Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Teacher/Paraprofessional Politics

At 8:30 this morning a faculty member took my aside to warn me that yesterday a paraprofessional (the faculty member wouldn’t say who) had told the principal that a student told her I had used explicit and sexual language towards them in class.

I was shocked, shattered, and enraged in exactly that order. On the heels of the Piñata incident my demeanor was as clean as soap towards students. It galled me, walking on verbal eggshells, but in order to maintain goodstanding in my school, I wasn't saying boo to a moose. So, when out of the blue I hear that someone is spreading outlandish rumors and putting dirty words in my mouth I was freaked out and angry.

Who do I trust? I went to my chapter leader, and his advice was to continue having no reaction to any inappropriate student comments, and to have him or the union rep present at any other “meetings” the assistant principal wanted to have with me. As for now, since the para didn’t actually hear me say sexual things to a student (Well, duh) it’s all hearsay…but it makes me uncomfortable that my name is on the lips of higher-ups in a negative way.

I just want to teach. 95% of the energy I process is engaged in teaching and my grad classes, my social life and loved ones are pretty much put on hold. I DO NOT have extra energy to waste on worrying over who is saying what to whom.

What makes me even angrier is that no one is attacking the way I teach, but hitting below the belt and making claims about the safety of students. I have to wonder if the mysterious paraprofessional informer had anything to do with last week’s piñata problem.

Even worse is I can’t really imagine why anyone would want to cause trouble for me. Ok, I’m not naïve; I’m aware there is a very tenuous bond between paraprofessional and teacher, and that Teaching Fellow’s aren’t always seen in the most gracious light…But I haven’t anything that could be seen as an act of war towards anyone. I only want to come to work, teach, and go home.

If I wanted politics, I would have run for office.


Anonymous Schoolgal said...

Your CC is right. Do not go into any meetings alone. If you are called into a meeting and they start to discuss this incident, just say, "I would like to continue this conversation, but I want to exercise my option to have my CC present." Then get up. If the principal tries to keep you, say nothing!!!!!!! And then restate your right to have your CC there. Do NOT believe for a moment they have your best interest at heart if they tell you having your CC is not necessary.

When you used the pinata comment, can you remember who else was in ear shot? Could it be your own para?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 1:12:00 PM  
Blogger Ms. C said...

The para wasn't around during pinata-gate. However, the para in question works part-time security and deals with most of the most troublesome students. It's feasible that news travelled to her.

However, that is pure speculation...and thinking like that makes me a little ill.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 1:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Schoolgal said...

Every school has their troublemakers. Yesterday my principal had to meet with a parent who was sending emails to other parents about an incident in school that never happened. Her kid told her some stupid story, and the parent took it as truth. My principal had to tell her that her kid has problems with telling the truth.

You did the right thing going to the CC.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 3:50:00 PM  
Blogger NYC Educator said...

Going to the CC was the right move. And Schoolgal gave you some good advice.

It's remarkable that your administration allows criminals to harass you and then follows in their footsteps.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 4:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grrr! SO frustrating!! I'm sorry that's happening to you!!!!

Thursday, March 01, 2007 2:46:00 AM  

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