PAUL’S STORY

 

Yesterday I received an emergency phone call from an experienced teacher in a Bronx school who received his first ever “U” on an observation report.

Emotionally overwrought with fear and anger, it took all I could do to calm him down and get him to figure out how he could resolve this issue and continue to teach and at the same time maintain his principles while having to deal with his principal.

She, as authoritarian personality as they come, simply follows NYC DOE/Teachers College orders in FORCING her underlings to follow the lockstep TC workshop model lesson plan. Because he veered and used different materials and interacted differently with his kids than the plan permits he was given a “U”.

It was quite evident after seeing her 20-page write-up that there was something more here. Her discussions of the 2 pre-observation were filled with evidence of her obviously one-track mind. Do it this way. I will not accept any of your alternatives.

Her most consistent and often repeated criticism is that he did not use everything the Model presenter from TC demonstrated in the 3 short demonstrations he attended.

It as if everything that came before NYCDOE/TC’s workshop version of teaching was anathema in this new pious world of top down education. By the way…it is a terrible way to teach if used as the one and only lesson plan every single day.

But that is probably why he received this “U” in the first place. You see, he is not passive. He is not one to just follow orders. He speaks up and out. He argues. He was being punished for that more than his not following the lesson plan.

He expressed to me that he was ready to give up, to get out, to simply go to the rubber room, or be made into an ATR (absent teacher reserve).

That is the new leadership’s plan. Veterans: If you don’t follow the rules you have two choices. Retire or be exiled. This way “The Big Talking Heads” of education can take in their fresh young faces and train them to be, as my friend said, Star Wars “Clones” obeying the orders of the dark side.

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