Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Teacher terrorizes class

David Mason, a teacher at Freeport Middle School is on investigative leave after allegedly making a threat. Can't wait to hear what this "threat" was. 

"If you don't get an education, you will have trouble getting a decent job."


I recall saying something like that and having it turned into.."you told Carlos he will never get a good job."  I had to meet with the concerned mother at the school.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Teacher puts student in CAGE! Now waitressing

Is it possible to look at things like this in context?  It was a  dramatic joke.  Why do teachers resort to humor like this?  They spend a great deal of time attempting to control that segment of the class that reverts to shenanigans out of boredom.  You know: the kids that don't want to be there.  It is easy to sit there with a straight and somber face and question what thinking leads to this.  Ironically, it is the anal retentive,linear thinking, humorless teacher who never takes a risk that ends up keeping their job and makes school a hell for the ones that can't sit still.


Half of abuse charges in Wales considered unfounded

Over half of accusations made against teachers and teaching assistants by pupils in Wales turned out to be false, malicious or unfounded.


The UK and Australia have many of the same issues as the US when it comes to this.

And also a report from October, 2011


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Leardini successfully sues


After being coerced into resigning, Jeff Leardini has won his suit against the Charlotte-Mecklenberg School District. It is a shame his teaching career is over, but there is some vindication for those teachers who have watched school administration bully and favor; who have bitten their tongue when they could see accusing students were retaliating for a low grade or discipline; teachers who have been thrown under the bus on frivolous or false charges, simply because admin is scared of lawsuits.  Congrats Jeff.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Acquitted teacher sues


 Jeffrey Leardini was coerced into resigning rather than fighting bogus charges.  When teachers are accused in the kangaroo courts of academia, they may get some due process, but it is not justice.  Administrators who play this game have sold their souls or never had them to begin with.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Water torture

A third grade teacher, who has used a spray bottle as last resort when students were unruly, is being disciplined.  The mother filed assault charges.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Teacher accused of slapping back of boys head during lockdown


I can see out gunned soldiers in a foxhole with the opposing army advancing and one of the guys can't shut up...someone gives him a pop on the head and ends up being court martialed.  If there is any time you are not to play around, it is when a school is in lockdown.  The kid could end up getting his classmates killed as well.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Teachers harassed by students

Some unfortunate teachers can be the target of "mob" behavior by several cooperating students. When one student is requested to modify a behavior, others defend their own at the expense of the teacher's need to move on. A lack of effective consequences from home or school administration that might stop negative behavior can generate a downward-spiraling cycle that may lead to a teacher's physical and mental health being damaged as severely as if the teacher were a student being harassed or bullied by peers. 


The last year I taught was a myriad of tag team disruption.  1- student 1 disrupts  2- teacher responds
3- student 2 disrupts in "sticking up" for student 1  or 1- student disrupts 2- teacher responds 3- student continues disruption 4- teacher responds with negative consequence 5- student disrupts in reaction to teacher request  6- student's parent calls to complain teacher was harassing or ogling student.  I still recall a former principal, yolanda falkenberg, who was "ok" with students physically getting up and leaving a new teacher's classroom because "their needs weren't being met."  The hypocrisy and cowardice of such behavior is appalling to me.  Of course once they sense that the teacher has no real control, everything falls apart and then the administration blames it on the teacher.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fish and febreze


A teacher's attempt to remedy the teasing a fishy smelling student was getting got her into hot water with the mother.

The N word is taboo in any context

A teacher's attempt to use a "teachable moment" backfires.

Let's see- he used the southern poverty law center's suggestions in responding to the use of the word.  He is a social studies teacher which begs the question: why do we have social studies?  One answer is: to dispel misinformation, misunderstanding among people.  Yet teachers are often reluctant to tackle inflammatory issues within a classroom because the bottom line seems to be "whoever takes umbrage gets the final word."  Lincoln Brown was addressing the use of the word when his African American principal walked in.  He continued the discussion presuming the principal would be ok with it.  He was wrong.


