Saturday, March 27, 2010

Why I voted for ICE-TJC

I voted for ICE because Michael Bloomberg has been perpetrating a war on  the teachers of New York City and the UNITY leadership has done a very UNsatisfactory job of protecting us and fighting back. 

I have compared Bloomberg's war  with the holocaust, and now I'm going to compare it to a witch hunt.
It has elements of both.  Property is lost; investigations and trials have predetermined outcomes.  Normal, lawabiding citizens are criminalized.  Reputations are destroyed. 

When you say witch hunt, most people think of Salem.  But you need to go back to Europe to see where the fun really began.

Find out what it was like to be a person accused of witchcraft in 17th century Germany.

A letter to your file; a "U" rated observation; a bogus complaint by a student or a parent that is instantly accepted as true no matter what you have to say.  These are the first signs that the witch hunt has come to you.


Pissedoffteacher said...

The worst thing about these letters are that they are written by administrators who are extremely unsatisfactory and have no idea as to what a teacher should be. And, we, as teachers, have no recourse.

A new AP in my school, barely out of diapers, is in charge of a department that she has only taught one year in. (Her license is in something else.) She didn't even do a very good job with those kids. She's heartless to both the kids and the teachers, thinks she is always right, although she knows nothing and has the power to observe and destroy careers. It's heartbreaking to see what education has become.

People like her are responsible for people like you being where you are. If there weren't so many innocent people in the RR, the ones that belong there could be dealt with in a timely manner.

Ricochet said...

I am sorry for what you are going through, as I see the spark that made you a good teacher.

If you are going to be pilloried, I hope you come out of this as strong as Grace Sherwood:

Moriah Untamed said...


That describes my last supervisor--and the two before that. My only comfort is that they are put through hell by their supervisors. May they all roast together.

As for dealing with us in a timely manner. They don't want to. They would have to return us to the classroom in a few weeks or months. That would mean that they couldn't hire permanent replacements.

Thanks for the link to articles about Grace Sherwood, the Witch of Pongo. She survived her ordeal, but I couldn't find anything about what happened to her three children. It's interesting to note that we know about her story because a children's book was written about her. Otherwise, she would be a local legend only.

Anonymous said...

Moriah -

About dealing with the rubber room prisoners of the war against education:

1. Many, if not most teachers, are NOT returned to "teaching." They are made (un)glorified subs who function as school aides and clerical workers (filing, stuffing envelopes, etc.). They are consigned, more or less permanently, to remain in a rubber room.

They are sent to a new school to be hounded, hunted, destroyed.

2. After a rubber room inmate has her/his days in kangeroo court and is fined, suspended (no pay, no health insurance, pension reduction, etc.) but not yet "terminated" (the lawyers call it the "death sentence"), there is NO real school to go to since the entire system has been destroyed.

All of this is part of something much larger and we, as educators, and the guardians of the nation's children, might think about becoming helpful role models.

Moriah Untamed said...

Anon 11:31,

There is ample evidence that your points 1 and 2 are correct.

How do you propose that we become helpful role models?

Anonymous said...

Moriah -

It is good to know that teachers understand their plight.

What to do?

1. Organize every adult in a suffering building ("school") to file a lawsuit on behalf of everyone who is being injured.

2. Make vigorous attempts to educate all adults in these buildings and other appropriate places in the politics of what is occurring and why.

3. Educate ourselves and everyone we can reach about the strategies of people such as Ghandi, Martin Luther King; women such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Then, employ those strategies ourselves.

As extreme and frivolous as this might sound, I'm not sure that something such as a hunger strike in the rubber rooms is a totally impractical idea.

Plain ordinary resistance in "schools," rubber rooms, etc. in various forms:

1. Work to rule. This would include, for example, every teacher walking out of a "professional development" meeting exactly at the minute it's mandated to end in our last contract.

2. Learning about the specifics of the paper reduction act and following it.

3. Learning our last dreadful contract(contract ON teachers) and insisting that it be enforced in each and very instance.

4. Informational, and intelligent, picketing outside each and every "school" and rubber room for 1/2 an hour before and after work hours.

5. Schoolwide work stoppages. Maybe borough-wide or city-wide work stoppages.

6. Efforts to establish a true union of teachers and decertify the UFT.

7. Educate first the parents of school kids and then the rest of the city about what is really and truly being done to irreparably harm their kids and make common cause with them.

Likely much of this is wishful thinking. But not impossible.

Moriah Untamed said...

I just found this excellent comment. I need to approve comments before they show up on the blog because of the large amounts of stupid porno spam that I am getting. Sorry for not finding it sooner.

I agree that we need to organize and push back against Bloomberg's privatization of public education.

We also need to educate the public so that they realize that Bloomberg is robbing them of something very valuble.