Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Bitch Fight

Since I have moved to the South and joined their system of schooling, education is a debatable concept here, I look forward to my last day for the remainder of this year and do not look forward to the next which begins in August.

School ends here on Thursday and some schools are truly biding time as report cards were due last week and close out has begun so the kids are literally doing what I do, filling seats.  But instead of providing an opportunity to learn, to build community or just have a chance to close out themselves some schools are faking lessons, giving busy work or sitting watching movie after movie.   It is always as I portray this last week - sad, grim, pathetic. 

Yesterday I was at a school which is euphemistically called the "truck stop middle school" as it is located across from a Cemetary in the middle of industrial warehouses.  There is no close neighborhood and all the children are bused in from areas well out of the area at least 30 minutes one way.  It is a dump. And my first time there I was horrified.   The second the same and those were half days.  I worked a full day there as with one more day to go the belief that beggars can't be choosers applies.  That and the job scheduled cancelled so I took this instead.  And I walked in to a SPED room and the Teacher was there.  He was there but he was a Miss not a Mister.  I have no problem with the Trans community and it is amazing to see here in the deep red sea anyone willing to risk their lives and sanity to come here and live let alone walk into a school but something by his demeanor made me lose respect if not understanding any of it.  A state which I have become accustomed to.  

The day began with him telling me my schedule and in standard fare speaking to me like a dog, despite my best efforts to repeatedly mention how that is something I find appalling and standard so it might explain why there are few subs and why few come to this school on average and why it was the last week and why I was there as the options were few. But no he kept going. And yes I am aware that I am using the male pronoun but he did nothing to earn my respect in any way.   What was tragic was the lies coming out of his mouth and his need to show me the students scores on the exams they took after he came to the school.  He came to the school in October, he is a first year Teacher with 7 students and he is Resource Room and an Inclusion/push in Teacher so he offers support with lessons and the main classroom Teacher.  The kids scores were in line with the school itself they were not exceptional and I was unclear why he felt I gave a flying fuck but okay.   Next year he gets 23 good luck with that.  But he is a new Teacher and utterly in a permanent state of delusion and  I thought if he hands me an electoral college map with highlights I may have to check where I am.

The mainstream classes I pushed into were Math and Language Arts and by God these women were still teaching lessons.  They were actually giving them legitimate work but also screaming at the top of their lungs which I could hear through closed doors, still suspending people, calling home in the middle of the class and berating the kids with less than 2 days left in the year.  It was again an affirmation that learning and teaching here is discipline based and not affirmative based as I have come to know and expect. So as they asked about my background, I just said that I have 20 years under my belt and that since I have only 3 years left on my license and will be 60 by the time it expires it would be a good time to move on and do something else as I have nothing left to offer or give in a system that I am not well acquainted with or fully comprehend.   It was a passive aggressive posture and one woman clearly got it its intent and she avoided speaking to me in passing encounters thereafter.   One woman who kicked a kid out was announcing to the class she had six figures owed to the Government (she too has the Dr title before her name) which enables her to demand respect.  Well if that was the case what the flying fuck was she doing here?  Again if you have a Doctorate and are Teaching in a State with the lowest academic achievement, lowest in Teacher salaries and is a right to work state with no ability to have job protections or security and must work 30 years to qualify for retirement you need to ask yourself how and why you think you are in a position to Teach when you can't do the math and evaluation to see what a waste of time and money that is.

I had already been to the very first school I ever subbed at for the veryt same Teacher on Monday and I too found myself screaming at the top of my lungs heard through a closed door enabling a Teacher to come in a rescue me which confirmed to me that nothing had changed other than class size. (She had lost some of the ELL learners thankfully they were lost) But it was there at the end of those first two days back in August  I realized that these schools were as horrific  as I had been told and I did not think it was just location location location as they say in real estate which affects schools; as the equation includes property taxes which affects schools but here that is the exception and it was then after a couple of weeks I knew that there was something seriously wrong here.  And that suspicion and it has not changed and I have traveled in the district with a true geographic compass that determined  I would not go to a school more than 20 minute bus ride from the central bus depot.   And thankfully I kept that promise cutting some out despite it as they were that bad and skipping others as I did not need to see more to prove my point.  And then I read Unmaking the Great Metropolis and it was all I needed to know that my truth was just that.

Today I go to a school I had never been, had massive opportunity but cancelled them and thankfully it is in Special Education so my class load will be small and the kids are often the best in the group, which I am afraid is not saying much.  Poverty here is a devastation that in the South is a special kind of poverty and the pain and damage that results will take generations in which to recover, if ever.

So when I read this story I was neither shocked nor surprised.  To see Teachers fisticuffing it out was not something I had not experienced before in Seattle in my first year of Teaching.  I watched two men go at in the Teacher's Lounge only to be separated physically before it escalated and one of the same men tried to kick a chair out from under me on my last day saying he heard I was funny and ordered me to be funny.  In that case the most mild mannered of Teachers informed him to shut the fuck up and leave me alone as it was my last day and I was not coming back.  Only later to return to my classroom to harass me and another SPED Teacher told him to get the fuck out.  Yes they knew just what kind of asshole he was.  I don't even remember his name as I have a point of not recalling anyone's name unless they are relevant and meaningful to my life.  I truly am a massive bitch beneath the funny and it has been a self preservation tact that has thankfully worked for me.

So enjoy the bitch fight. They are fine role models, clearly.

Atlanta-area educators trade punches in class. Students told to delete video.

Play Video 2:25
Atlanta-area educators throw punches in middle school classroom
Two educators were captured on camera in an all out fistfight inside a classroom at Stone Mountain Middle School in Tucker, Georgia on May 19. (WSB-TV) 
Classroom fights are posted on social media regularly but rarely are adult educators the ones fighting.
A teacher and classroom paraprofessional were captured on camera in a fistfight inside a science class at Stone Mountain Middle School in Tucker, Ga., about 20 miles outside of Atlanta. A student filmed the May 19 fight and posted it on social media.

In the 24-second clip, two women appeared to punch and grab each other several times, while students yelled at them to stop.
“Everyone was screaming like stop, stop, stop,” a student told CBS46.

“I really couldn’t believe it,” student Madison Hall told WSB-TV2. “Like I thought it was kids fighting and then found out it was teachers. It was just bad.

The DeKalb County School District has declined to name the women. School officials told local media the women were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in a public space.
The school sent a letter home to parents on May 23, notifying them of the incident and said that it remained under investigation, according to WSB-TV.

“The interaction and conduct in the video is completely unacceptable and contrary to our district’s tenets and core principles,” the school said in a statement. “Those staff members that participated in the conduct have been removed from the learning environment.”

Some parents have called for the women to be fired.

CBS46 spoke to students who said that after the fight, school officials came into the classroom, went through their cellphones and told them to delete any evidence of the brawl.

“Nobody apologized they just came in and were like who videotaped this and stuff like that,” one student said. “I think they were trying to push it under the rug so nobody would know about it and the school’s reputation wouldn’t be messed up.”

The school district said it was unaware of staff members going through students’ cellphones.

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