The story below came across the desk of the SBSB newsroom late this afternoon. Our collective SBSB jaws dropped while reading of not only a school in disarray, but of a young teacher being tormented, and the lack of support, by the administration of this school.
Another bit of irony, the author shares that she has had one formal observation and no feedback concerning her teaching. One might think that this shows that the new evaluation system and E4E's evaluation suggestions are what are needed to properly evaluate teachers. I say the opposite. That it is up to the administrators to do their jobs and to do their observations on teachers, to collaborate and share with teacher show to improve and not to use observations to play "gotcha!"
Enough of my 2 cents. Sit back and read what this poor teacher is going through.
Oh, I forgot. The principal at this school has a miniscule background in education. Background in the corporate world, a few years teaching then got administrative license. And we wonder why.........
As the Obama administration continues its push for “anti-bullying” and teacher evaluation systems in schools, I cannot help but hide my wry smile. I am an untenured teacher in a high-needs mess of a NYC school and have seen these policies in put into action. My school’s informal goal for the year was to reduce bullying, and one of the principal’s formal goals was to implement the Charlotte Danielson rubric for evaluating teachers.
How is that going? Well, students still bully, fight, drink, and we have even had a middle school student wave a gun around. As a teacher, though, I cannot blame them. They have the epitome of bullies to look up to and admire: our principal and assistant principal.
I was warned within minutes of meeting other teachers in my school, that I had to be prepared to be harassed and full of anxiety—not due to our rough population of students, but due to a bipolar,
foul-mouthed, chain-smoking, alcoholic principal, and an assistant principal best known in the NYC metro for her rage problems.
Our school has had a 20% retention rate. In the seven years my small school has served our city, approximately fifty-five teachers have left, and that is only if they finished the year. The abuse by our administrators reduced me to tears within a week of my being at the school. The assistant principal had come into my room on the third day, ripped down my bulletin boards and charts, and verbally abused me at a loud volume in front of my students. This was ended with an ominous “meet me during your next prep, I’m so mad at you, I can’t believe you.” As a teacher inching into their career, I was terrified, humiliated, and mostly confused by what had just happened. I met with the assistant principal and principal, and they verbally bullied me for the entire period. This routine became, well, routine quickly. In the course of the year, I have had them wander into my room to yell for some reason twenty-five times, been cornered into “important” meetings alone with the two of them eleven times, been verbally abused by them in front of children seventy-one times. It has become known by my population of students that they know they can act out, because, “you know we won’t get yelled at, Miss, but you will.”
It is May and I have had only one formal evaluation and absolutely no real feedback about my pedagogy, but countless hours have been spent degrading me. I have reached out to the UFT (my chapter UFT has yet to have a meeting, the representative is up for tenure, and is a pawn), but have been alternatively told that I am “making it all up” or that nothing can be done because I am untenured. This is simply unacceptable. I, and the rest of my staff, go to school with anxious knots in our stomachs daily, not wondering what the students will do or worrying if the lesson will be successful, but instead wondering what our unorganized, childish, bully administrators will push us to that day.
Nowhere is there a focus on administrators in the current Obama legislation, or in the reform agenda. These people are the ones giving me a portion of my evaluation grade, and the ones enforcing the anti-bullying legislation. I am calling for the removal of my current administrators, and ones like them, in order to ensure any policies are effective. I do not know where to turn to get help with this, please spread my story and send ideas if you don’t want to continue to push out potentially effective educators and hurt the students in the process.