SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: 3020-a Glass Houses

Thursday, July 2, 2015

3020-a Glass Houses

So what am I to do when someone, someone claims that he is the champion of teachers, the champion of teachers rights, the undisputed person of getting things done, the one who claims he will walk through a wall of fire, throws in my face-- whilst looking down their nose-- one of the charges against me in my 3020-a?

I was told by this person (Who shall remain nameless) the other day;
"Why didn't you tell me of all the charges you had against you?"
To wit I replied,;
"What do you mean?"
I believe this unnamed "leader" was implying that I was not being honest about the charges. Well I was. I said I had 19 and if one asked me, I would share each and every charge. Besides, this unnamed "leader" had been through the 3020-a ringer as well and was fully aware and should have been just as fully empathetic to just not my plight, but the plight of others in the same situation.

When I asked this unnamed "leader" what charge this unnamed "leader" was referring to there was no answer. I told this unnamed "leader" , "Hey you brought it up, I have nothing to hide and I will be truthful."

The reply, as follows;
"You told students that they can do whatever they want?"
Hmmm. Not only was that accusation out of context but this unnamed "leader" had no context either nor did this unnamed "leader" even have all the facts. This is the last time I share my 3020-a decision with someone. The worst part is that this unnamed "leader" used my plight as a sword against me.

Moses would never do something like this.

So here is the facts. Not as I see it, but what actually happened.

It was a Friday afternoon. A 3rd grade teacher, The Cowgirl, had her prep at 1:50 PM. Her class was a rough class for all the clusters in the school. Most didn't behave, most had to be sent to buddy classes for the first 15 minutes of cluster time just so us clusters could get the class settled down. This was true with the Phys Ed teacher, the librarian, and perhaps with the art teacher but she lived so far in the colon of admins she was Teflon. But I digress.

I had already sent her a note asking for about 5 students to be sent to buddy classes as per the guidelines set forth by DR Alison Coviello; Principal and Ed.D of PS 154 in the Bronx. The Cowgirl did not like that I was asking.

I had been teaching a class when at about 1:45 the class had lined up outside my classroom. Now this was strange for the class was not due for another 5 minutes and being that their classroom was only 25 feet from mine why would they need to be there so early?

Maybe if we look at The Cowgirl's direct testimony from my 3020-a;
 And in your statement, you mention
16 that you--the student came with that note at
17 approximately 1:30. What were you doing at that time
18 when the student brought the note?

19 A. Wrapping up the day, getting them
20 packed up, going over their homework.

Getting packed up at 1:30 twenty full minutes before the class was to arrive? Twenty full minutes without instruction? God, imagine if I had let a class go on for 20 minutes without instruction.

Homework should take no longer than 5 minutes and since this was June there were no coats, hats, and gloves to put on so how long can it take to get packed up? Most teachers give homework right after lunch. Or couldn't the homework be on the board and students copy it when they have completed their independent work. Or, why copy the homework when a weekly homework sheet is given out on Monday's?

On cross The Cowgirl was asked; 
Q. Okay. And so, is it fair to say that
10 you have responsibility for the class up until the
11 period that Mr. Zucker's class would have started?
12 A. 'Til 1:50

So if The Cowgirl claims the class is her responsibility why didn't The Cowgirl have the class waiting quietly and standing in line properly for me to, as they say at 154, "Welcome them into the learning environment?"

As soon as the class I had was dismissed and went out to the hallway, contrary to what The Cowgirl testified to, she split. No wonder. It was the end of the day, it was Friday, she needed her prep and I was but a lowly cluster teacher.

Now I was tasked with trying to get the class calm. I tried every trick in the book and nothing worked. Down the hall from me was BFF AP Jessica Cruz handing out cap and gowns to the 5th graders. I though, wrongly of course, that an AP would assist me with this class, and AP would have my back, and AP would settle this class down.

I was wrong.

She came spoke to the class briefly and left. Then it got worse. We were still in the hall when the behavior got worse. There was one female student who insisted that she could stand anywhere in line. I asked her several times to get back to her spot and the verbal abuse I had gotten from her was something I had never gotten from a student.

All this was happening within earshot and eyeshot of BFF AP Jessica Cruz. She did nothing. I asked her several time, by phone to come and assist me and she said she was too busy handing out the caps and gowns.

She finally came back down and instead of admonishing the students, I was admonished and humiliated in front of the students. It was at that point I knew I was being set up, Serpico style

She left me with zero credibility.

When I finally got the students in the class and sitting down the same girl was still out of control, doing whatever she wanted to do. She came up to me and asked me what we are going to do. I said, "It doesn't matter what we are going to do, you seem that you will do whatever it is you want."

At this point, she turns to the class and yells that Mr Zucker said we can do whatever we want.

Nothing was further from the truth.

Was I wrong? Yep. Was I sarcastic? Yep. Was I frustrated? Yep. Was I being set up? Yep. Again, was I wrong? Yep. If I was amongst the Chosen People of PS 154 would I have been written up? Nope!

