Sunday, June 22, 2008

Blowing the Whistle

My last post was about the last in a series of charges against me. This post will show where it all began.

May 3, 2006

Mr. Haden Sands, Confidential Investigator
Chancellor’s Office of Special Investigations
49 Chambers Stree, 6th floor
New York, NY 10007

Dear Mr.Sands,

My name is Moriah Untamed, and I am a teacher at Intermediate School 666 in My Neighborhood, Queens. I am writing to you on behalf of my colleague, Mrs. Adila Hassan.

My colleague has been made the object of an investigation because of an incident which took place on March 15 at the beginning of third period. A child asked to go to the bathroom as he walked into the door of her classroom at 9:53 AM. She told him to wait a few minutes until the bathrooms were unlocked. A few minutes later he left the classroom to go to the bathroom, but he had an “accident” before he could take care of his needs. Mrs. Hassan is being blamed for not allowing him access to the bathroom.

Last week Mrs. Hassan met with you and her UFT Advocate. According to Mrs. Hassan, you asked her why she had not sent the boy to the bathroom when he asked to go. She replied that the bathrooms were locked during the first ten minutes and last ten minutes of every period and that she had told him to wait for a few minutes until they were opened. (The boy did not mention at any time that he had an emergency). You called Principal P, on the phone and asked her about the bathroom rules.

You then told Mrs. Hassan that Principal P. had said that the bathrooms are only locked between classes, and that they are always open during class time. Ms. Hassan then asked you to accompany her down the hallway to the boys’ and girls’ bathrooms where a schedule was prominently displayed indicating when the bathrooms were open and when they were closed. You refused to go look at the sign. So did her UFT advocate.

If it is true that Principal P. told you that the bathrooms are always open during class time, then she lied to a Chancellor’s Investigator.

This is the schedule that was displayed on the bathroom doors:


Bathrooms Closed: Period 1,2,8,9 & Homeroom

Per. 3- 10:03 – 10:31
Per. 4- 10:52 – 11:20
Per. 5- 11:41 – 12:09
Per. 6- 12:30 - 12:58
Per. 7- 1:19 - 1:47

I copied this from the sign that was on the bathroom door.

I have removed that sign and am holding it as evidence that Mrs. Hassan told the truth and that it is a lie to say that bathrooms are open at all times except between classes.

I also have asked my students to write down the bathroom hours of operation as they understand them. I have enclosed one of those statements. I am holding about 100 more as evidence.

I am gravely concerned for Mrs. Hassan’s welfare, not to mention the welfare of all the teachers at I.S. 666. No teacher is safe in a building where guidelines are established by administration and then teachers are brought up on charges for following those guidelines. Teachers do not have the keys to the students’ bathrooms. We have no way of opening the door for a student who has an emergency. The same thing could happen to any teacher in this school.

Mrs. Hassan intends to hire an attorney. Therefore, anyone making statements to you should be advised that at some point in time they might have to make the same statement under oath, and that perjury carries heavy penalties.


Moriah Untamed
Science Teacher

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I have received a file letter in which Assistant Principal Z makes the following conclusion:

"It is my professional judgment that you committed an act of verbal abuse when you made a statement in front of class 8C that made Steven Smith conclude that you called his ancestors and family cockroaches. Please be advised that any repetition of verbal abuse may result in further disciplinary action including a "U" rating and/or recommendation for termination."

I can't reveal the contents of statements made by students, but I will reveal the contents of my statement, because I signed no confidentiality agreement about my own version of the incident.



On the Monday May 5, 2008 the objective of the class was: SWBAT copy a DNA sequence. I had designed a hands-on activity in which students copied a DNA sequence by matching Adenine to Thymine and Cytosine to Guanine. We observed that students made mistakes in their copies, and we compared those mistakes to mutations in DNA. We discussed how DNA mutations could be beneficial to the organism and how mutations could be bad for the organism.

I had no problems with any students.

On Wednesday, May 7, 2008, the objective of the class had been: SWBAT design a visual representation of the generations of humans on earth. I introduced the concept of a generation of humans and the approximate time period for one generation (20 years). We then calculated the number of generations in 100 years and the number of ancestors in those generations: 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents, 16 great great grandparents, and 32 great great great grandparents. I asked students if they could remember the first names of their parents. They could. I asked them for the first names of their grandparents. Many had trouble with some of the names. Then I asked for the first names of their great grandparents. I told them that I couldn’t remember most of my ancestors’ names either. After the third or fourth generation we forget unless something is written down about them. However, we carry their DNA, and that is a permanent record of them in our genes even though we don’t know their names.

I modeled how to visually represent these generations in a family tree or pedigree chart. Then we calculated the number of generations since the first fossil record of humans 2 billion years ago and came up with the number of 100, 000 generations. I then asked students to design a visual representation of those generations on graph paper.

For homework they had to find out the first names of their ancestor as far back as they could go by asking their parents and other relatives. I also asked them to write a paragraph about one of their ancestors. I do not remember having any problems with any of my students.


On Thursday, May 8, 2008 the objective was: SWBAT make a visual representation of the evolution of life one earth—the geologic time scale.

We began the class by sharing the homework. I shared a story about my great grandmother. She was born on a farm. (I forget which state). Her mother had died when she was very young. She was one of the youngest of a huge family –about twelve (I think). When her mother died she went to live with a childless couple on a nearby farm. She always thought of this couple as her mother and father. The older children stayed with their father and helped run the farm. I demonstrated that there were many details that I did not know, or didn’t remember. That is how family information is lost. However, I stressed that part of my great grandmother’s DNA was copied into mine, as was her mother’s and her father’s, neither of whom I could name. I told them that my grandmother would probably know a lot more details, but I couldn’t ask her because she had already passed away. I suggested that they go home and ask questions about their ancestors and write some of the more interesting stories down, because that was the only way to keep family history alive after the third generation.

I then introduced the geologic time scale and told students that there were about 100,000 generations of humans, but our DNA also comes from millions of generations stretching back through geologic time to the first life form – a one-celled organism. The evidence for this is in our DNA and in the fossil record.

Because the stories had taken up the time I had to introduce the geologic time scale, I decided to modify the objective. I had the students use the rest of the class period read and answer questions about fossils and the evolution of life on Earth. Some of the students had not done their homework, so I told them they could work on it before starting the reading assignment.

As they were working, I heard Steven S. call John J. a cockroach.

I said to Steven, “You need to be talking about your ancestors because that is the assignment. I looked at Steven’s journal. Instead of working on his homework, he had drawn a nasty picture of John. Steven then started saying that I had called his ancestors cockroaches and that was “messed up”.

I then addressed the whole class and told them that although we were related to cockroaches and all other life forms on earth, we were not direct descendants of cockroaches, so it was incorrect to say that one’s ancestors were cockroaches or accuse anyone else of having cockroach ancestors.

I reminded them about accountable talk, and that anything they said should be either about their ancestors or about fossils and the evolution of life, because they weren’t supposed to be talking about anything else.

I also told them that if they weren’t talking about ancestors, but were actually saying insults, then they should know that an insult is more about the person who says it, than anyone else.

“So in a nutshell. Whatever you say today should be either about you, your ancestors, or fossils.”

This was my response to a case of flagrant bullying.

Steven got up and left the classroom without permission. When he came back he told another student (loudly enough so that I could hear) that he had gone to see Assistant Principal X. This is a bully who abused another student, yet he felt empowered to appear in the Assistant Principal’s office with no pass, and lodge a complaint against the teacher.

I am concerned about the fact that these verbal abuse allegations will make it harder for me to protect children from bullying in the future.


MORIAH'S COMMENT: I don't insult children. Ever. I value each and every one of them. I want them all to go on to be as happy and fulfilled as possible. That is why I became a teacher. It breaks my heart that my teaching career must end like this. But I'll move on and find many ways of enjoying the time I have left on Earth.

What keeps me awake until two in the morning is--What will become of children who have been taught to settle for easy lies instead of searching for hard truths?

Monday, June 16, 2008



Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Letter from Principal Re: Lateness

“The following is an accounting of the times that you have arrived late to work since August 30, 2007:
September 25, 2007 1 minute late
September 27, 2007 3 minutes late
Total 4 minutes late

…If this pattern continues a letter will be placed in your file and further disciplinary action may be taken.”


Monday, October 9, 2007
Classroom Visit

Principal P. and Assistant Principal Z. visit classroom without prior notice.
Principal P. asks for lesson plans. I give her the website address where I post my lesson plans.

As I leave the building that afternoon, I give Assistant Principal Z. a hard copy of the lesson plan.

Friday, October 12, 2007
Letter from Principal
Re: no hard copy of lesson plan

“I have scheduled an appointment for you to meet with me in my office on October 18, 2007 at 3:00 PM to discuss your lesson plan. This conference may lead to disciplinary action. Please bring a union representative.”

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Principal screams at my homeroom class over the loud speaker. "Ms. Moriah's homeroom class is the WORST class."

Thursday, October 18, 2007 –
Meeting with Principal
Re: no hard copy of lesson plan

Principal states that she refuses to access lesson plans online. They must be accessible on demand in hardcopy form.

Friday, October 19, 2007
Condom Incident #1

Student in 8E brings in a little packet labeled "Personal Lubricant for Condoms" and proceeds to smear it all over his hands, his desk, himself, and his "teammates".

