Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why are there bad teachers still teaching?

I think I am a good parent....at least according to teachers.  If my child's teacher needs something for the classroom- I send it in.  If there is homework- my student does it.  If something needs signing- it gets signed.

I send a child who actually LOVES school to their classroom everyday.  This child doesn't cause problems, follows rules to a "T" and respects the school, classroom and teacher.

We've been lucky to only have had (2) experiences with BAD teachers in our elementary school journey.  Kindergarten was a nightmare with a teacher who hated teaching. She hated kids.  She wanted to retire- but was trying to wait to "max out" her benefits.  All the students in her class suffered.  Luckily, we moved 1/2 way through that year and found an AMAZING kindergarten teacher at the next school.  This teacher was so amazing I am praying that my other kids get her next year!

Now we are in 4th grade.  Sigh.  What a nightmare it has been.  This teacher has NO control and her classroom is chaotic.  She can't even tell who is working and who is misbehaving.  She decides then to punish the entire class.  She's used punishments that are against the school board's policy.  She has lied to parents about what punishments she uses.  She was told by the principal (in my presence) NOT to use these types of punishments, but continues to do so.

She screams at the students.  She is inconsistent with her discipline ( a big no-no with exceptional children (i.e. gifted students)).   She just throws out punishments depending on her mood.  She has extreme mood swings.  

She shows movies that are against school policy and rules. She decides not to alert parents (as required) when showing movies and just does it.  In our meeting regarding several of these issues, she began screaming at me.  She told me that the other teachers hated me (which she has since admitted was a lie she made up to hurt my feelings).  She told me I was a bad parent (again she has admitted she was just reaching out to hurt me).  This was all done in front of the school administration.

Response #1 from the Administration: Suck it up or get your kid in another classroom. 

So I took it to the Superintendent- I have a teacher lying to me (the parent), not following county policy, being ineffective....they say they will look into it.  Then the principal calls me.

Her response was at first, very promising, she saw the teacher verbally attack me in our meeting.  She saw the teacher tell lies and be confused about what was true and what wasn't.  She basically tells me it will take some time- but this teacher won't be around much longer- don't worry about it she says. 

Then she asks me to get other parents to contact her.  None of the other parents wanted to get involved.   They just want to get through the year..... I shouldn't have to PROVE that this is a bad teacher.  The principal KNOWS that she is.  The teacher has admitted to ALL of these teaching "sins". She hasn't made any changes in her classroom. Now the principal tells me that a few parents being concerned is not enough.  Seriously?  How many people have to complain before something is done?  Does she physically have to strike a student (or other physical abuse) before someone steps in?

WHY is a teacher who is BAD being allowed to be in charge of our students?  Why is a teacher who cannot control her emotions being allowed to be a role model to our 9-11 year olds?  Why is she still in the classroom?

It seems that the school system has forgotten that they work in the PUBLIC sector.  They are our employees.  Our taxes pay their salaries.  This is not some family owned business that they can run however they want.  We send our students there every day expecting them to be receiving an amazing education in a safe and nurturing environment. Instead, this teacher is making the classroom a maze of emotions and mood swings and hormones (and not from the pre-teens either). 

Honestly, I am at a loss. I will just coach my daughter on the methods she can use when the teacher gets out of control (which is pretty often).  I will give her the tools she needs to get through the next few months because clearly the school system is too worried about having to actually do something about an out of control teacher and instead they are putting their heads in the sand and saying "Bring me proof".

I shouldn't have to!  This is their job- to ensure our teachers are effective and our students are safe. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Really? Did you JUST do that? and That too?

I picked my kids up from their preschool today and was waiting for them to buckle their seat belts when I notice a man next to me talking baby talk and waving through his car window right after he got out.  I thought, "oh how cute" and sat waiting for my kids to finish buckling.

Then I see him walk AWAY from the car!  I am in shock!  It's not too cold or hot...but the sun is bright and just the two minutes I've been in the car with my kids I'm starting to sweat.  And I am not bundled up and covered with a blanket as this baby is!

