SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Dateline NBC, To Catch A Teacher

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dateline NBC, To Catch A Teacher

We here at SBSB have come across a transcript of a new Dateline NBC series, "To Catch a Teacher." He now is the secret transcript we received. Quite disturbing.

Chris Hansen (voiceover): We here at Dateline NBC, along with Teach For America, are on a quest to keep teachers over away from students. We have set up cameras in a classroom to catch these older teachers who apply for teaching jobs online. But there are no teaching jobs. It is all a ruse. With the help of Teach For America operatives and Dateline NBC, teachers thinking they have gotten a position with the NYC DOE are exposed for what they truly are. Teachers. Teachers that feel that being over forty years of age qualifies them to teach students.

When these teachers show up for a "job" little do they know that School Safety officers are outside ready to take them down. Today, we are at a school in the Belmont section of the Bronx. A teacher, who on his application went by the email address arrives. Teach4ever is really Joe Smith, 45 years old, married 12 years with two children, a boy 9, and a daughter 7. He lives a suburban life in Dobbs Ferry, NY. In his application, teach4ever said that he likes to "work on critical thinking skills" with students, that he hopes to "forge good relationships," and most disturbingly claimed he "doesn't care about the money, that students are most important to him." Our decoy principal, Wendy Kopp made to look like a principal invites him into the classroom early in the morning.

Wendy Kopp:
Oh, you are the new teacher, come one in. I am early today. I have to do some work in my office, but make yourself comfortable. I'll be back later.

(Joe Smith makes himself comfortable. He hangs up his jacket and puts his backpack up on his desk. He sits down in the chair. Suddenly, Chris Hansen walks in from the hallway.)

Chris Hansen: Hello.

Joe Smith: Hello. How are you? Are you the principal?

Chris Hansen: That doesn't matter. Let me ask, what are you doing here?

Joe Smith: Today is my first day teaching here. I am quite excited.

Chris Hansen: Do you usually get excited when you teach?

Joe Smith: Yes. I love teaching. I love seeing the look on student's faces when the learn something new.

Chris Hansen: I bet you do.

Joe Smith: Look, if you are not an administrator, I would really like to get set up for the students.

Chris Hansen: What was your plan here today? I am reading your application. It says that you have two masters degrees, that you have outstanding recommendations. That you were named teacher of the year in your former school district. Just what do you mean by that?

Joe Smith: To introduce myself to the students, get the lay of the land. Hopefully some guided reading, read a story. yeah, I said that all.

Chris Hansen: You are demented. What's in the bag? May I see?

Joe Smith: Sure, go ahead.

Chris Hansen: Let's see (opening the bag), you have chalk, lined paper, construction paper, Harry Potter, lanyard. What do you think you will do with lanyard?

Joe Smith: I was hoping to do some art projects later. Lanyard is great for doing a math lesson.

Chris Hansen: I bet. It seems that by what you have in your bag you intend to teach students.

Joe Smith: Hey, what the heck is going on here? Who are you?

Chris Hansen: I'm Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC and we are doing a story about teachers over 40 who try to teach children.

Joe Smith: Never heard of you, you know what. I am leaving.

Chris Hansen: You're free to leave whenever you want. You can leave right now.

Joe Smith:
Yeah? Right now? I can walk out that door? This is a messed up school.

Chris Hansen: You can leave whenever you want to. I am not stopping you (cameras close in).

Chris Hansen (voiceover):
As Joe Smith left the classroom he was confronted by 10 School Safety officers. He was put in a choke hold and tased repeatedly. Joe Smith got the message. Teachers over 40 will be dealt with promptly and accordingly.

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