I call home, speak to mother, and tell her about the incident. I suggest that she talk to her son about the “who, what, when, where, why” of the condom incident.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Assistant Principal Z. tells me that mother has thrown father out of the house for taking his son to an AIDS awareness workshop where condoms were given out. Mr. Z wants to know why I called the mother. I remind him about the “Ladder of Referral”. (We are supposed to contact parents before referring students to the dean).


Friday, November 30, 2007
Letter from Assistant Principal Z.
Re: Meeting to speak about verbal abuse charge #1


Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Meeting with Mr. Z.
Re: Allegation of verbal abuse.

Student in 8B complained to parent that I had read aloud report card grades of all students in her class and child had felt humiliated.

I replied that I had not read the grades out loud, but had written them in each student’s lab book without comment of any kind.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007 –
Letter from Assistant Principal Z.
Re: Allegation of verbal abuse

“I conclude that the conduct you exhibited when giving report card marks to your students did not constitute verbal abuse as alledged. Due to the consistent nature of the witness statements, along with yuoru description of the events, I condclude that the report card marks were written individually and privatgely into each stuent’s science journal, not in the manner reported to school administration.”

This letter was given to me on December 21, 2007.

Tuesday, December 4, 200
Step 1 Grievance
Re: disciplinary conference.

UFT representative files Step I Grievance. “Mr. Z. arranged a disciplinary conference on Tuesday, at 7:45 Am with Ms. Moriah without giving her and the union representative 48 hours notice which is in violation of Articles 20, 21 Section 2560, 2568, ……

Monday, December 10, 2007
Two boys in 8B call out “Ms. Moriah has HIV”

While I was teaching the unit on HIV, a boy called out, “Ms. Moriah has HIV” I told that was inappropriate, so he said another boy had also said the same thing, but that I hadn’t said anything to him. He said I only challenged him because he was Hispanic, and that I hadn’t said anything to the other boy because he was Asian.

I ask the Asian boy if it was true that he had also said that I had HIV. The boy admitted that he had.

I call both boys’ homes, spoke to the mothers and asked them to come for a parent-teac her conference.

Wednesday, December 13, 2008
Conference with Asian boy’s mother.

Friday, December 14, 2008
Conference with Hispanic boy’s mother.

Friday, December 14, 2007—Condom Incident #2

Class 8B—Last two periods of the day. A student drops a condom full of a semen-like substance as he walks toward the classroom door on the way to the bathroom. A trail of the liquid is visible from his seat to the place where the condom finally dropped out of his pant leg.

I call security, the custodian, and the dean.

The student is removed from the classroom by security.

Because the custodian takes a long time to come, I clean up largest spots of liquid myself, in order to avoid further possible contamination. The liquid has the appearance and consistency of semen. The custodian arrives and mops up the rest of the liquid.

As students pack up to leave for the day, I take aside the girl who was sitting next to the boy with the condom. I ask her if she saw anything regarding the condom or the liquid in the condom. She says she saw him fidgeting with his clothes, but didn't see the condom or the liquid. I recommend that she talk to her mother about what happened, and if her mother has any questions, I will be glad to speak to her. I also make her aware that she might be questioned about the incident because she was sitting right next to the boy. She should tell exactly what happened without exaggerating or leaving anything out.

I call the mother of the boy with the condom and suggest that she and her husband talk to their son about the “who, what where when and why” of the condom and the liquid inside. I stress that I am not assuming that the condom contained semen, but if it didn’t, then someone had gone to a lot of trouble to make the liquid look like semen.

I tell Assistant Principal Z. about the incident and suggest that this is a possible case of masturbation and that the liquid that was spilled on the floor may have been semen (Bloodborne Pathogen). He denies the possibility and keeps walking out the door. To my knowledge, he does not file an Incident Report.

I return to my classroom and with soap and hot water, I scrub the areas of my classroom where I had seen the liquid.

Monday, December 17, 2008
Mother’s reaction to condom incident

The mother of the student with the condom writes a letter to Assistant Principal Z. asking to meet with him and requesting that her son be taken out of my class. No mention of this fact is made to me. I try to reach the mother by phone to arrange a conference.

A monitor from the dean knocks at the door during science class and asks me to give her work for the student to do. I ask where the student is. The monitor states in front of the class, "He’s in the dean’s office. His mother doesn’t want him in your class.”

Tuesday, December 18, 2008
Student gossip

Students from 8B and other classes say that the condom boy’s mother has written a letter complaining about me and that I was in trouble. I was going to be fired. I advise the students to stop gossiping.

Wednesday, December 19, 2008
Visit from Assistant Principal Z to classroom

Mr. Z. comes to the door of my classroom and informs me that the boy from the condom incident is being removed from my class until further notice, and that I am not to try to contact the mother or any other member of the family.

Wednesday, December 19,2008
Letter from Assistant Principal Z
Re: Meeting to discuss condom incident

"Please meet with me on Friday, December 21, 2007, at 12:45 PM, in the principal's office regarding an allegation of unprofessional statements made by you on Friday, December 14,2007.
As per our discussion during period four today, Ms. Dandy, parent of Randy Dandy of class 8B requests the following:

Do not speak to Randy Dandy for any reason not involving instruction.
Do not attempt to contact any family member other than Ms. Dandy, mother.
Do not attempt to contact Ms. Dandy unless in the presence of an administrator.

Friday, December 21, 2008 (Day before Winter Break)
Silent reading assignment

I come to school with a fever, sore throat, and laryngitis. Barely able to speak above a whisper, I give ALL my classes a silent reading assignment. I explain as best I can to my students that I can’t talk, and ask for their cooperation. All my classes work quietly. At the end of each class, I whisper “Talk to you next year”.

Meeting with Z. is cancelled: UFT rep unable to attend. I am unable to speak.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008 (Day after Winter Break)
Assistant Principal Z takes student statements about “my behavior” on Friday, December 21, 2008

Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Letter from Assistant Principal Z.
Re: Unprofessional statements and conduct exhibited by you on Dec. 14 and 21.

“Please meet with me on Friday, January 11, 2008 at 11:15 AM in the principal’s office regarding allegations of unprofessional statements and conduct exhibited by you on December 14, and 21. You may be accompanied, at you option, by the UFT chapter leader, or his designated alternate, as this meeting may lead to disciplinary action.”

(Meeting Postponed until January 18 upon request from UFT representative)

Thursday, January 4, 2008
Letter from Principal
Re: lateness

“I have scheduled a meeting for you to meet with me in my office on Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 3:00 pm to discuss your lateness on January 3, 2008. The UFT Chapter Chair or his designated alternate may accompany you, at your option."

(I was four minutes late)

Thursday, January 4, 2008
Letter from Principal
Re: lesson plans

“I have scheduled a meeting with you to meet with me in my office on Friday, January 25, 2008 at 2:30 PM to discuss your lesson plan on Monday, January 14, 2008 and Thrusday, January 17, 2008. The UFT Chapter Chair or his designated alternate may accompany because this may lead to disciplinary action.”

Monday, January 14, 2008
Letter from Assistant Principal Z.
Re: Allegations of unprofessional statements and conduct

“Please meet with me on Friday, January 18, 2008 at 11:15 AM in my office regarding allegations of unprofessional statements and conduct exhibited by you on December 14 and 21, 2007”

Monday, January 14, 2008
Unannounced classroom visit from Mr. Z. Period 1.
Lesson plan is visible and available. I am reviewing for the midterm. Mr. Z. leaves without comment.

Monday, January 14, 2008
Unannounced classroom visit from Principal P. Period 8
Lesson plan is not visible and available – I have left my planbook in the library where I went to make copies.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Unannounced classroom visit from Principal.
Students are using computers to follow a tutorial on how to identify stars and constellations. She walks out without comment.

Thursday, January 17, 2008
Unannounced classroom visit from Principal during
AM Homeroom.

Principal P demands my lesson plan for period 1. I tell her that I am giving a midterm that day.
She insists that I should have a lesson plan anyway. I write in pencil on a piece of paper:
Objective: Students will be able to take Part 1 of the midterm
Opening: Take out a piece of paper and pencil
Group Work: Take midterm
Summary: How do you feel about the midterm?

Thursday, January 17, 2008
2nd Unannounced classroom visit by Principal

She returns to the homeroom and asks me to hand in my lesson plans for the week as of 7th period that day. Seventh period I provide her with a complete set of lesson plans from January 2 to January 17.

Friday, January 18, 2008
Meeting with Assistant Principal Z:
Re: unprofessional statements and conduct on Dec. 14, 2007 and Dec. 21, 2007.

I was given statements by students and asked to sign an agreement not to reveal their contents.

Friday, January 25, 2008
Meeting with Principal
RE: failure to provide a written lesson upon request on January 15, 2008 and January 17, 2008.

Principal P makes a big deal about how I had not prepared a lesson plan for my midterm. She ignores the collection of lessons I gave her on January 17.

January 29, 2008 Letter from Principal
Re: pre-observation conference

“I have arranged a pre-observation conference for you with Mr. Z and Ms. X on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 during period 8 in my office. The formal observation will take place on Friday, Februray 1, 2008 during periods 7 & 8 with class 8B.

(Postponed until January 31)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Re: unprofessional conduct on December 14, 2007 and December 21, 2007

Assistant Principal Z. concluded the following:

The Incident of December 14: Mr. Z. ignores my version of the conversation with the mother of the student in the condom incident and used the mother’s version.
“I conclude that you demonstrated unprofessional conduct when you stated to Ms. ________, that her son “masturbated into a condom”.

