Saturday, July 17, 2010

DEMOTED to teacher

DEMOTED to teacher

The tragic death of a 12-year-old pupil on a field trip with The Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science, and Engineering in Harlem to a beach last month has now been investigated and punishments have been meted out.  The first year teacher who was on the scene and allowed students to go into the water despite signs indicating there was no lifeguard on duty has been fired.  That’s not surprising and may well be appropriate, though news reports suggest the teacher’s colleagues feel she has been made a scapegoat. 

However, as written in The New York Times, the principal and assistant principal, while disciplined for failing to obtain required permission slips and not planning the trip properly, still have jobs.  The principal faces probation.  The assistant principal was demoted from his administrative role….TO TEACHER!

Demoted to teacher.  Both the Times and the New York Post used the word demoted in their reporting. Where does this language come from?  Does anybody realize what they are saying?  Guess we know what people really think about teachers, despite empty rhetoric to the contrary.  Sounds like the military.  Cut the stripes off and return the offender to the lowest possible rank, in this case teacher.  Certainly lets teachers know where we stand.

Wonder which lucky kids will have this embarrassed, resentful ex-administrator teaching them next year.  He loved teaching so much he became an administrator?  What an inspiring message this sends to teachers and students alike.  What a fine way to help attract, nurture, and retain outstanding teachers. 

Do we now change the old adage to, “Those who can’t administrate, teach?  “     

2 comments:

  1. You have hit a nail squarely on the head here. Many administrators have this superior attitude, and it is hard to say which kind are more virulent, the professional bosses or the promoted teachers. It is the insolence of office, a sad thing, and at bottom I think it expresses contempt for students.

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  2. If both both the Times and the Post used "demoted", it could well have come from a Board of Education press release or official statement. Any sensitive reporter would have used "reassigned", or something neutral like that. Regardless of the wording, the implication that this person's judgment is not sound enough for administration but good enough for the classroom is misguided and offensive. Anonymous's point is well taken...the attitude truly expresses contempt for the students.

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