Monday, January 12, 2009

Forget the Gauntlet, Just Give Me A Spear!!!

This morning, I came downstairs to find Josie crying into her Cheerios. She didn't want to go to school any more because her teacher yells at them all the time, and she feels like her teacher hates them.

What could I say? I think she's right. So, we sat on the couch, and she sobbed and sobbed. There was nothing I could do, nothing I could say to make it better. I was pretty much in tears myself.

Luckily, today was also my day to be in Patrick's classroom, and his dear teacher noticed that I was fighting tears. I told her what had happened, and she shared with me that A) the principal has been trying to get Mrs. Teacher fired for a long time, and B)the union is fighting it, saying that the principal has it 'out for' Ms. Teacher, despite the volume of parent complaints. She advised me to go back down to the office and talk to her again.

So, I did, and barely restraining tears, I told her what had happened this morning, expressed my gratitude for what she had done so far, and asked if there was any more that could be done or anyone else I could talk to. She gave me the name and number of the Director of Elementary Education over at the superintendent's office. Later, Patrick's teacher gave me the woman's email.

I just finished writing a volume of my own. I wrote down *everything*: the recent book report issue, the not coming on the Parent Math Night (where the kids were supposed to teach the parents a math lesson they had learned - we had to crowd into the other fourth grade room because Mrs. Teacher was a no-show), the rudeness, the yelling, the hateful behavior towards the kids during holiday events, EVERYTHING. It was literally about four screens long. I ended it by saying that contracts, unions, or no, this situation is intolerable, and something needs to be changed. At the very least, the aide needs to be put back into the room.

I'm going to give every parent I know this woman's email address and phone number. I know that a lot of other parents have complained, and maybe upping it a notch will get more attention. I understand the need for unions in other jobs, like mining, but teacher is as close to a government job as you can get without actually being a ".gov", and there is no place for a union where kids are in the equation. I wonder if I can complain directly to the union? I wonder if they'll take a hit out on me? Are they based in Jersey?

11 comments:

creative kerfuffle said...

omg. poor josie. i feel stupid for complaining about not liking my job, but at least i have some control over that. but josie crying about going to school. that breaks my heart. you are doing the right thing and i'm so glad--really, that you talked to the principal again and wrote the letter. i can't even BELIEVE so many people know she's a wretched teacher and they can't do anything about it. oy vey. i'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. and if it's a teacher's union and they put a hit on you wouldn't they just pelt you w/ apples or maybe put glue on your door knobs?

Kristi said...

My heart just breaks over this situation. I feel that at Josie's age school is still supposed to be fun and something to look forward to. I'm so thankful for all of my wonderful teachers all those years ago. I really hope this gets resolved soon. Kids shouldn't have to go through this.

LoriD said...

Poor Josie and poor you. It must be so hard to agree with her, yet you still have to send her into the lions den.

When I was in 5th grade, I had a teacher who was awful and feared by all (she shouted a lot - in an open-concept school). I went from being a great student who loved school to a bit of a trouble-maker who despised school. Luckily I only had her for 4 months before she left to have a baby. The teacher that replaced her is still one of my favourite teachers and made me like school again. This issue with Josie's teacher must be resolved. I'll never know why unions protect those that just make them look bad.

d e v a n said...

:( I hope something gets done. Those poor kids!

Cherish said...

Poor Josie! What a horrible woman. She must know that all of these parents are against her too, and she continues the begavior!

My brother had a teacher when he was 6 that actually dug her nails into his neck and when my mom complained, they refused to do anything about it because she was retiring at the end of that year.
Its rediculous what some teachers can get away with...

Melissa said...

How horrible that this person can make a child so upset and the child never done anything wrong! That's the worst,

Hope the email(s) get through to them and something finally get done!!!

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

That's awful. No child should feel that way about their teacher or school. I hope your letter does not fall on deaf ears. This is ridiculous.

Shelly Overlook said...

You know, as if parenting isn't hard enough without having to go through this kind of garbage, too!

Erin said...

Oh man, this is TOUGH. Good for you, to fight for your girl, for her whole class. What a bad situation, all around.

On a totally unrelated note, I LOVE THE NEW BLOG LOOK! Wow. Seriously cool. Also, the little phrase at the top is HILARIOUS. "wait, what was I talking about?" Haha!

Marie Green said...

Wow, I'd be a wreck too. I guess if nothing happens you could band together with other parents and insist your children be removed from that classroom and placed into another...

I mean, a child shouldn't be crying over a TEACHER's behavior- other kids/social dynamics/recess andor lunch woes- yes normal. Teacher stress- not acceptable.

I'm sorry. And I'm so glad you are doing something about it!

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Oh GOD. Hearing about Josie crying into her breakfast cereal breaks my heart. I don't know how I could restrain myself from ripping that woman a new one.

(LOVE the new blog look! I usually read on my Google reader and missed out on your beautiousness! [What? That's not a word?])