SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: An Inane Soliloquy Of Venting

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

An Inane Soliloquy Of Venting

I am thisclose to being fed up with teaching. With education. With the NYC DOE.

I'm tired of hearing the rhetoric of "students first" or children first." It's all bullshit. The more one claims its about the students, the less it is.

This "passing the buck," shit ain't working either. The only people out there who do not pass the buck are the teachers. Everyone else, administrators, parents, superintendents, short mayors with several Freudian complexes, chancellors, Tweedies, politicians, school shrinks, hedge fund managers, when are they going to see what we see? When will their eyes be pried open to not only look in the mirror, but to look around at the true reality?

How can a teacher teach, a child be educated, when in a classroom bursting at the seams has over 30 students with at least 3 major behavioral problems? I'm not talking wise asses, I am talking students that when they don't get their way have serious outbursts that turn violent. Throwing chairs, flipping over desks, and attacking other students. And believe it or not this happens every day.

Hell, let's get away from the violent ones to the at least 5 more who disrupt by being more than wise asses. Those that come to school and see school as a six hour social hour.  These students are rude, lie, do not do any work. They will tell you to go fuck yourself just as easily as they manipulate their parents into believing that they are the persecuted in school.

These students are degrading the educational process for all. But what is done? Nothing. Nada. Bupkus. No one wants to take responsibility for these students. Even the parents of the students who are affected do not rise up and head to an administrator en masse and demand that these students be removed from the learning environment.

Even when the school support team gets off its collective asses 99% of the time they come in with their liberal agenda and poo-poo the teacher even when hundreds of pages of anecdotals contradict their own liberal leanings. 

Administrators that just pass the buck, they don't wish to make the hard decisions. And even when these administrators do decide to make the hard decisions they are shot down in the suspension hearings because there is some old fart former principal on F status who wishes to inject his liberal philosophy on a school.

What about these parents? To get a parent to come in is like pulling teeth. Gosh darn it, it is your child, your progeny, you must be there and come in when you are asked to. You are not under any circumstances your child's friend. You are your child's parent. Start acting like it. I promise you that the student who will talk to a teacher like that teacher is a nothing or say to a teacher to go "fuck themselves" is getting it right from that parent's mouth.

Teach your child to take responsibility. Teach your child to have values. Stop letting your child go to sleep at 11 PM after watching inappropriate television. Stop taking your child to R rated movies. Set boundaries.

Yes, I know poverty is tough and it can be pretty shitty out there. But I see awesome support systems out there. They need to be taken advantage of. I also know that while we look at poverty as a culprit in what is ailing students in the inner city with their education there is something much worse.

What is it? It is the pervasive values and culture that is out there. Gosh, I sound like an old fart saying this, but there is a value and cultural system out there that education has a tough time competing with at times.

We live in a culture that has over the last 20 years has rewarded and allowed to become celebrities criminals, stupid people, and liars. In my opinion it all started with Joey Buttafuco. Oh yeah, and anything on the FOX Network.

I walk into the bodega at lunch time and I hear rap being played by the Yemini gentleman with mother******, c***, bit**, etc... Kids at 8 years of age hear this. They want to emulate it. Students in 4th and 5th grade are so pulled to the street, the  colors and the easy bling, the easy money, and the easy sense of camaraderie.

These kids need so much more than just testing, testing, testing, staying late and coming to school on weekends. They need to learn how to think of others, think of a team. I could go into my son's classroom and ask for a show of hands of how many kids play some type of organized team sports. Every hand but one or two will be raised. In almost any school in the South Bronx maybe one or two hands, if that many, will be raised.

It is so sad what has become of education in NYC. No one gives a hoot except the teachers. Everyone else, all they care is about looking good and covering their asses. It is time for education and teaching to return. It is time for students to be allowed to be students and let them be free from students and their parents who do not wish to learn. It is time for students to learn as children learn, by exploring, by being inquisitive, by being themselves. It is time to limit class size to no more than 14-17 students per class.

The students are being harmed exponentially. Is there anyone out there in a position of power other than the teachers that gives a damn?


Pissedoffteacher said...

And that is one of the major reasons I left. Thankfully I never had those really hardcore kids.

Anonymous said...

Let's be clear that it has been Bloomberg's agenda to make the biggest stakeholders, teachers and parents, powerless in schools. It took Joel Klein six years to update the regulation on School Leadership Teams, but everything tells us they wished they could eliminate SLTs altogether. We have Academy Principals who haven't followed the rules for years and ignore every piece of advice they hear. In a majority of schools nobody but the Principal controls the budget and there is no sharing.

There might be a few Academy Principals who read a book not written by Jack Welch, but they are as scarce as hen's teeth. Everything that research shows works in schools, like School Based Management and Shared Decision Making, is ignored. The most recent ideas in leadership, like the idea that the most important thing a leader must do is follow, are completely ignored. According to Bloomberg and those of his ilk, we don't have people in schools, we have personnel and clients. Anybody who shows any humanity or creativity is quickly cut down. There is no room for humanity in Bloomberg schools. Caring is forbidden, and only teachers have the strength to ignore that degenerate value that Bloomberg promotes.

Real teachers care and their passion is as deep as an ocean. Bloomberg found all the fakers, and now he has them running the show.

UA said...

I retired earlier than I wanted to for the same reasons, though I had and still have the energy for more years were it a pre-Bloomberg era. I felt beaten down starboard, port, leeward and windward.

But though I was as disgusted as you all are at the student culture and actually see no hope at all for a geo/generational slice of society, I was not that impressed by a large chunk of fledging teacher interns (i.e., anyone who is not fully certified in my book).

When true teaching was ripped out of the system by Kleindom, institutional memory and the learn-from-the-more-experienced-people-around-you culture were also exterminated. Purposely, I believe, so that educrats could install what turned out to be their own broadly untested, undoable, logistially unsound, and ultimately doomed structures and methodologies.

PS: I just trained as a volunteer in a hospital, and they were calling patients "clients" as well. It turned my stomach.

UA said...

PPS: Hi, PO. I didn't know you threw in the towel as well.

Anonymous said...

I will be packing it in at the end of this school year. I am fed up. I can deal with all the issues related to the kids and their baggage, but I am tired of being bashed in the media, by so-called reformers, etc. I will work in McDonalds if I have to.

Needless to say, I related to what you wrote. And I hope your wife is doing well after her recent scare. Our spouses put up a lot too, even if they don't work for the DOE. It's very hard to bring all the stress home...