Conversation with girl sitting next to boy with condom: Mr. Z. ignores my version of what I said when I spoke to the girl who sat next to the boy with the condom. Mr. Z. used the girl’s version. “I conclude that questioning the female student in front of the class, and stating that you would “call her mom” was unprofessional.”

My “Behavior” on December 21, 2007: Mr. Z. ignored my version of what I said and did on the day of the silent reading assignment and used the students’ version.“ I conclude that you demonstrated unprofessional conduct when stating that you would no longer speak with class 8B, and that you had “received a letter and were in trouble”.

“I conclude that you demonstrated poor judgement in your reaction to an incident of adolescent mischief. Your continuing unprofessional discussion of the incident in your classroom has resulted in a negative impact upon your students, and an unproductive and oppositional atmosphere in your classroom. Further evidence of poor judgement/unprofessional conduct may lead to an unsatisfactory rating for the current school year and /or further disciplinary actions.”

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Preobservation meeting with Assistant Principal X and Assistant Principal Z.


Friday, February 1, 2008
Formal Observation by Mr. Z. only.

Friday, February 8, 2008
Post Observation with Mr. Z.

Mr. Z. informs me that the lesson was unsatisfactory.

Monday, February 11, 2008
U-Rating Hearing

Monday, February 11, 2008
FILE LETTER from Principal

“Please be informed that on the two separate occasions above, January 14, 2008 and January 17, 2008 you failed to have a written lesson plan as required by Chancellor’s Special Circular No. 28 and our Faculty Handbook. Please be informed that it is your professional responsibility to develop and write lesson plans for your classes. Please be informed that recurrence of your failure to provide a written lesson plan to a supervisor upon request may lead to further disciplinary action including an unsatisfactory rating and or discontinuance.

Friday, February 29, 2008
Experiment on the diffusion of an odor through the air.

I wipe the lab table with vinegar and then students mark the time they first smell the vinegar at their location on a map of the classroom. We successfully perform this experiment in two other classes. Then I try it with 8B (The condom class). Several boys begin to make vomiting noises. One starts spitting in the garbage. I hear a comment to the effect that this is what an old lady’s “genetalia” smells like. I terminate the experiment, send the boys to the back of the room, and lecture the class on their “unscientific” behavior. I then give them a reading assignment.

Friday, February 29, 2008 Mr. Z asks students in 8B to write statements about what happened in science that day.


Monday, March 3, 2008
Unannounced visit from Assistant Principal X

Ms X enters the classroom and goes to the back of the room. I pick up my lesson plan and go to the back of the room. She has turned away from me to look at the bulletin board. I say, "Excuse me". She jumps. The children laugh. I give her the lesson plan. She walks around the room, writes some notes and then walks out.

March 3, 2008
Formal Observation Report from Mr. Z.

The report gives me a U-rating for the lesson he observed on February 1, 2008.

March 3, 2008
Letter from Assistant Principal X

I have scheduled an appointment for you to meet with me in my office on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 3:00 PM in reference to your unprofessional conduct.

(Meeting is postponed to March 13 as per request by UFT rep)

Friday, March 7, 2008
Mr. Z. asks students from 8B to write statements about what happened in science on Feb. 29.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Letter from Assistant Principal Z.
Please meet with me on Thursday, March 13, 2008 at 3:00 PM in the principal’s office regarding allegations of verbal abuse and unprofessional conduct exhibited by you on Friday, February 29, 2008.

Thursday, March 13, 2008
Meeting with Assistant Principal X.

Assistant Principal X accuses me of being insubordinate in the way I gave her the lesson plan during her visit of March 3, 2008.

Wednesday March 12, 2008
Letter from Principal

"I have scheduled a meeting with you on March 18, 2008 at 3 PM to discuss your unprofessional behavior on Monday March 11, 2008 in the office."

Monday, March 17, 2008
Letter from Assistant Principal Z.
"Please meet with me on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 at 2:30 PM in the principal’s office regarding allegations of verbal abuse and unprofessional conduct exhibited by you on Friday, February 29, 2008"

Friday, March 18, 2008
Meeting with Principal

Principal P. accuses me of entering the main office at approximately 2:55 PM on March 10, 2008 and stating, “Here comes the abusive teacher”.

I reply that I have no idea what she was talking about.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Meeting with Assistant Principal Z.

Principal Z. gave me statements by several students from 8B.

Thursday, March 20, 2008 Meeting with two girls from 8B

With so many statements being written by students from 8B, I was curious as to whether, their parents had been informed. I did not discuss the contents of the statements, but I asked two girls if their parents were aware that they had written statements. They said no.

Monday, March 25, 2008
Letter from Assistant Principal Z.

Please meet with me on Tuesday, April 1 at 1:45 PM in my office regarding allegations of verbal abuse and misconduct exhibited by you on Thursday, March 20, 2008”

Monday March 25, 2008

Based on exaggerated and untrue statements made by students of 8B (Yes, the same class that had the condom incident) Mr. Z. concluded “In doing so, you committed verbal abuse which is prohibited by the Chancellor’s Regulation A421 and New York State Educational Law, and which constitutes unacceptable teacher deportment.

Monday, March 26, 2008

“On March 3, 2008, I entered your classroom to conduct a snapshot of your lesson. I walked into the room facing the students. I had not spoken to you. However, immediately upon entereing the room, you screamed, “Excuse me, excuse me” at me. You then came over to me and thrust your lesson plan at me…. I conclude that your screaming “excuse me, excuse me” and thrusting a lesson plan at me in front of the students, constitutes conduct unbecoming a professional educator.”

My reply to this letter was: “I did not scream and I most certainly did not “thrust”.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Meeting with Mr. Z.

I admitted that I had spoken individually with two girsl on March 20, 2008. I told Mr. Z that I believe it is outrageous and a violation of human rights for a student to be asked to give a statement which may lead to involvement in a court hearing without the knowledge of their parents. Parents should be informed that a student made a statement and be given a copy. This is a public school, not a private school. I believe that none of the students have an understanding of the seriousness of their statements or of the consequences. I believe that the adminstration has created an unhealthy environment and has sabotaged the relationship between my students and me by constantly requesting the whole class to write statements during their class time.

Friday, April 4, 2008
LETTER TO FILE from Assistant Principal Z.

Mr. Z. accuses me of violating the confidentiality agreement which I deny because I did not discuss the content of the statement with the students--only the fact that their parents had not been notified.

Monday, April 7, 2008
LETTER TO FILE from Principal

“I conclude that you did say, “Here comes the abusive teacher” in the main office on March 10, 2008. I further conclude that you used poor judgement when you made that statement and that it represents conduct unbecoming a professional educator.”

April 29, 2008
Letter from the Office of Appeals

Please be advised that the appeal of Moriah from the rating of “Unsatisfactory for the period ending June 2007 has been denied and the said rating is sustained as a consequ3ence of refusal to adequately plan and deliver instruction.”

May 7, 2008
I write a referral for a boy who stated that his goal in life was to kill the president of the United States before the age of 20.

Thursday, May 8, 2008
I refer two students to the Dean—one for calling another student “cockroach” and another for saying that I had a fat stomach and my ass smelled like shit.

Friday, May 9, 2008
Letter from Assistant Principal Z.

Please meet with me on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 in the principal’s office regarding the letter you gave me quoting a statement made by a student on May 7, 2008. You may be accompanied by the UFT chapter leader as this meeting may lead to disciplinary action.

May 12, 2008
Letter from Assistant Principal X

“ I have scheduled an appointment for you to meet with me on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 2:30 PM regarding allegations of verbal abuse exhibited by you on Thursday, May 8, 2008”

May 13, 2008
Meeting with Mr. Z. about student stating he wanted to kill the president.

I asked why I was being threatened with disciplinary action for writing a referral. Mr. Z. stated that I had not used the right form. He supplied me with forms.

May 14, 2008
Meeting with Mr. Z

I am supplied with students’ statements about the day I of the referrals I wrote on May 8.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Gag Order

As I mentioned in the previous post, Assistant Principals are soliciting statements from my students for the purpose of bringing me up on charges of verbal abuse. These charges, of course, are ridiculous, and I am convinced that I could beat them in a 3020a hearing. But in the mean time I am the target of an ever growing witch hunt.

I live in the neighborhood where I teach and often bump into parents of my students on the street or in neighborhood stores. I am convinced that these parents have no idea that their children have been asked to write these statements or that the children can be called to testify in a 3020a hearing. The children themselves just think it's a game, and have no idea of the serious consequences of their actions.

In order to be able to read the statements which are the source of the charges, I have been forced to sign confidentiality agreements prohibiting me from revealing the contents of these statements to anyone but my counsel. In other words, I can't talk to the parents of a student about a problem in my class if the problem is mentioned in the kid's statement or in another kid's statement.

I suspect that if most parents knew that their children were writing and signing statements like these without their knowledge, they would be very upset.

I would like to know if anyone out there has had any experience with tactics like these. Is it legal to ask kids to write these statements without the knowledge of their parents? It seems to me that confidentiality agreement or not, I should be able to report this abuse of parental rights to someone. Would talking to my elected representatives in my district constitute a violation of the confidentiality agreement? How about the ACLU? How about Parent's Rights Groups?

I really need help, because these statements are interfering with my students' science education.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Ironing Board Test

I am sixty-one. I teach thirteen-year-olds. That’s a forty-eight year difference. I could be their grandmother. Some people would say that’s just too much of an age difference. How can you possibly relate to your students? Step aside and let younger people take over.

