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.