Celebrated teacher's career over after telling disruptive Mexican student to go back to his homeland?


The student wanted a form written in Spanish and continued to mouth "I'm from Mexico," despite being told that he could go to the office later and get one in espanol.  The teacher eventually told him to go back where he came from.  Despite apologies, she was suspended.

My take is that when what it takes to keep a job in a profession has more to do with what you shouldn't do rather than what you should do, that the profession is in trouble.  As a teacher, I felt like we were judged by our worst performances rather than our best.  If you wonder why the teachers still around schools have glazed over eyes and speak in a jaded manner, it is because they have had to distance their emotions from the dysfunction they see around them.  Otherwise, their nervous system can't take it.

I know I made my share of mistakes in what I said.  It is one thing to look back on someone's speech and point an accusing finger.  It is another to thrust someone into a classroom with 30 or so kids and watch them get pulled in 5 directions at once and have to make quick decisions on various matters while still being bombarded with requests for help/questions, etc.  Ask any quarterback what their job would be like without having to confront a pass rush.  Sitting back and throwing a pass without worrying about this is much easier, and so it is with teachers who have to make a myriad of decisions quickly to keep the class moving.  I take exception to all the Monday morning quarterbacks who would deprive this woman of a job over a comment like this.  She has chosen to work in a human services field where she in on the front line of service delivery to what can be considered a disenfranchised group but she has been judged as "unacceptable" based on a thoughtless, 5 seconds rather than the years of hard work she put into being a good teacher.

We'll see if she keeps her job or not.

Mother not satisfied with reprimand for teacher accused of "hitting" her son.

WISD needs to do some serious hiring of some new teachers.. On Monday my son Michael Lloyd was hit in tha back by one of his teachers and then on Tuesday the daughter of the teacher that hit him is also a teacher at his school called my son a lier so i went back to the school on Wensday and informed them what happened so finally i had to go back today and both teachers are not on campus and are under investigation and i also pressed charges on the teacher that hit him and i have contacted news 25.... Our children should be able to go to school and not worry about being hit by any adult there....


This teacher is already reprimanded and probably unemployable in another district.  She also has to take some requisite coursework.  The mother, Mrs. Lloyd is not satisfied and has gone to the police.

I think she should be more worried about a lack of academic proficiency or self control in her child.

I wonder how many times this kid had interrupted the teacher before she started to crack.  Maybe better to find another line of work instead of one where your most sought after skills are not 1. ability to tolerate the lowest common denominator 2. ability to teach ...in that order.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why are university professors afraid to go after cheaters?

In short, within the shopping malls of academia, the customer is always right.  Students have many powers at their disposal to make life difficult for teachers and professors.  There are student evaluations that effect administrative perceptions of said instructor as well as sites such as ratemyprofessor.com .  Then there is the difficulty a teacher might encounter just trying to make an accusation stick.  They also run the risk of retaliation by the student or their parents or friends.  Many teachers will attest that even when they followed the "document, document, document" dictum and had caught a student red handed, they were still thrown under the bus by their own administration when push came to shove.  Unfortunately, even college professors work within this climate of fear and retaliation.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Profanity laws for teachers

I see nothing wrong with this.  For years, I sort of used primetime television as a guide for boundaries but I don't think most teachers could do that in this day and age. TV is too risque these days.
"Parents do not want to come down (to their school) if Johnny's using the F-bomb," she said.
"Maybe the schools' educators and the boards and the districts will get the point that if their teachers are held to a higher standard that they ought to hold those kids to a higher standard."
Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, agreed to go along with other Republicans on the committee in approving the bill. But he said he has some major concerns that teachers might find themselves being disciplined because a kid "has an axe to grind" and files a false report on what a teacher has said.
"Who decides that it really happened?" he asked.
"All of a sudden, we have a teacher hung out to dry, once, twice, three times, and they're gone because a rogue student or students say, ‘Teacher, look what I'm going to do to you today, I'm going to go complain to my principal,'" Smith continued. "What recourse does the teacher have to defend themselves?"