But they’re wrong. I have vivid memories of what it was like to be thirteen. I remember looking at myself in the mirror in the morning and discovering with horror the HUGE pimple that had appeared on my nose during the night. I remember taking at least half an hour to sculpt my hair into the highest bouffant possible and then converting it into a rigid helmet with massive amounts of hair spray. I remember struggling over math homework, passing notes to my friends, wanting desperately to be noticed by a cute boy, trying to take a test in spite of extremely painful menstrual cramps, etc. etc. If I were to forget any of this, my students would remind me every day.

However, there was much more going on than hormones, hair and math. When I was thirteen, Adolf Eichmann was apprehended, taken to Israel, and tried. During that year there were pictures all over the media of piles of corpses with skin tightly stretched over their skeletons. The movie, “Judgement at Nuremberg” came out when I was fourteen.

How could anyone be responsible for such an atrocity? The answer that was given was “I was just following orders.” To my thirteen-year-old mind, that sounded completely insane. All he had to do was JUST SAY NO. “No, I’m not going to run a death camp.” How easy is that?

I gradually came to an understanding that if everyone around you thinks something is right, you might fall into that line of thinking and do things that you would never do on your own. That idea was even scarier than the pile of corpses.

I took my doubts to an ironing-board conference. My mother did a lot of ironing, and I often sat on the floor in front of her as she worked. She would tell stories, and sometimes I would ask questions. “How do you know when you’re doing the right thing—no matter what other people are doing?”, I asked, after we had talked at length about Eichmann. “Well,” she said, “ One test is if you must do it in secret. People have a right to their privacy of course, but if you have to sneak around because you’re ashamed, then you might not be doing the right thing. Imagine if you had a camera on you, like Eichmann did, and you had to explain and justify what you did to people who weren’t in on the secret. Would you feel ashamed or proud? What if you knew I was watching you on TV as you tried to explain yourself?”

I’ll never forget that image.

In the years that have followed, I have sometimes done things that I would not have liked to justify on nationwide TV (with my mother watching), but I was rarely in doubt about whether or not it was the right thing to do.

The point of this story is that thirteen-year-olds are asking themselves some of the great existential questions of human kind, and the answers they receive will affect them for the rest of their lives.

On March 20, 2008, I had to sign a document that read as follows:

“Privacy Acknowledgment of Student Witness Statements"

"This is to acknowledge that upon my request, I have been provided with a copy of 10 student statements.

I understand that the statements have been provided for me for the limited purposes of responding to an allegation that was made against me. Although I am permitted to share the statements with my Union Representative, and/or counsel, I am prohibited from disclosing the identify of the writer and the substance of the statement to anyone else.

I further acknowledge that retaliation against the authors of the statements, or any discussion of the content of the statements with the authors of the statements, is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action including termination of employment.”

Now, obviously, I can’t discuss what the statements said. However, I do know that the statements were taken without the knowledge of the students’ parents. I know because I asked. The document I signed said I couldn’t discuss the CONTENT of the statements—not their existence. I simply asked a couple of the girls if their parents had any idea that the statements existed. I got a letter in my file for asking that question.

In other words, once the secret statements have been written, no one can know or talk about them except the administration, the teacher, and the UFT. The parents have no idea that their children have written a statement that could involve them in a 3020a hearing.

I would have no problem discussing each statement on nationwide TV.

The administration has a big problem discussing the statements with the parents.
So do the students. They have failed the ironing-board test of secrecy.

Ever since the condom incident, I have been the target of a series of verbal abuse allegations. Each time I have had to sign a Privacy Agreement—making it impossible for me to write about them on this blog. The need for secrecy is not mine.

Most people would think that if ten students all wrote consistent statements about something a teacher said, there would be little doubt that they were telling the truth. Let me give you an example of how a whole class can generate false statements.

I caught my homeroom class engaging in negative gossip and mean practical jokes. We had already studied DNA, mutations, and evolution. They knew that most scientists agree that the human genome is the result of billions of generations of evolution starting with single-celled organisms. I told them that the good feeling they got when they joined together to gossip about or play a joke on another person probably came from the same DNA that gave wolves their ability to join together to hunt a deer. It feels good to engage in pack animal behavior, because at some point it helped your ancestors to survive. But beware. Pack animal behavior can lead to racism, lynchings, the holocaust. Of course, it can also lead to rescue teams, football teams, and lots of other positive cooperative behavior. They had to be careful which way they would take that pack-animal behavior---and for that they had to bring into play the big, huge frontal lobe of their human brains that made them different from all other animals. We’re the only animals that can actually reflect on our actions.

Well, they didn’t like that message. I have been told by several sources that they went to other teachers and complained that I called them pack animals. They actually wrote all about it in Language Arts. I am expecting to get a letter any day advising me that there is another allegation of verbal abuse against me. However, now I’ve already discussed the contents of the statements before I am forced to sign away my right to do so.

Why do I predict this will happen? Because it already has. The kids take something I said out of context and are encouraged to write statements against me. Then I have to write a big, long explanation of what I really said.

Didn’t something like this happen with the Hitler Youth?

Appeal Denied--Hindsight is 20/20

I have received a letter signed by the “Deputy Chancellor of Teaching and Learning (as designee for Joel I. Klein Chancellor)” which reads as follows:

April 29, 2008

“Please be advised that the appeal of Ms. Moriah Untamed from the rating of ‘Unsatisfactory’ for the period ending June 2007 has been denied and the said rating is sustained as a consequence of refusal to adequately plan and deliver instruction.”

I have not yet given a detailed description of the closing arguments and some of the questions put to me by the “Chancellor’s Committee Chairperson”.

I had originally planned to write a very close rendition of the entire hearing for the use of others who will be going into one of these hearings for the first time. I would have appreciated being able to read more about the process before I had to go through it. I know every hearing is different, but knowledge is power. That’s one of the reasons why I became a teacher. Knowledge is Power.

However, that was last year, and I haven’t even begun to write about this year—which is almost over.

So let’s just say, that by closing arguments, the die is cast. I think it will be more useful at this point for other teachers to know what I would have done in hindsight (20/20).

1. I spent hours writing responses to all my U-rated lessons. I posted these responses in August of 2007 at the beginning of this blog. They were the reason I began this blog. NONE OF MY RESPONSES WERE ENTERED INTO EVIDENCE. Principal P. faxed the Observations written by her and her assistant principals, but my responses were not included. My representative did have copies of my responses and alluded to some of the points I had made, but this was all done verbally, and couldn’t possibly compare to my detailed written responses.

Always write responses to U-rated observations and to any letters in your file. Get help if need be to write these responses in a way that refutes anything that could used against you in a U-rating hearing.

Before the hearing ask your UFT hearing representative:
“At what point in the hearing will my responses be entered into evidence “ ?

2. I spent weeks during the summer of 2007 and hours before the actual hearing organizing evidence that would refute their charges.

I not only had my lesson plans for the lessons that had been U-rated, I had them for the whole year. After October of 2006, all of them had been read and approved by my Assistant Principal in weekly meetings with me.

I had a student’s journal that contained the daily objectives and notes for the entire year –September through June. They provided evidence that I had really taught the lessons represented in my lesson plans.

I had student work samples that came out of many different lessons (Especially hands-on inquiry labs) in addition to the work resulting from the U-rated lessons.

I insisted on entering the student work samples into evidence during my closing. The Chairperson grudgingly took some lesson plans and artifacts—including the student’s science journal. He didn’t look happy about it.


Always keep a copy of representative student work that results from your lessons—especially those that have been observed. Get them right away. Make copies. Get students and parents to sign statements that give you permission to use the examples of excellent student work. Make sure that every page is dated. If you are being seriously targeted, get everything notarized.

Ask your UFT hearing representative: “When will I be able to enter my lesson plans and student work samples into evidence?”

3. I was informed on several occasions by different representatives of the UFT that the U-rating hearing was just a formality and that very few people win.


Make it clear in a nice way to the person who will be representing you that no matter how much of a done deal this hearing might be, you want to make it as hard as possible for them to find against you. In fact, you want to make it so hard that they could be held legally accountable somewhere down the line.

Don’t disrespect or piss off your UFT representative. He is not out to get you. But he is not a lawyer. Get the most you can out of him. Talk to a real lawyer if you want, but don’t advertise the fact that you did. You can present any ideas suggested by the real lawyer as your own.

Get in touch with others who have already been through U-rating hearings. Pump them for information. What would they have done differently? How could they have improved their defense?

Remember, you are trying to make it a criminal offense to find you guilty.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

U-rating Hearing: Cross Examination by Assistant Principal Z

NOTE FROM MORIAH: This post will continue the Cross Examination by Administrators with Assistant Principal Z questioning me about the lesson he observed on Friday, February 16, 2006 during the last period of the day before a vacation (Mid-winter Break). I got an unsatisfactory rating for this lesson (of course). I posted Mr. Z's written observation report and my response on August 18, 2007 under "Third Unsatisfactory Observation". Someday I will learn how to make the magic blue words that automatically take you back to 8/18/07. For now, you'll just have to scroll.

Because we constantly refer to these lesson plans throughout this post, I will place them at the top.




Students will be able to:
-design an experiment given a source idea.
-carry out the experiment
-collect the data
-draw conclusions
-share discoveries

By the end of the week, 75% to 100% of the students should have their projects in the following format:



Independent Variable:
Dependent Variable:
Controlled Variables:

Problem: How will ___________ affect ___________?
Hypothesis: If_______________, then________________.
I think this way because __________________.



