Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Confessions of a ‘Bad’ Teacher
NY Times ^ | 03/03/2012 | WILLIAM JOHNSON

Posted on 03/08/2012 1:22:14 PM PST by Responsibility2nd

I AM a special education teacher. My students have learning disabilities ranging from autism and attention-deficit disorder to cerebral palsy and emotional disturbances. I love these kids, but they can be a handful. Almost without exception, they struggle on standardized tests, frustrate their teachers and find it hard to connect with their peers. What’s more, these are high school students, so their disabilities are compounded by raging hormones and social pressure.

As you might imagine, my job can be extremely difficult. Beyond the challenges posed by my students, budget cuts and changes to special-education policy have increased my workload drastically even over just the past 18 months. While my class sizes have grown, support staff members have been laid off. Students with increasingly severe disabilities are being pushed into more mainstream classrooms like mine, where they receive less individual attention and struggle to adapt to a curriculum driven by state-designed high-stakes tests.

On top of all that, I’m a bad teacher. That’s not my opinion; it’s how I’m labeled by the city’s Education Department. Last June, my principal at the time rated my teaching “unsatisfactory,” checking off a few boxes on an evaluation sheet that placed my career in limbo. That same year, my school received an “A” rating. I was a bad teacher at a good school. It was pretty humiliating.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: education; learning; teaching
The article goes on to explain he is a "bad teacher" due to an evaluation from an assitant principal.

"When the assistant principal walked in, one of these students, a freshman girl classified with an emotional disturbance, began cursing. When the assistant principal ignored her, she started cursing at me. Then she began lobbing pencils across the room. Was this because I was a bad teacher? I don’t know.

I know that after she began throwing things, I sent her to the dean’s office. I know that a few days later, I received notice that my lesson had been rated unsatisfactory because, among other things, I had sent this student to the dean instead of following our school’s “guided discipline” procedure."

1 posted on 03/08/2012 1:22:19 PM PST by Responsibility2nd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

Link to single page reading....

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/opinion/sunday/confessions-of-a-bad-teacher.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all


2 posted on 03/08/2012 1:23:19 PM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

People are going to click this posting because of the title “bad teacher”.

Unfortunately, they will disappointed with the details.


3 posted on 03/08/2012 1:26:22 PM PST by cicero2k
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cicero2k

What were they expecting? Pictures of Cameron Diaz?


4 posted on 03/08/2012 1:28:28 PM PST by Buckeye McFrog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

I expect that neither sending her to the Dean, nor following the “guided discipline” procedure would be effective. Neither one of those is the “tried and true” discipline of yesteryear, which has proven effective.


5 posted on 03/08/2012 1:29:30 PM PST by Sopater (...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. - 2 COR 3:17b)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: cicero2k

Heh heh.

Maybe so. Most people around here LOVE to bash teachers. After all, they’re all just liberal stooges getting fat paychecks from union contracts.

But.... I know they are overworked and underpaid.


6 posted on 03/08/2012 1:30:11 PM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

“Students with increasingly severe disabilities are being pushed into more mainstream classrooms like mine,”

Thank liberals for pushing for mainstreaming of special ed students.. .too include those with severe disabilities and behavior problems.


7 posted on 03/08/2012 1:48:11 PM PST by Hulka
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd
The-truth-about-student-attacks

My wife is a Special Ed teacher--see what decent teachers in CA put up with...

8 posted on 03/08/2012 1:50:18 PM PST by WalterSkinner ( In Memory of My Father--WWII Vet and Patriot 1926-2007)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

There are lots of students for who the schools have just become child care centers for them.

We should not be spending public money trying to educate them.


9 posted on 03/08/2012 1:52:11 PM PST by riverrunner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

the rating of special education teachers should be based on different criteria than regular classrooms.

The makeup of these classrooms ensures an unpredictable, chaotic atmosphere.


10 posted on 03/08/2012 1:55:38 PM PST by Scotswife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: riverrunner

it isn’t just that money is being spent...the world of special education -with all of it’s regulations,and unfunded mandates - ensures an endless money-gobbling black hole. Similar to that other money-gobbling black hole that is the benefits/pension system.


11 posted on 03/08/2012 1:59:53 PM PST by Scotswife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

I guess they are calling a principal a dean now? Being sent to the principal’s office is unreasonable in the face of a physical barrage of school supplies? That student could have hurt other students not just the teacher.

It would be difficult to blame that teacher if s/he quit.


12 posted on 03/08/2012 2:01:14 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: WalterSkinner

Special Ed should be the exception to the controversy surrounding PE. Few know about the difficult challenges that exist within the confines of SE.


