Back in July we here at SBSB shared how Ruben Brosbe, famed former E4E fool had gotten a gig using his Harvard Graduate School of Education skills with Citizens Schools NY as the leader of whatever at MS 331 in the Bronx.
First off was his relationship with the senior member of the team who had been working at citizen schools for over 5 years and at our school specifically for over 2 years. That relationship quickly deteriorated when Ruben was unable to take her ideas and experiences from the past 2 years and incorporate them into his ideas for the program. She is now also leaving mid year to escape the misery that is working for Ruben Brosbe. That makes 3 out of 8 that have quit based on Brosbe's antics.
A lot of our work really depends on purposeful planning, team camaraderie, and organization. Ruben did not have any of these. Even on the first days of school, when a teacher had just joined the team, there was no printer in the office, except for the one that he and one other person could use because of their computers. Yet, it took 2 weeks to purchase a new one after Ruben one day said "why cant you just do it". It is sad to say that for the sake of the team, others tried very hard to work with Ruben and help him through a transition into a new job. However, his comments about staff to us in a meeting in which he suggested one member who quit in October could not handle the position and was destined for failure from the start made us start to doubt his leadership seriously.
Our meetings were also ridiculous. Staff began losing respect for Ruben from the first days of training in August, where he referred to himself as someone who comes from a privileged background to work with the poor disadvantaged "communities of color". Just hearing this from staff made it seem to us that he viewed himself in a completely different way than he acts.
There was also a clear difference in the realities that we as a staff experienced compared to him as a leader. Not one day did he stay extra late to make sure things were alright. Instead, he was often the first one out of the office because he lives in Williamsburg and has to get back to his cushy living and because he knew how much he was despised by everyone in the office. The only day I can remember him staying later than everyone else was the last day December 21st.
He also remarked "I'm having a tough time with this idea that I've had all these great ideas thrown at me and that they've been rebuffed..." This was the main issue with Ruben. He had his own conceived notion of how important his ideas were and clearly had a lack of trust or understanding in ours.
Then there was how the kids reacted to him. Too many times, he would just appear in the classroom and randomly call out a student for misbehaving. Often times, this led to more chaos than there was already in the classroom. His relationships with students suffered because of these actions. Students in a certain teachers room treated Ruben worse than they treated him. In fact, when he was in the classroom I experienced heightened authority because students recognized the lack of respect they had for him. Even a couple of days when a teacher took classes on field trips, a teacher instructed Ruben (that's how most things went this semester.People instructing him instead of him leading anything) to take the class. Before leaving, there was 1 student crying and two other girls pleading not to leave them with Mr. Brosbe. It's sad when the leader of your program is viewed by the students as someone who doesn't care. What is worst, is that to share an office with Ruben and witnessed so many moments where he truly did not care about students or staff. He claims it's all about the students, but puts in no extra effort to make sure that the students have the best experiences possible. Many meetings held 1 hour before program time involved him explaining a random inclusion into program (student surveys, team time..etc) for the first time, leaving on us to plan and execute with ZERO support.
So in essence, Ruben is making the Ivy League wince a bit.