Idea #1 How long does it take a material to decompose?
Source: Bottle Biology by Kendall-Hunt

Idea #2 How does height affect temperature?
Source: Matter and Energy p. 118

Idea #3 How do insulators affect heat transfer?
Source: Matter and Energy pp 122 and 123

Idea #4 Which substances change temperature faster?
Source: Matter and Energy p. 112

Idea #5 How do rocks affect acidity
Source: Chemical interaction p. 143 question 4

Idea #6 How do Christmas tree lights work?

Idea # 7 What are the properties of a polymer?

Idea #8 What are exothermic and endothermic reactions?

(During the preobservation conference, I explained the following to Mr. Z:
“All of my students have already done at least ten experiments and written up ten lab reports. This week, students will be divided into eight groups. Each group will work on one of the problems above. During the week, they will go through all of the steps of a science project. Given the problem, the students will state a hypothesis, define their variables, design a procedure, gather data, and state a conclusion. If a group prefers to work on their own project instead of one of the assigned projects, they will be given permission to do so. By the end of the week I want them to have their own science project organized into the PROJECT TEMPLATE on page one.” This explanation was not written into the weekly plan.)



SWBAT Explore the topic of their experiment (or an assigned experiment).
OPENING: Explain goals of the week
MINILESSON: Review the Template for the experimental design.
GROUP WORK: Explore the experiment idea and topic. Read Text references.
Identify the Problem, Hypothesis, Materials, Procedure, Variables.
SHARE: Experiment topic.
HOMEWORK: Ask questions about the topic.


SWBAT: Prepare a detailed procedure and data table.

OPENING: Review Procedures and tables used in previous labs.

MINILESSON: Review Template.

Write procedure
Prepare data table

SHARE: Explain to class about experiment.

HOMEWORK: Prepare data table, Ask questions, Read about Topic



SWBAT: Carry out an experiment and collect data.

OPENING: Give out materials.

GROUP WORK: Carry out experiment.

CLOSING: Clean up after Experiment

HOMEWORK: Read about your science experiment topic. Write one of the parts of the LAB.


SWBAT: Make a Project Poster and share their results with the class.

OPENING: Give out colors and paper.
MINILESSON: Review Poster format
GROUP WORK: Make poster for experiment carried out in lesson 3.
SHARE: Take turnes doing “walk aobut” students visit each other’s tables and discuss results.
HOMEWORK: Prepare a template for your science project.


SWBAT: Prepare a detailed procedure and data table for their own science project.
(See lesson #2)


ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL Z: There were comments made that during the lesson I observed the wording about students sitting passively and was vague. Is it not true that there are students specifically listed as sitting idlely?

MORIAH: You say a few students you name two. Two is not a few.

ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL Z: That is true. It says a few students including… Therefore the few students included the two.

MORIAH: You noticed a few students off task. I was going around helping those few students who were off task get on task. In the end everyone but the two students you mentioned were on task and eventually even those two became somewhat involved.

ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL Z: Somewhat involved. The question is, how did you know that. There was no planned share. No assessment, summary, or closing. How would you know the status of the class at the conclusion of the lesson without any summarizing activity, closing, share or assessment.

MORIAH: I went around to each group and talked to each group in turn. They were planning their science projects and I thought that it was inappropriate to interrupt the groups from planning their projects, because it was the last day before the vacation and they needed to get each other’s telephone numbers and make sure they could get in touch, make lists of what they had to buy, etc. So to interrupt and have them share when they still weren’t finished, I felt was inappropriate. My interpretation of share and assessment is not necessarily that it has to be whole class, but that we could have small group shares as well. That was my understanding at that time.

ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL Z: Ok there are variations of the summary. Although a lesson might extend over several days, this does not mean that there should not be closing summary at the end of each and every lesson. How would the students know if the class had met the objective of the day if there was no summary to articulate a closing, review, wrap up or summary?

MORIAH: I don’t understand why there can’t be small group assessing by the teacher, if its right for that lesson. Wouldn’t it be more exact to know what each group is doing? You’re talking a lot about “differentiation”. If it is a whole group and they are at different levels, how am I supposed to know where each group has gotten to. In that particular lesson, I wanted to know how each group was doing, because if not, I could always contact them during the vacation or get them in after the vacation to help them one on one. So it really was a small group assessment rather than a whole group. My problem is that The America's Choice Workshop Model comes from ELA and Math. You aren’t using a lot of materials. It’s all about from book to paper and back. I can understand how you can plan a lesson and know exactly what is going to happen, but in inquiry science, we don’t always know what is going to happen and how long it is going to take for each group. So at that time it wasn’t appropriate to have whole group.

ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL Z: It is good pedagogical practice for students to be able to share and assimilate their learning, to share their ideas, to pick up from each other. I would like to point out that the statement you just made regarding planning for other subjects, but we do have to plan for science as well. My question is, where is the lesson plan for February sixteenth?

MORIAH: It was on the paper that was on the board. Class 8E lost a period because of the bomb threat and another two periods because of parent-teachers’ conferences. They only had two periods that week whereas other classes had five. So as I told you in the post observation conference, I had to take five lessons, and make them into two. They had already had a lesson in which they had talked about different projects and they had shared, and so this was really the time when they had to talk within their own science project group and come up with a plan that they could follow during the vacation. So I understand rules and pedagogical philosophy but in real life we have to be flexible and adjust. And a bomb scare is one of those times. If anyone had taken an interest in what 8E did for their science projects you would have seen that in the end it all came together.

Here is a list of their science projects:
1. How does temperature affect the stickiness of gum?
2. Which soda bottle will lose more liquid?
3. How does age affect memory?
4. Which fruit will rot faster?
5. Which glue is stronger?
6. Does soft fabric burn faster than rough fabric?
7. What is the effect of color on heat absorption?
8. Which material is the best insulator?
9. Which is the best lubricant, oil or cream?
10. How does music affect sleep?
11. What is the difference between an exothermic reaction and an endothermic reaction?

ASSIST. PRINCIPAL Z You did say to me in the post observation conference that you had to modify the lesson due to the bomb scare, but my question is, where is the lesson plan for the lesson you gave. You did not give it to me during the preobservation conference. I observed your lesson. There was no written lesson plan, nor did you bring one to the post observation.

MORIAH: There was a written lesson plan on the poster chart in the front of the room—on a large piece of paper at the front of the room.

ASSIST. PRINCIPAL Z – The Agenda, do you mean?


ASSIT. PRINCIPAL Z –That was for the students. Where was the teacher’s lesson plan?

MORIAH: That was my lesson plan.

ASSIST. PRINCIPAL Z: Let me just clarify then that your lesson plan was the Agenda that you had posted in your room?

MORIAH: That’s correct.

ASSIST. PRINCIPAL Z: And according to the Chancellor’s Regulations that have been quoted to you several times, how would you submit that lesson plan to a supervisor upon request?

MORIAH: I assumed that my supervisor was sufficiently aware of the events that had taken place in the building that week and had already received lesson plans that covered that whole week and would see that the lesson plan was a “succinction” of the five lesson plans that I gave you. In other words it was not the exact fifth lesson plan, but it was a coming together of the five lesson plans that I had already given you. In other words I modified lesson plans that I gave you, but I did not give you that modification.

ASSIST. PRINCIPAL Z. –Ms. Moriah, the Agenda is not a lesson plan. I would like to draw your attention to the third lesson plan for that week that has an objective: Students will carry out an experiment to collect data. It is obvious that this is a hands-on lesson with materials, but when I observed your lesson, there were no materials and no hands-on lesson. How was that lesson a part of the lesson I observed?

MORIAH: I’m sorry to have disappointed you. I would also like to state that although I shared all these lesson plans with you, you did not tell me what day you would observe me. You came in the last period on the last day before the Midwinter Break.

ASSIST. PRINCIPAL Z. I’ll rephrase. How was that hands-on lesson incorporated into the lesson that I observed. I would assume that on the last day of the week, you would be finishing up the objectives of the week. My question is, did you meet those objectives.

MORIAH: Please refer to PAGE ONE where it says “Lesson Plans: February 12 through February 16 “Goals for the Week” : Students will be able to design an experiment, given a source idea, carry out an experiment, collect data, draw conclusions, and share discoveries. By the end of the week, 75 to 100% of the students should have their projects in the following format.” This is the modified lesson plan you observed, because this was the ultimate goal of the week. It shows the template that the student used on the 16th. The template in the plan is the same one that was on the Agenda. It has drawing vs drawing, independent variable, dependent variable, controlled variables, problem, hypothesis. I had to take what I wanted as the goal for the whole week and make sure that it happened by Friday, and it did because most of the students were had an idea for the project they were going to do and they did refer to their projects as “Versus experiments”

ASSIST. PRINCIPAL Z. Are you saying that the goals of the week are individual lesson plans? I am confused.

MORIAH: No. I’m stating that the goals of the week, PAGE ONE where it states that 75-100% of the students should have their projects in the following format—that is the lesson of that day.

ASSIT. PRINCIPAL—Ok then on PAGES THREE AND FOUR I see five individual lesson plans—Lesson 1, Lesson 2, and so on. Which one of those lesson was the lesson that I observed on February 16?

MORIAH: The introduction, where it says “Goals of the Week” beginning “by the end of the week…PAGE ONE. That was the lesson plan of that day.

ASSIT. PRINCIPAL Z. The other pages THREE and FOUR show individual lessons. Are you saying that the “Goals of the Week” was your lesson plan for the entire week?

