Sunday, July 22, 2007

Teacher bugging of colleague bugs me

A news story from Flushing, Michigan caught my attention this morning. The incident seems to have been centered around a dispute between a middle school science teacher's child and another teacher. I say-- Oh, my Lord to this one. The science teacher seems to have placed a wireless listening device on the back of the chair of the other teacher. This is high tech spy novel stuff. The science teacher ended up apologizing to the "fellow teacher" and following her plea of no contest, was sentenced to six months of probation and 75 hours of community service and fined $250. This was a reduced sentence from attempted eavesdropping, a misdemeanor with up to a year of jail time.

I feel bad for the kid in this story. I am sure she never wanted mom, the science teacher to bug the other teacher's desk. What did her mom not believe that she had a problem with the teacher? Was the teacher that big of a butt hole? Why was the principal not in this deal? Was the school so large and relationships between teachers so crappy that this cound not have been worked out with conferences and friendly conversation?


I would have never taken my fellow teacher to court of an electronic bug, I would would have been so mad, I would have probably gotten fired myself from such a sneaky act. I am not sure what I might have done. It would not have been as civil as taking the teacher to court. But, in the country, we sometimes settle disputes with a more physical edge.

I am not happy with this and I think the principal should have been more proactive. The article says nothing about what all went on in the school as far as mediation of this episode. In our small district, the Superintendent would have been involved from the beginning. Let me guess, Flushing, Mich, and a middle school, it probably have over 2,000 students. Folks, this just goes to show that big schools spell trouble with a T. But what do I know, I am just a teacher.

The last thing I have to say about this article is that a comment that was posted really got my goat:


She got PAID leave for breaking the law?!?!?!? Typical of the education system. Teachers are already overpaid, now they get rewarded for being an idiot. I always wanted to be a teacher and get overpaid for working half a year..but I'm not lazy enough.

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:33 pm

"Teacher are already overpaid". What planet is this commenter from? And to say that teachers "get overpaid for working half a year". I am not sure how ignorant this person is, but it sure shows. Honeytown_Blueliners you must live in a van down by the river. People, teachers do not work half the year. When teachers go home, their day just begins. We have lesson plans, papers to grade, parents to call, extra curricular duties like clubs, athletic events, coaching, parking lot duties at dances, ball game duty, School Improvement committee meetings, Positive Behavior training, bus duty, professional development meetings that last 'til after 5, continuing education, recertification, preparation for open house, parent nights, graduation duty, prom decoration committee, exceptional children IEP meetings, parent conferences and on and on... After a school year, of this, on top of teaching those Hockeytown_Blueliner's and or his/her darling children about the finer points of how to use the Periodic Table or AP Calculus based Physics, I say to Hockeytown_Blueliner-- You can't do nothing but complain in a post to a newspaper article online? Talking about lazy, get involved in your community, volunteer in a school near you this coming school year. Walk through the metal detectors and by the gang graffiti into the more than likely crumbling building and see what is going on-- if you are not too lazy.

Teachers make a difference. Even when things go so bad, there are still thousands of teachers in the classroom every school year. I will not try to quote the wonderfully strong words of the former educator and poet Taylor Mali has to say about what teachers make. If you have not seen it or heard about it, read the transcript at this location. Or better yet, read about Taylor Mali on his web page. If you have PayPal, buy the pen he sells for teachers and give it to your favorite teacher.

In the end, teachers are just people. Parents will do almost anything for their children. This case is just a tip of the iceberg for what is going on in the lives of all our students. It is a challenge that we all need to work on.

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