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.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Getting into the Swing of Things

I dreaded going back to school today. I had a very very bad Friday before the vacation.

But today wasn't bad at all. I gave the kids a definition of the pendulum: "A system, comprised of an overhead support, from which a string hangs, and an object at the bottom end of the string. The object swings back and forth under the combined influence of gravity and the string." Then I gave them a string and told them to make their own pendulums. They had to supply the overhead support and the object at the bottom of the string. They came up with all kinds of variations on the pendulum using pens, keys, erasers, rings, earrings, etc. One boy took off his shoe and swung it by the shoelace--yes, that too is a pendulum.

Even Nathan came through today. Students were giving examples of pendulums in daily life and he offered the example of the trapeze in the circus.

Tomorrow we will do the time-honored experiment to find out if the mass of the object affects the swing of the pendulum.

I look forward to going to work tomorrow.