MORIAH: I’m saying that it was for that day. They were able to do LESSON 3. Remember, this was the class that had only two lessons because of the bomb scare and parent-teacher conferences. This class did LESSON 3 approximately. They did not do the project poster. They did not prepare a detailed procedure and data table, but they did set up an actual experiment with an independent variable and dependent variable and contRolled variables with a problem and hypothesis. It had to be modified. It’s a good idea to have “Goals of the Week” because then I can modify and make it happen as much as possible.

ASSIST. PRINCIPAL Z. Are you stating that in the observed lesson a large number of the objectives were not met?

MORIAH: No. Am I stating that the Goals of the Week were not met during that week? The class lost three periods that week. They did not cover everything in each of the lesson plans—those objectives were met subsequently-- but they were able to meet the Goals of the Week. The main Goals of the Week stated on PAGE ONE WERE ACHIEVED for 75 to 80 percent of the students in the class.

ASSIST. PRINCIPAL Z – In our post-observation conference you did state that you modified your lesson plans and I stated that it was your responsibility to rewrite your lesson plan. Did you do that for that particular lesson? The bomb evacuation was on Monday. The observed lesson was on Friday. My question is: had you prepared in those five days a written lesson plan for Friday, February 16 according to Chancellor’s Regulations?

MORIAH: For me, and again, these lesson plans are for me—the “Goals of the Week” on page 4.3 was sufficient because they state the end goal for the week.

ASSIST. PRINCIPAL Z. Didn’t you just say to me that you were following LESSON THREE for that observation?

MORIAH: No I said I was following PAGE ONE--the introductory page where it says “Goals for the Week”. If you see, it is very similar to what you wrote as the Introduction to that lesson.

ASSIT. PRINCIAPL Z. Am I to understand that the “Goals of the Week” is the lesson plan? It is not part of lesson 1, lesson 2, lesson 3. How would I know that?

MORIAH: Well, if you had told me that you were coming, and when you were coming, I would have told you what I was doing. I asked you in the post observation conference if you expected me to modify my lessons every single day and you said that I was supposed to rewrite the lesson plans over and over again every single day if I was not going to follow the plans exactly as I had written them. I don’t really need that, but if you do, then it would be good for you to tell me when you’re going to come because I would have been glad to rewrite that lesson plan so that you would know exactly what to expect when you walked into the classroom.

ASSIST. PRINCIPAL Z. As a professional I am sure that you are aware that you need a lesson plan every day whether a supervisor is coming into your classroom or not. I would like to draw your attention to Principal P’s letter to you in which she directs you to meet with me every Monday to discuss your lesson plans for the week. Each day must be planned separately. There must also be an assessment as to whether or not you met the objectives of the day. In your statement before about modifying, is that following the directive of your Principal—to plan each day separately?

MORIAH: Ok Am I now being told that I have to rewrite a different set of lesson plans every single day?

AP Z : Yes and that’s according to Chancellor’s Regulations. You must have a lesson plan for each class lesson. If you had to modify a lesson as you stated, wouldn’t you in best practices rewrite a lesson plan?

MORIAH: If a lesson plan is for me, and I know what I’m doing, and I don’t see the necessity of rewriting it because it’s already written right there on the page, then I don’t see the necessity. What you are trying to do is set a precedent for every teacher in New York City to have to rewrite their lessons every night.

ASSIST. PRINCIPAL Z.: Are you stating that you do not see the necessity to follow Chancellor Regulations?

MORIAH: I’m saying that we have a difference of opinion about what that Regulation means.

ASSIST. PRINCIPAL Z. I think the Chancellor’s Regulations are very clear, Ms. Moriah. Would you like me to read them to you?

ADVISOR : Objection.

MORIAH; I don’t think we’re going anywhere. What do you want me to say, Mr. Z? I think I had a lesson plan, and you think I didn’t so there’s a difference of opinion, and I’m not going to say that I didn’t have a lesson plan, because I think it stated very clearly what I was trying to do. If you didn’t understand what was going on because it was out of sequence, I’m sorry and I would have been glad to talk it over with you before the class.

ASSIT. PRINCIPAL Z. Once again you use the term, “I don’t see the necessity”. Ms Moriah, do you not see the necessity to follow the Chancellor’s Regulations and the directives of your Principal?

At this point the Hearing Officer interrupted, and said were going around in circles.

NOTE FROM MORIAH: During my testimony I claimed that my lesson plan was on a large chart paper at the front of the room. That chart paper read as follows:

OBJECTIVE: SWBAT plan their science projects

MINILESSON: Project Description Template

Represent the project as a simple Drawing ________________ VS _________________

Hypothesis: If I ________________ then _______. I think this way because ________________.

Independent Variable: _________________
Dependent Variable: ___________________
Controlled Variables: __________________

Problem: How will _____________ affect _______________?
independent variable dependent variable

GROUP WORK: Fill in template for an experiment

SHARE: Plan how you and your partners will work on the project during the vacation

HOMEWORK: Bring in project written in lab report form by February 26

Sunday, March 23, 2008

U-Rating Hearing Cross Examination by Principal

PRINCIPAL: Ms Moriah, when I entered your room on Nov. 14, what was your statement?

MORIAH: I was in the middle of a lesson in which 8 lab groups were finding the density of two bars of soap and there was a lot of equipment, and I could not find the lesson plan I had it and I asked you if I could give it to you after wards, because I was very busy with the lab groups.

PRINCIPAL: In the meeting of Nov. 14 in presence of your UfT representative, what was your response when I asked you why you did not have a lesson plan?

MORIAH: That during a lab it is very disruptive to stop and have to look for a lesson plan. I am always glad to see the principal come into the room, but to please wait to ask for the lesson plan after the lesson.

PRINCIPAL: At that meeting, did you not tell me that you did not need a lesson plan and that the lesson plan is in your head?

MORIAH: There is a big difference between not having a lesson plan and not having a lesson plan on the desk during a lab.

PRINCIPAL: Tell me what the difference is.

MORIAH: The difference in not having a lesson plan would have meant that
I did not know that I had to bring 8 triple beam balances. I did not know that I had to bring 8 graduated cylinders, two bars of soap. In other words, I would not have known what to do that day. But the lab was very very carefully planned. All materials were present. I knew the exact procedure. All the children knew the exact procedure. There was 100% success rate in finding the density of both bars of soap. Children were able to write up a lab, an example of which I gave you and which I have here. So it would be impossible to do all that without writing up a lesson plan, but my emphasis was on having the equipment rather than having a piece of paper that I have memorized. You are always welcome to ask for it. I usually have a written lesson plan, but there are times when perhaps I might get caught without the piece of paper, but the lesson is not only planned, I have it memorized in my head.

PRINCIPAL: But as per Chancellor’s memo 666 and the faculty handbook that you received at the beginning of the year, you must have a written plan and you must have the lesson plan available when it is requested. You said just now that you “usually” have a written lesson plan. All teachers must have a planned lesson. A written lesson plan. Please explain to me why you did not follow the faculty handbook, the Chancellor’s Regulations and the Principal’s Memos. You must have a written lesson plan ALL the time.

MORIAH: I am fallible human being. I am very sorry that in addition to all of the equipment I was not able to put my hands on the lesson plan. I had already collected 160 lab reports. It got mixed up with those. I was a traveling teacher. It is my fault that I couldn’t put my hands on the lesson plan. But I don’t understand why you didn’t make any remarks on the extremely successful lesson that was given and all of your emphasis was on one thing.

PRINCIPAL: Your are saying that you did not follow Chancellor’s regulations, and you did not have a lesson plan.

MORIAH: I already said that I am a fallible human being and that I made a mistake.

PRINCIAL: On March 23 2007 you did not have a lesson plan when Assistant Principals X and Y entered the classroom, you did not have a lesson plan. I ask you why in this instance you did not have a lesson plan.

MORIAH:Could you wait just a minute please? What date was that again?

ON march 23, 2007 I was a traveling teacher and I had a small cart with 13 science project boards from 7F the lowest class that I had.

The science projects were:

How does color affect the melting rate of ice?
How does a change in air pressure affect an egg?
How does temperature affect an electromagnet?
How can we use cabbage juice as a pH indicator?
Which substance filters water the best?
What is the effect of soda on the fizz of a soda?
Will seeds grow better in a covered jar or an uncovered jar?
How do we find if a food has starch?
How much bounce will a handball lose if it is dropped from different heights?
Have you ever wondered how clouds form?
How will different amounts of baking soda and vinegar affect how high a film canister will pop?
How does density of a liquid affect how ice floats.
How can we test different liquids for pH?

At that time I was overwhelmed by the number of boards on the cart. We were going to have a science project fair for 7F. Ms X came in and asked for the lesson plan and when she couldn’t find it she turned around and left without looking at the science projects of 7F. Without giving the children the approval that this low level class needed.

PRINCIPAL: Let me repeat my question. Why did you not have a lesson plan?

MORIAH: It was buried under 13 science boards.
PRINCIPAL: How were you going to address all of those topics without a written lesson plan?

MORIAH: There is a difference between not having a plan on a piece of paper and not knowing what to do. The science project fair was very simple. They were going to go around and critique each others science projects. We had gone over this before. It was a matter of setting up the 13 boards and giving the students a chance to see each other’s work in a matter of 45 minutes. Because I was a traveling teacher, I had to set them up fast, and I’m sure that if Ms. X had stayed around to see the projects, she would have seen my plans as well because my plans were at the bottom of the projects.