Did the unnamed "leader" ever bother to ask me my side? If asked, I should not have answered, but I did. For this person knew damn well what it was like to have their words and actions twisted. I went through a school year of hell every single day. The unnamed "leader" only had a few months of hell at school.

I had taught for almost 20 years. Never ever did I have a problem with classroom management unto the 2012-13 school year. The students knew that year that they ran the building thank to the lack of management style of DR Alison Coviello; Principal and Ed.D of PS 154 in the Bronx.

How can someone who purports to be Moses and Jimmy Hoffa rolled into one be the first teacher to throw anything in my face whilst this unnamed "leader" know more than anything what it is like to have words and actions twisted and contorted.

Then, worse, has the audacity to call for me to post my decision online while we, the world, are waiting for this unnamed leader's decision? 

Glass houses.


Anonymous said...

Hi there. I don't know you personally, and I wish you well. And I'm not on anyone's side. Actually, I like to think that I'm on the side of "right". And we all believe in freedom-of-speech, so feel free to write and write and write to your heart's content, and post wherever you please. But guess what:

What did, is, and will happen in regards to your career does not rest in the hands of any INDIVIDUAL. I totally understand your pain, as a discontinued, probationary teacher myself, I get how you feel and how pissed off you are. I totally get how you feel screwed and disregarded and violated.

But, to me, it would make much more sense to write and write and write to the DOE, the lawyers, the union, and the public in regards to what happened to you and what you can do about it, rather than write to tear down somebody or group who IS actually DOING THINGS to help others.

Can't wait to read your next post.


Chaz said...

I can only guess which unnamed leader this is. Reminds me of "Unity Hack" who also wanted to have me post my entire decision for everybody to see but didn't have the guts to identify himself.

Unfortunately, our potential candidates for UFT President are very flawed. One is arrogant and shows little interest in protecting member rights, the other is to into social justice rather than teacher justice, the third is a puppet for the ed deformers, and the fourth is appearing more and more like a leader of a cult.

Maybe Norm Scott is right and I just might not vote for UFT President.

Anonymous said...

Who are you referring to Chaz? MORE does not even have a candidate yet.

Bronx ATR said...

To Chaz,
Anyone's got be better than Mulgrew, even my cat - but she refuses to run. Seriously though, I think Portelos shows all the characteristics of a great leader. No one else is helping us and he has my full support.

Anonymous said...

This is all so very sad that you are let down again! You have stuck by all the players in this war against the DOE and the UFT. I am very sorry that the suppose new wanna be leaders were not there for you. It only goes to show the power does make people corrupt. So very sad for you and the rest of us teachers.

Anonymous said...

Portelos isn't going to win nor change anything for the overwhelming majority of teachers in the system. His arrogance and hubris is worse than that of the current president. Plus he is an ATR and HIS caucus has very little influence. His political savvy is damn near nonexistent....he doesn't have the ability to work well with others and this is well known. I hope his ass gets trounced.

Anonymous said...

Where there is smoke there is fire. When one is a ruthless self-promoter throwing people under the bus while pretending to be a defender of teachers is not surprising. The unnamed had a history of being the principal's butt boy for years and if knifing another teacher in the back was necessary to get ahead it wasn't a problem.

Anonymous said...

I really hope more me learn about this new crop of so call candidates before tossing their hard earn money and support their way. Mulgrew is bad but at least you know it from the get go. It is disgusting to think of someone who you consider an allay to turn on you. A very scary person to have in control of my job.

Anonymous said...

I would vote for your cat before I'd vote for Portelos. In fact I'd vote for Mulgrew before voting for Portelos. I hope we get a better alternative than any of the above.

Anonymous said...

Let's vote for Zucker for UFT President!

Anonymous said...

All right, more productive than disputing 3020-a issues will be a determination of whether Mike Mulgrew is Highly Effective, Effective, Developing, or Ineffective.

Here are a number of significant issues concerning ATRs which Mike needs to promptly correct prior to the start of the next school year:

1) Many schools do not provide ATRs with bathroom keys,

2) Many schools with elevators do not provide ATRs with elevator keys,

3) Many schools do not provide ATRs with secure closets or lockers to store coats and other possessions.

4) Many school staffs (administrative, teaching, and support) make ATRs feel unwelcome and unappreciated,

5) Many ATR field supervisors issued "unsatisfactory" observation reports to ATRs who were covering a class out of license, and

6) Many ATR field supervisors issued "unsatisfactory" observation reports to ATRs who, although in license, were covering a class for the first time.

Pete Zucker said...

To Anomnymous 4:03 PM-

My cat has asked me to send her thanks to you and she will consider running in 2016.

Anonymous said...

How very sad that a friend who you trusted turned against you and in such a public way. It really despicable to think he is using information that is being misused to make you look like the bad guy Zucker. This man is not to be trusted with an type of power. I wouldn't even give him an electric toothbrush to use. The electric power just might go to his head.