My boss, the vice principal, threw me under the bus today. Let me start by explaining that I have been evaluated through observation and the test scores of my students. My evaluation has come back, and I have been rated as being among the top 10% of teachers in the school.
I have a student in my class who has been a constant discipline problem. It began in September when this student got a few zeroes for not turning in assignments. She asked me for extra credit, and I explained to her that I do not do extra credit: you either meet the standard, or you don’t. I gave her the opportunity to do the assignments that she missed, and she refused, saying that those assignments were stupid. She then posted on Twitter things like: “Fuck my science teacher, he won’t give extra credit” and “I’m gonna get rid of my science teacher.” I wrote her up for that, and reported it to the principal. Her parents requested a meeting with the vice principal, and immediately went on the attack.
That was when I found out that these particular parents and their children do this every year. They pick one teacher, and spend the year making that teacher’s life miserable. In the past 6 months, these parents have filed over 100 complaints against me. For example: Last month, this student punched another student in the stomach while a third student held the punchee’s arms behind his back. I gave her a referral, and the parents wanted to know why I did that instead of emailing them, and filed a complaint.
In one of the many parent-teacher conferences I have had with this parent and the vice-principal, he accused me of giving his daughter bad grades because I didn’t like her. I showed him some of her work, to show that she turns in shoddy work. He then said that I was probably just putting her name on things that I had done poorly myself, in order to frame his daughter. He then told me that I was a damned liar, and that he was going to get me fired. Not wanting to sit there and be abused, I got up to leave, and was told to sit down by the vice-principal. I was later told that we have to listen to and take whatever a parent or student wants to say to us, and getting up from a parent/teacher conference is cause for termination.
That brings us to today. He was angry because she got detention for calling me stupid and for sleeping in class. He was also angry because his daughter has a D in my class, and because I was making her write reports in Biology class, claiming that I am not a writing teacher and have no authority to make students write in a science class.
He asked the vice principal to move her from my class because he was afraid that I was trying to hurt his daughter. This is the second time in two weeks that he has claimed this. Note that not once have I been near her in anything but a classroom setting, along with 25 other students. The parent stood up, pointed to me, and said “Don’t you fucking eyeball me, boy.” and then stormed from the room. The vice principal told me that if I can’t get along with this parent, I will be terminated.
I went to the other vice principal about an hour later, and I told him that if that child is not removed from my class by Monday, I am resigning. They removed the student from my class, but I just don’t know if I can teach. I don’t think that this career is for me. The problem with the education system in this country is this:
Parents who think that their little snowflake is an ‘A’ student, and anyone who says otherwise is a liar who is picking on them. Then they threaten a lawsuit, and the school backs down, because teachers can’t sue, but parents can. As a teacher, I was told by other teachers that the only way to stay out of trouble and keep your job is to give nearly everyone at least a C, try not to report students for anything, and keep the parents happy. Who cares if the kids learn, the parents don’t want smart kids, they just want kids with good grades.