PRINCIPAL: Please explain why you didn’t have a lesson plan. You are supposed to be able to produce a lesson plan at the time it is requested. Are you saying that you did not have one?

MORIAH: I am saying that I had one. They were at the bottom of 13 science boards. We set up the science boards. The lesson plan was there. As soon as the lesson was over I went directly to Ms. X’s office and gave it to her.

PRINCIPAL: Did you not say to Ms. X that your lesson was in the lab. You stated that your lesson plan was in the lab.

MORIAH: I had a plan in the lab, and I had a plan on the cart because I knew that I have to have a plan.

PRINCIPAL: So you are saying that you did not have a lesson plan.

NOTE FROM MORIAH: I DID have lesson plans for the lessons that were mentioned, I just couldn't produce them ON DEMAND during the time I was teaching my students: Here are they are.



OBJECTIVE: Students will be able to compare and contrast the densities of two bars of soap and predict whether or not each one will float.

1 large transparent jar of water—for teacher’s use

8 set-ups:
Ivory Soap
Jergens Soap
Triple Beam Balance
Metric Ruler

Note: This lesson does not have a teacher-prepared worksheet. Students are being trained to write their own procedures and to organize their data themselves.

OPENING: (Whole Class) (5 to 10 minutes)


1. Dictate the Problem: Which soap has a greater density? Ivory or Jergens?
2. Assign Jobs according to instruments used
a. Find the volume of the bar of Ivory: Ruler
b. Find the volume of the bar of Jergens: Ruler
c. Find the mass of the bar of Ivory and the bar of Jergens: Triple Beam Balance.
d. Find the density of the bar of Ivory and the bar of Jergens: Calculator
3. Monitors help hand out equipment

GROUP WORK (30 minutes)
1. Students find the density of the two bars of soap and write their data in their journals in the following table:




2. Monitors help retrieve equipment

ASSESSMENT (10 minutes)

Use the Data to set up a problem and a hypothesis

Problem: Can Soap Float
1. Teacher explains the rule for density.

0.9 g/cm3 < 1.0 g/cm3 < 1.1 g/cm3
float float sink

2. Groups share their data and predict whether or not one or both of the soaps will float based on their measurements.
3. Students write their hypotheses in their journals
4. A monitor places each soap in water to test its density.
5. Students write down whether their hypothesis was confirmed by their observations.



OBJECTIVE: SWBAT Evaluate other students' science projects.

OPENING: Explain to the students that today we will be holding a class science fair. They will be walking around the classroom observing the work of other groups. Because there would be only two or three minutes to visit each project, students should focus on the problem and the conclusion: What was the question, and what was the answer. They should also notice the hypothesis, data, visual presentation, and art work. Remind students that next Monday, they will begin the group presentations. This will give students a chance to preview the science boards up close before the group presentations.

Have students move the desks to the sides of the room and place the project boards around the room.


Students view the work of all groups and answer the following questions:

1. What was the question? (Problem)
2. What was the answer? (Conclusion)
3. Did the data support the Answer?
4. Does the visual presentation help you understand the project at a glance? Does it "sell" the project?


Place the project boards on the cart. Replace the desk in rows. Vote for your Four Favorite Projects.


Ask three questions that you can answer after viewing the projects of other students
Ask three questions that you cannot answer, but would like to know the answers to.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

U-rating Hearing: Advisor's Statement Re: Observation #4

ADVISOR: Please refer to the Observation of May 29, 2006 by ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL X

Recommendations: bullet #1 “During the lesson when you stated, ‘How can a brain cell live w/o oxygen?", you answered the question without giving students the opportunity to respond. This demonstrates that student needed prior knowledge and proper wait time.”

This was an Honors class. Students did not mind being asked questions that they could not immediately answser. It did not make the students feel frustrated or disrespected. It simply made them feel challenged to find the answer. Some of the students attended weekly biology classes at Long Island City High School, and they did have prior knowledge that Ms. Moriah thought they might be able to share with the class.

Looking at the 4th bullet: “Assignment seemed easy to some students” because they figured out how to use the textbook and the fact sheet.

Some groups finished before others. Ms. Moriah had not expected anyone to finish in 15 minutes. She expected them to take this time to familiarize themselves with the information and model. The real problem solving would take place the next day.

Ms Moriah is criticized for not going over the findings. The problem is that after 15 minutes one group had the answer and the other groups were still searching for the answer. She preferred to wait until the next period to address the findings of all the groups. To do so otherwise would have been to rush most of the students through the challenge and not allow the time to think it through.

NOTE FROM MORIAH: I responded in detail to this observation on Untamed Teacher in the post titled "Uninformed and Inflexible", dated August 29, 2007

U-Rating Hearing: Advisor's Statement Re Observation 2/16/2007

ADVISOR: Please refer to the Observation of FEBRUARY 16 2007 by ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL Z.

In the middle of the preobservation conference, there was a bomb threat necessitating the evacuation of the building. Ms MORIAH had given Mr. Z the lesson plans of the week. To her knowledge the lessons including the objectives were approved by Mr. Z.

Mr. Z states that when he entered the room the students were sitting passively.

Ms. MORIAH was reviewing what she had done during the last lesson. During that lesson she had introduced the project template and they practiced using it. She modeled its use by demonstrating one of the experiments in the Idea Fair.

The statement that the students were sitting passively is vague and lacking in specificity. No mention was made of who those students were. How do we know they were passive? No criteria inidicating what determines passivity on the part of the students was established.

Mr. Z criticized the group work segment. All of the students were to fill in a project template using one of the experiments that they had done. This was a higher order thinking assignment. Students were engaged in analyzing past projects in order to find the variables. Pairs worked together in order to indentify the variables.


I wrote detailed response to this observation and posted it on Untamed Teacher under the title "Third UNsatisfactory Observation" on Saturday, August 18, 2007.

U-Rating Hearing: Advisor's Statement RE: Principal's Observation

ADVISOR: Please refer to document 3.0- The Observation of 12/19/2006, written by Principal P.

According to document, the preobseration conference was conducted on December 19, 2006 (Weekly meetings with ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL Z ). The observation also was on December 19. Based on this information, and what Ms. MORIAH has relayed to us, there was no formal preobservation conference for this particular lesson. It is true that Ms. MORIAH did meet with MR. Z. on a weekly basis, sharing with him her planning. However, on December 19, the date that she was observed, there was no conference in which they sat down to discuss the actual lesson that was being presented that day. A teacher in danger of getting a U-rating is to be afforded the opportunity to have a preobservation conference prior to the lesson itself. The supervisor critiques the plan, discusses it with the teacher, and offers suggestions if necessary so that they come out of the conference with the information necessary and with an understanding of what a successful lesson should entail.

It is true that Mr. Z did have weekly meetings with Ms. MORIAH, but she was not aware that she was going to be observed by PRINCIPAL P and she did not have the opportunity to sit down and discuss that particular lesson with PRINCIPAL P and to take into account any advice or suggestions that PRINCIPAL P OR MR. Z could have offered her to help her in the presentation of her lesson.

At the post observation conference lessons are reviewed and discussed. Suggestions are offered to help the performance of the teacher. Here we have a situtation in which the teacher was observed (by PRINCIPAL P) on Dec. 19. The post observation conference was held one month later, Jan 19. That is a time period of one month with a Christmas recess in between. At the post observation conference, the lesson is discussed and comments are made. There is no record here of when the lesson was reduced to writing and whether it falls within the three-month time frame. The only indication that we do have is that Ms. MORIAH did sign it on March 20. Between January 19 and March 20 we have no idea as to when it was written. It is true that Ms. MORIAH did speak to PRINCIPAL P. on January 19, but 4 weeks is a very long period of time for an observation to have any worth. Four weeks later, other lessons have been taught, and the recommendations designed to help Ms. Moriah improve were not said until Jan 19. This is not a system of GOTCHA. It is the professional responsibility of the supervisor to observe a teacher (and here we do have a teacher in danger of getting a U-rating), and it is incumbant on the administrator to meet with her in a timely fashion, and to reduce the information to writing so that Ms. MORIAH can use this observation as a learning tool, so that she can implement any recommendations for improvement and then at subsequent lessons, be assessed on the degree to which she made improvements.

Please refer to Page 3.2 of the observation report: Recommendation #2. "Students were asked multiple questions right after another. "

According to Ms. MORIAH, students were not asked multiple questions one right after another. There was a lively give and take of ideas.

Recommendation #3. "Most of the questions asked during the lesson were based on a single recall from text. This kind of questioning is at the lowest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy."

Blooms taxonomy is a hierarchy of skills. You have to start with lower level thinking especially when the subject matter is new or difficult as we have in science. Lower order questions are also appropriate if the readability level of the text is close to the frustration level as it was in this case.

Recommendation #4 ""Student participation limited to a few. "

Student participation was not limited. Most students were in pairs. They were assigned to ask questions and to anwer them from the reading assignment. They shared answers with those sitting directly across from them.

Recommendation #10 "Homework was dictated and not meaningful"

Homework was assigned verbally, but it was a homework assignment that Ms. MORIAH often gives. It does not need to be modeled. She had previously demonstrated the technique of summarizing a lesson in paragraph form. Criteria had already been established. Students knew how to successfully meet her expectations.

NOTE FROM MORIAH: I wrote a sentence by sentence response to Principal P's observation report. You can read the complete observation and response on Untamed Teacher under "HIV UNscripted". See Friday, August 27, 2007.

