do the fair thing.  If the principal had given the KId A the sentence that the handbook says…they would surely have to sit through another ranting of irrational Parent A.  It’s just EASIER to brush this one under the rug.
      14. FAIR?   No way.   But it happens.  It happens more often with irrational parents who have multiple kids.  Principals are more likely to give the siblings lighter sentences because of the unwanted interaction with the parent. (Do a scientific study, I guarantee you I’m right)

Even teachers with the best intentions are subject to this type of audacious behavior.  The rule?  If you’re a louder teacher….you get more attention and more perks/benefits than others.  It’s just as basic as natural selection.

The RUG of SHAME will leave you with your head shaking…..and I’m just getting started….(To be continued)