Monday, January 30, 2012

Do false accusations stem from lack of empathy?

I liked most of the students I had.  There are always some that test you, and some I will admit to not liking.  But I believe part of the reason I could/can not find much sympathy for them is because I often felt unsupported in my role as teacher and authority figure.  Had the administration or parents backed up my fairly reasonable request that I be allowed to teach the classes without major disruptions, I don't believe I would have found some of them so unsavory.  But what added insult to injury was a sort of smarmy, self entitlement that emanated from them if they were given consequences for poor behavior, and were now "returning fire."....THEY KNEW....knew what?  They knew they held the real power/control cards.  Perhaps mom or dad had heard complaints about me and now were "backing them."  They knew that a phone call to the principal from a parent could wreck my week, maybe my career. I often thought that if they knew the hell they put me through, they wouldn't be behaving this way.

We are talking about middle school kids who don't need to worry about not getting into Harvard because they ended up with a C in history in 8th grade.  One example comes to mind that really irks me.  This student had some skills but as the end of the year approached she became increasingly sociable in class rather than focusing on school work.  Her mother kept her out of school for a full week before the mayfair so she could?...groom her horse.  Then when she returned I was left with the responsibility to get her caught up.  When she didn't show up during lunch to make up a test, she told me she figured it was up to me to go out and find her at lunch to have her take it. After all this, she  and her mother had the nerve to accuse me of
..... ??

Please see the videos I shot that day. There are 2 of them. Note the red haired girl's behavior.  Then return

Anyway, the complaint occurred after I called her to discuss another "concern" of the mothers. This was payback after snowflake didn't get what she wanted. How do I know the reason was because her grade wasn't what she wanted?  Because that was the first thing her mother harangued me about when I got her on the phone. First the complaint was that we spent too much time studying the states (US history) but quickly moved to the grade issue.

 "My daughter is an A student."

Ahhh...OK. so it's about the grade.  Then she pulled out the big guns and said "and what's this I hear about you filming her in class.  Why didn't you stop when she asked you to? .....Why don't I get the police and come down there. "  She also called me a creep.

That was the end of the conversation.  But...indeed, she filed a complaint  accusing me of trying to film her daughter's chest...something of that nature.

The point I am trying to make is that this behavior seems almost psychopathic to me. This girl and her mother would have preferred that I be behind bars or something of that nature...over the fact that this snowflake wasn't getting an A in a middle school history class.  The nature of the conversation made that obvious.  Otherwise, it would have been a straight "why did you film my daughter, etc."

A recently published book called The Sociopath Next Door estimates that they may account for 4 percent of the population, and I could believe it after some of the behavior I have seen.  I suspect if they had asked this woman if I should be put to death, she might have consented...well, maybe just have had me sent to a penal colony.

Sadly enough, this was one of just a few times I would witness what seemed like overtly, vindictive accusations over the most petty of occurrences. These  students and their parents appeared to use accusations within the context of a humane and ethical institution.(which is what a school should be).  The subtext is that it was about control and power. So I was not completely shocked by the recent finding on college students and empathy.  The chickens have come home to roost as they say.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Public Reprimands for Teachers

Jeanette DeMain reacts to news that the Tennessee board of ed will make reprimands of teachers public knowledge.  I still recall getting a reprimand because I was asked to dance to the Village People's "YMCA" at a pep rally, and later sent an email to the principal with links to its respective wikipedia page where there are nuanced homosexual lyrics (didn't bother me, personally, but I was being called on the carpet for allegedly using sexual innuendo in my speech and thought it was hypocrisy).  She slapped me with a reprimand for sexual harassment of her?? Why because there were embedded links in the text that went to more sexual imagery within wikipedia.  But I digress.  The point is that now any incompetent, or vindictive principal could throw something like that at a teacher and effectively ruin their career.  It's already difficult to teach without having your name dragged through the mud and this would make it next to impossible.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Leonard Isenberg reflects on the corrupt methods used by administrators to get students to finger targeted teachers

This is typical admin...stand behind the accusations of students and parents, whatever the case.  It is expedience as there are no negative consequences for the students and parents and the administrators can say "I'm just doing my job."  It is the height of hypocrisy.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Paper and district do not reveal name of accused teacher....hopefully a trend that continues

accused teacher returns to work

The internet and papers are full of the names of accused teachers before any real investigation has occurred.  How are these people supposed to go back into a classroom and teach given the nature of the job and society?  It is almost impossible to disprove abuse did not occur so there is always a question in peoples' minds which is easily exploited considering how gossip moves and the low status teachers are now afforded.

Also distressing is that every story out there adds to the hysteria which creates an environment where perception is skewed and teachers are suspect.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Abused teacher in NY city

When you see how common it is for teachers to be railroaded like this, you have to wonder how many have simply vanished into the word work without saying anything.