U-Rating Hearing: Advisor's Statement--RE: Plans

File Letter written Nov. 17 2006 from Princial P. to MORIAH

ADVISOR: Although Ms. MORIAH did not physically have her plan book present at that moment when it was requested, The lesson did involve considerable planning and preparation. Ms. MORIAH teaches a hands-on inquiry lesson needing a lot of scientific equipment. She was teaching in a nonscience classroom, and all the students in her charge were successful in learning how to use their equipment—how to find mass, volume, density and how to write a lab report. The students were interested in what they were doing, and all of them participated in the lesson. According to the UFT contract, the planbook and it's format is at the discretion of the teacher. Ms. MORIAH did in fact plan for these lessons, and she had at her disposal information that provided her with the knowledge of exactly what she was going to be doing during that lesson as was evidenced by the lesson that she did teach the children.

NOTE FROM MORIAH: I posted the complete letter from the principal and my reply on this blog. See Unobservant Principal--Thursday, August 16, 2007.

U-Rating Hearing: UFT Advisor's Opening Statement--Letters of Commendation


My advisor opened by saying that I had been a teacher for 23 years and had taught science at IS. 666 for the past seven years. Prior to the 2006-2007 school year, I had always earned satisfactory ratings.

The advisor then entered into evidence two letters that I had received from Principal P:

1. December 17 2004. "Dear Ms. Moriah, As we close out the 2004 fall semester it is with great pleasure that I take the opportunity to thank you for your time, energy and efforts given to I.S. 666. We are very grateful. Now rest and have a safe and restful holiday.

2. December 8, 2005. "Dear Ms. Moriah, Thank you for your willingness to help make Meet the Teacher Night such a wonderful success. The night was possible only because you and other teachers generously gave up an evening to meet and greet the parents. Each parent I spoke to appreciated the presentation in which you clearly explained the curriculum and our expectations for the school year. They were thrilled with your presentation. Your continued support and willingness to help have enabled the school to progress. You are a definite asset to our school."

The advisor observed that one year I was being complemented and was earning satisfactory ratings and the next year I received a U-rating. People's abilities don't usually diminish that quickly.

Monday, March 3, 2008

U-Rating Hearing: UFT Cross Examines Administrators

Advisor: Is it so that the observation referred to in document 3.0 to 3.5 was written on March 20th, 2007?

Principal P: It wasn’t written on March 20th. I was out on sick leave after the post observation conference. It was faxed in on March 20th, but it was not written on March 20th. I met with her on Jan 19.

Advisor: Is it so that on this observation repord of December 19th that there is no date appearing on document 3.0 to 3.5 indicating when the observation report itself was written?

Principal P: It was written right after post observation on 1/19.

Advisor: My question is: Referring to the observation of Dec. 19 in which there was a preobservation conference on Dec 19 and a post observation conference on January 29th, is there on this observation report an indication as to when the observation was actually written?

Principal P: No

Advisor: Thank you

Sunday, March 2, 2008

U-Rating Hearing--Statements by Administrators

Statement by Principal P (barely audible)

As Principal of I.S. 666 I gave Ms. Moriah an unsatisfactory rating because of her:

Lack of lesson planning
Ineffective delivery of lessons
Lack of engaging students
Lack of differentiation to individual needs
Lack of adapting to individual needs

Statement by Assistant Principle Z

During the observation process: preobservation, observation, and postobservation Ms. Moriah has on several occasions not been able to produce lesson plans. She stated to me that they are unnecessary for her. She has been teaching for many years. Therefore, she does not need a written lesson plan. I was asked to meet with her on a weekly basis to review her lesson plans. She did meet with me, and during those weekly meetings, she stated that she herself did not need a copy, Therefore acknowledging that lesson plans were for administrative purposes only and not for her use in class.

Assistant Principle X

It is my supervisory judgement that Ms. Moriah should receive an unsatisfactory rating for the following reasons:

1. Lesson planning. I went into her classroom and asked her for her lesson plan and she did not have one. And she told me she would give it to me the next period.

2. I observed an unsatisfactory lesson.

Friday, February 29, 2008

U-rating Hearing: Procedural Objections

As he promised, the UFT Advisor entered two objections.

1. He had not received the full packet of documents from Principal P. until just before the hearing. He and I did not have a copy of the documents until just before the hearing.

The objection was denied.

2. Principal P. should be at the meeting in person, not by speaker phone.

The objections was denied.

Next Entry: Administrator's Opening Statement

U-rating Appeal - Introduction

I had my U-rating Hearing at the beginning of this month. It might help others who will have hearings in the future to have an idea of what it was like.

My hearing was held at 65 Court Street in Brooklyn in a small office. The "judge" in the hearing is called a "Hearing Officer". The teacher who is appealing the U-rating is called "The Appellant" . The Union provides someone who is not a lawyer, but who is trained to represent teachers. This person is called "The UFT Advisor".

I met with my Advisor about two weeks before the hearing. The Advisor had a folder with one U-rated observation. He asked me if I had had any other letters or U-rated lessons. I did. He had not received them. I gave him all the copies that I had of negative letters and observations in my file and my replies to them . He also asked for any positive letters. There were two. I also showed him excellent work that my students had done as a result of those U-rated lessons.

The Advisor said that principals often left out negative letters and that they would later put them in at the last minute just before the hearing. He would object if they tried to do this, but he would be overruled.

The Advisor also said that the Principal was not required to attend in person, but could be present at the hearing through a conference call. He would also object to her not being there in person, but would probably be overruled on that also.

The Advisor also told me that the teacher rarely won at these hearings, but that I would have a second hearing at which I would be represented by a UFT attorney in front of an arbitrator and at those hearings, the teacher had a better chance of winning.

The day of the hearing I arrived about twenty minutes before the hearing. My advisor had a thick pile of numbered pages. He was making notes based on these pages that he had JUST RECEIVED. There was only one copy. I did not get one.

The Hearing Officer called us into his office a few minutes after 9:00 AM. He took a few minutes to contact the principal and get her on speaker phone. She had two Assistant Principals with her. ( X and Z). Throughout the hearing it was almost impossible to hear Principal P and Assistant Principal X. Assistant Principal Z was more clearly audible. They constantly referred to the numbered copies that I did not have. The Advisor and I passed them back and forth between us.

The Hearing Officer started the hearing by having each of us introduce ourselves by giving our names and our roles in the hearing.

Then he outlined the procedures. They were as follows:

1. Entire session will be recorded. Proper protocol will be adhered to at all time. Please be active listeners and use appropriate voice tone and level at all times. During the proceding you may request to go off record at any point.

3. Procedural Objections-- The proceeding will begin with procedural objections from the UFT Advisor. The Hearing Officer will respond to each objection by sustaining or denying it.

4. Statement of Administrators--The Principal makes statements or stands on the record.

5. Cross Examination of Administrator-- Members of the Administration are cross examined by uft advisor.

6. Opening Statement by Appellant or Advisor-- After cross examination either appellant or advisor is asked to make an opening statement.

7. Cross Examination of Appellant-- Administrators cross examine the appellant.

8. Administrator's closing statement.

9. Appellant's closing statement.

The Hearing lasted for about two hours. I will post a description of each part. It might take a while. It is difficult for me to write about it.

Next: Procedural Objections

Friday, January 18, 2008

Que Será Será

Today I had my conference with Mr. Z. about the Randy Dandy incident. My UFT representative was present.

I was very upset when I received a letter saying that I could be brought up on charges as a result of my reaction to an incident involving a student.

Basically, Randy let a prophylactic fall to the floor during class. It contained a liquid that did not look like water. It was similar to the bodily fluid that prophylactics are manufactured to contain.

As I mentioned in my blog entry of Dec.20 , I called security and the cusodian. Security officers showed up immediately and took Randy out of the classroom. The custodian showed up and mopped up. I asked him if he thought the liquid was water. He shook his head and said, “That’s not water.” I didn’t think so either.

This happened the last period of the day on a Friday. After I had dismissed the class, I went down to the office and called Randy’s home phone number. Randy’s mother picked up and I told her about the prophylactic. I said that it might have contained water, but then again, it might have contained something else. I told her that we had a best case/worse case scenario, and that I was leaving it up to her and her husband to talk to Randy and figure out what had happened. I suggested that she and her husband come in to the school and meet with a guidance counselor and then with me the following week.

The mother got upset, but not with Randy. She came into school and talked to my supervisor. She didn’t want her husband informed about the incident under any circumstances, and she didn’t want Randy in my class anymore.

Now Randy is in another class, and I am being investigated.

Hindsight. I shouldn’t have suggested to the mother that the liquid in the profilactic was not water.

Why did I say that? ….

…..because it wasn’t water. I can’t say without a doubt what kind of liquid it was, but I can say without a doubt that it wasn’t water.

My first thought was, “This child needs help.” Would anyone in the school help him? No, they would just shrug it off, and pretend it didn’t happen. The people who could really help Randy Dandy were his parents.

But then I found out that this is the kind of behavior that children might engage in when they are being abused. So maybe Randy’s parents weren’t the ones to go to for help.

I started this blog, because I knew that I was being targeted, and I wanted to document the process. Unfortunately, I may have given the administration an excuse to send me to the Rubber Room. They didn’t even have to frame me like they did with Adila (See "If a President Can Lie, So Can a Principal" 11/11/07.

Do I believe I deserve to lose my job over this? No. But I do believe that I deserve a better job—and life--than the one I have. So I’ll see how it plays out and accept that whatever happens will be for the best.