I used to have a '74 VW camper that a particular student called the "shag wagon."  It didn't have shag carpeting but my assumption was that the term "shag" referred to the car's vintage (as in the period where shag carpeting was in vogue).  Without really thinking about it, I once asked a student if he would recover something from the "shag wagon."  A few months later when he was no longer controllable his mother filed a complaint against me including my use of "shag wagon."  My explanation to the principal was not believed.

There are so many euphemisms for sex and sexual anatomy that it often felt like walking a minefield.  How many people say "screwed up" in polite conversation?  What is the source of the that phrase?  Can a teacher say "sit your butt down?"  The last year I taught a girl asked me what people would think if she wore shorts to our civil war reenactment.  I said something to the effect that they might have considered a woman who dressed like that in the 1860's to be a bit of a "floozy." 

"What's a floozy?" she replied.

Before I could answer someone blurts out "whore."

A few weeks later, the girl was given a poor grade on an essay and her mother filed a complaint that I had called her a "floozy."  The principal said I should have used the term "immodest woman."  Fine.   But had I done that, it probably would have meant explaining "immodest" and we'd have entered the same realm. Meanwhile, a colleague of mine had told a student something he did was "f*cked up."  She was popular and I heard when it got back to his parents, they laughed about it. The joke was now that she had said "duck cup."  My take is that popular teachers will be immune from discipline over this while unpopular teachers will have the slightest breach turned into a major offense.

Roanoke shop teacher in court for contact with student

Victor Terry had to have stringent rules in his shop class to prevent injuries.  He allegedly asked students to enter without making noise.  When one did not comply he put his arm out to keep him from entering.  Ms. Daniel, the student's mother did not approve.  Maybe she would have preferred a few less fingers on one his hands.


Caldwell's statement said the facts suggested Terry "physically put his hand on the student's chest/arm area to stop his entry into the classroom" after the student was making a disruptive noise. He noted that the student later acknowledged "he had been making a noise" but then complied with Terry's directive and was allowed to enter.
Caldwell wrote, "I would note that there is some disagreement between the parties as to the exact nature of the touching but there is no allegation that this was in the nature of a strike or blow nor is there any representation of an attempt to injure or actual injury."
He said other video footage of the classroom and the student immediately following the incident "suggests that this was a nonevent in its entirety."


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Acquitted Chico teacher sues for back pay


Michael Sullivan allegedly ran his finger from a student's earlobe to her shoulder, and more.  Now he is suing the school district for back pay after being acquitted of these charges.

According to some of the people who posted comments on an article regarding this trial, it was because he attempted to grab a cell phone from a student during class.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Enough hearsay: Bring cameras into the classroom


Teacher pleads "not guilty" to biting student

This case seems pretty bizarre. Imagine the scenario where a teacher and student are arm wrestling.  The students jump in to pull back the arm of the teacher and then one of them claims the teacher bit into her arm. A person's face is often close to their arm wrestling hand while doing this. It is not hard to imagine 4 or 5 other hands and arms in the mix and then one arm is strafed across the teacher's open mouth.  The students were over the line, jumping in, but that is beside the point. A man's entire career is on the line because there might have been some tooth marks in an arm for a few hours.  This is my "biased" guess as to what happened.

I find no sense of proportion in the justice of this event. As a teacher, one feels plenty of pressure from the students to liven things up.  Good teachers break up some of the monotony with events like this sort of thing, rather than barreling through academics, ad nauseam. Then something like this happens and the Monday morning quarterbacks come out and explain the pitfalls of this behavior.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

slave games

First an unthinking math teacher wrote a math homework sheet that involved problems with how many times a slave was beaten per day.
 He resigned.  Was it insensitive? Yes.  Should it end his career?  That's debatable.  But in all likelihood, it did.

Now there are reports that teacher's participated in a playground game involving escaped slaves (played by black kids).  The jury is out but, according to the school's investigation, this was something perpetrated by the students themselves.

slave games