I text my friend, for confirmation that this is wrong, "OMG. He just left a baby in the car and went into the preschool!"  She texts me back "CALL THE COPS".  So I decide to but really don't want to call 911- with the fear that I am over-reacting and that maybe this is something other parents do.

So I call the non-emergency number.  By this time approximately 5 minutes have passed and I'm starting to get REALLY warm in the car.  The sun beats through the windows on me.  My kids are whining that they are hot- so I turn the car and the air on.

The phone begins to ring the police department and suddenly, the Dad appears, with a son from my children's class!  It seems to make it worse to me- I mean I say hi to this kids Mom everyday.  So I hang up without waiting for an answer at the town police department.

He pulls out in front of me and begins to drive home.  We seem to be going the same way and I try REALLY hard not to roll my window down and give him a piece of my mind.

Then I end up pulling beside him to see his windows all rolled up and he is SMOKING in the car.  He's got a baby about 5 months old and a little boy about 4 behind him.  Smoking like a freight train.  (Note: nothing against smokers.  If people want to smoke when they are alone FINE.  Smoking in a closed car with no where for that smoke to go except in those immature lungs should be illegal).

I wish that there was a test we have to pass before we can procreate.  We have to pass one to graduate high school, college and get a drivers license.  We have to pass a test before we can call ourselves plumbers or tax preparers or millions of other titles. 

Now, I am all for protecting my rights and the rights of others.  At the same time, I am not a perfect parent.  I make mistakes- big ones little ones...all kinds.  But the things that this father did out in the open with NO regard for his children whatsoever makes my heart break. 

Clearly his needs (his need not to have to carry a 10 lb baby into a school or wait 15 minutes to get home to smoke outside) outweigh the needs and welfare of his children.  So sad.  

Parenting is about sacrifice.  We sacrifice our needs and wants to benefit our children.  When they want the last chocolate chip cookie, we're supposed to share it at the least.  They need to be hugged after a nightmare?  We give up an hour of precious sleep. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kicking out the Salesman

I had a salesman come today from Hartness Home Improvement to give me an estimate for new windows.  The first thirty-minutes of his pitch, while very boring, went fine.

He is telling me all the virtues of his company and says to me "Don't worry we background check all our employees so you won't have a bunch of Mexicans out here."

GASP. Excuse me?  Did he just make a comment about not hiring Mexicans to me?  A woman married to a Mexican...with Mexican children? 

I feel my blood boiling up and resist the urge to simply smack him upside his head at his stupidity.  Instead I stood up and told him that he had just offended me greatly and he needed to leave.  He doesn't seem to get the picture and I spell it out for him.  "My husband is Mexican.  My Children are Mexican. Get out."

Then he says, "I'm not a racist.  Your husband is a citizen right?" 

Excuse me sir, you didn't say, "Don't worry we only hire people with the legal paperwork that entitles them to legally work here in the U.S."  You said, in essence, don't worry, Hartness doesn't hire Mexicans.

Get out and feel lucky I don't kick your {BLEEP} on the way out.    I hope he has learned an important lesson: You never know to whom you are speaking.  My skin may be white but my family is Brown and I like it that way.   Now Get out and never come back.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Little Minds: Prayer

My youngest daughter was saying her prayers the other night and this is a part of it:

"Dear Jesus,

I love that you love everything and everybody.  I don't love peanut butter.  I hope that's ok."

I told her that I thought Jesus would be okay with her eating peanut butter but I bet He would like it if she kept trying different foods and gave everything a fair chance....wonder if she'll listen and try the broccoli we're having for dinner.

Little Minds

I have 3 children and I took them to the park the other day.  This part is full of woody trails and the trails are uneven and not very handicapped friendly ~ not everything can be I guess and we saw this sign:

My 4 year old daughter says, "I know what that sign means!  It means 'No Old Ladies Allowed""

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Welcome to One Odd Cookie

Sometimes I just need somewhere to say what I think & share the funnies that my kids have made.  As a stay at home mom of 3- life is full of funnies and rants and whining. 

I hope that you will find some of what I say to be relevant to your life too!