13 posted on 03/08/2012 2:01:21 PM PST by Gene Eric (Newt/Sarah 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd
Until we provide equal educational resources to all students and teachers, no matter where they come from, we can’t say — with any scientific accuracy — how well or poorly they’re performing.

I call BS. The real problem is trying to teach all students starting with the lowest common denominator.

Mainstreaming, like all PC bullcarp, demands that those who can and want to learn are forced to share the class room with kids that can't or don't want to learn. So very little teaching or learning takes place.

Just changing the very stupid liberal idea that education is a right that must be provided to every student regardless would stop allowing the problem children to sabotage the classroom would cause almost instant improvement in educational outcomes for the majority.

While I feel bad or sad for the "special" kids, it does them nor our society any good to allow them to drag the entire nation down to their level of thought and behavior in the name of PC fairness.

14 posted on 03/08/2012 2:04:59 PM PST by Valpal1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Valpal1
..No Child Left Behind with its inclusion doctrine has made a difficult job impossible--it is unworkable

Ask any general ed teacher how it impacts their class to have a moderate to severe autistic kid spend a lot of time in their classroom.

15 posted on 03/08/2012 2:14:47 PM PST by WalterSkinner ( In Memory of My Father--WWII Vet and Patriot 1926-2007)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: WalterSkinner

I work in special education. Last year I also was walking with a student, who is non-verbal. He is very aggressive but we are not allowed to restrain. As we are walking down the hall he jumps me from behind and bites me in the arm, where I am unable to disengage. There was no “antecedent” to the behavior, completely unprovoked. He is still in my class. Touch and go on a day to day basis. I love him dearly, however the typical school setting is not the best environment for him.


16 posted on 03/08/2012 2:16:18 PM PST by EmilyGeiger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: EmilyGeiger
..my wife was severely injured when a 250 lb. kid with autism AND Downs went berserk.

Our hearts go out to all of the teachers who love these kids and at the same time are in such danger--administrators think of teacher and staff safety last...

17 posted on 03/08/2012 2:25:18 PM PST by WalterSkinner ( In Memory of My Father--WWII Vet and Patriot 1926-2007)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd
Most people around here LOVE to bash teachers.

Big controversy today in Buffalo. The teachers' union has refused to go along with a state edict that includes chronic absentees in teacher evaluations. The teachers in Buffalo think that's unfair.

The two big, local, conservative-radio talk-shows took the side of the teachers and virtually all the callers agreed. There's a controversy because Buffalo is out $9 million in state aid until the teachers cave.

I've been pretty critical of teachers' unions in the past, too. I'm with them on this one.

18 posted on 03/08/2012 3:04:59 PM PST by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

This guy needs to document all the inconsistent guidance he’s being given from his superior (it sounds like he’s been doing that). Put it all into a “Pearl Harbor file” to be sprung open when enough evidence has been collected and the situation is becoming intolerable. There’s no sense in beating yourself up when your leader is the real problem.


19 posted on 03/08/2012 3:18:34 PM PST by Tarantulas ( Illegal immigration - the trojan horse that's treated like a sacred cow)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: WalterSkinner; EmilyGeiger

I know a teacher who took a year off on disability for this crap; she wasn’t actually hurt, but was furious that repeated assaults were ignored by the administrators and the assailant was still in the classroom.

When districts get the bill for that, they’ll find a place to put their “special ed” students without destroying the classroom atmosphere for everyone else. It is simply impossible to learn with some “students” in the room.


20 posted on 03/08/2012 3:30:12 PM PST by kearnyirish2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

I am a regular education teacher who’s had Spec. Ed. kids mainstreamed into his class for years. I’ll admit I don’t like mainstreaming, even though I’ve had some success with these kids. In my experience of those labeled as Spec Ed many, if not the majority, are mostly lazy malcontents who hide behind a label that essentially exempts them from meeting even the low standards that their presence makes necessary. I think IDEA is a huge problem also- many of my colleagues who work only with special ed kids have huge reams of useless documentation they have to deal with, none of which actually helps anyone learn anything. But the fact that I would think anything bad about the whole situation would make me a heartless bastard to object....


21 posted on 03/08/2012 4:12:49 PM PST by GenXteacher (He that hath no stomach for this fight, let him depart!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BfloGuy
..I am astonished that I linked an article from the CTA, but truth is truth.

Getting protection written into the language of their contract is apparently a good first step.

The local school district threw more gasoline into the fire by redefining the special ed program to include every form of mental illness including psychotic behavior--it is dangerous and no one can truly learn in that environment...

22 posted on 03/08/2012 4:55:41 PM PST by WalterSkinner ( In Memory of My Father--WWII Vet and Patriot 1926-2007)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson