Friday, April 30, 2010

I've Been Accused Of Being A Liberal By The Wink ISD

On my blog a couple of days ago I asked a simple question. Here's that question...why is it that the Kermit ISD school board and administration can hire me, but the Wink ISD school board and administration can not. I received a phone call today giving me the answer to that question. Are you ready? It's because I'm too liberal., I had to ponder on what I had done over the past ten years that earned me the title of being too liberal. I suppose after some pondering I came up with a list of events that I think I'll gladly share with you and then you can decide if I'm too liberal. Okay, are you ready? Here goes.

When a concerned mother approached me seven years ago and asked me to be her advocate at a local DEIC meeting with the principal and several teachers, I gladly accepted. During that meeting I found out that the first grade teacher was tearing up children's papers in front of them during class and throwing them in the trash because they had failed to put their tiny little names on their papers. Not only was the paper ripped up a zero was also recorded in the grade book. I asked, "How is it that you can record a zero for that child and yet not allow the child to put his/her name on the paper and give that child credit for their work? What you're doing is humiliating and damaging to that child forever creating a hostile educational environment that instills an intrinsic dislike for learning. Are you prepared to create children that loathe coming to school?" This teacher's response?

"I'm preparing them for the future. Do you think they can fill out a job application and forget their name and get hired for the job? You're not even a teacher so what you think doesn't matter."

The principal allowed her to continue her demeaning practice, but in the meantime I quit my job and went back to college to become what? Yep, you guessed it...a teacher. Not only would I be qualified to state my opinion, but I would have the ammunition to abolish her unfair practices. And sure enough, when my little Annie finally got into her first grade class, I was there that afternoon on the first day of school meeting with her and the principal to inform her that I would not tolerate such a heinous act and now that I was a teacher...I knew what she was doing was wrong. You can not punish academically for behavior. End of story. So, I suppose putting an end to an antiquated horrible act of belittling children makes me a liberal.

Then there was the time that I again became an advocate for a mother whose child was being discriminated against. Seems that every child except for him was getting credit for their work. These worksheets had two sides and a place for the student's name on both sides. This child would forget to put his name on one side earning him a zero for the paper. (I guess she didn't get the memo that that practice had been abolished) After contacting several of the parents who had children in this teacher's class and getting copies of their children's worksheets, sure enough I came across many instances where these students had been given full credit for their work even though their name only appeared on one side, my child being one. After bringing it to the teacher's attention she refused to change the student's grades. I then went to the principal. With the teacher in the room, I pulled my copies of the child who had been discriminated against...and smugly this teacher smiled and said, "Yep, that's my policy. Name has to be on both sides to get credit." Then I asked, "And you are consistent with this policy? You enforce it with every child?" She responded, "Oh, I most certainly do." Then I quietly with purpose pulled a stack of no less than fifty papers...each one showed a child's name on one side, but not on the other and yet grades had been credited for both zeros recorded. "This child whom you have given zeros to is black, these children whom you have not given zeros to are white. What does this look like to you?" So, I suppose ending racial discrimination makes me a liberal.

Confronting the school librarian who called my daughter a liar by telling her that she indeed checked this book out that had not been returned and would now have to pay for it also qualifies me as a liberal. I had written the librarian several notes informing her that Annie had never checked out this book, that it had to have been a mistake...she ignored my letters. Until the end of the year school party when the day before my daughter was informed that she would have to spend the fun filled day alone in the secretaries' office because she had not paid for this book. My daughter, in the first grade, came home in tears. I was back that very afternoon in the principal's office with that librarian. Not only did I tell her who the child was that checked out that book, but that I had contacted an aide at the school that went to the shelf and found the book improperly placed. I told the librarian that she owed my daughter an apology. Her response, "I'm not apologizing to her. You don't apologize to kids. Your daughter is just overly sensitive." I then informed her that she was base and depraved and pure evil. (not one of my better days.) So, I suppose getting the prinicpal to write a letter stating that Annie never checked out the book and didn't owe the money makes me a liberal. By the way...I still have that letter.

There are many other events over the past 10 years that I could relate to you, but we'd be here for days recounting them all. I suppose the nail in the coffin event was when I was interviewed by the superintendant. He told me he was concerned that in the past I wasn't a team player. My response? "You're correct if not being a team player means protecting the right of every child to a fair and equitable education. You're also correct in identifying me as not a team player because I provide parents with accurate information and resources to help their struggling child. And you're definitely correct in assuming that if you want me to violate the teacher code of ethics by denying a child special education services that I wouldn't do it...yep, then I'm not a team player."

All ye of narrow minded thought processes listen one runs me out of town and no one puts baby in the corner.


Durango said...

It is May Day and I am shocked, shocked I tell you, to learn, today, that you are such a radical liberal. I think you may be a subversive communist.

Gar said...

There's nothing wrong with being liberal. That place was always a little too conservative for me.

Unfortunately, I don't remember Kermit being all that much better.

Back in the day, they were just too close minded to call anyone in Wink for a reference.

Congratulations on the new job though. You deserve it.

Last time I was in that area, it seemed like it needed a good healthy helping of liberal thinkers. What better place to put one than in the education system!

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Durango- Now I know why the super called me Hillary.

Gar- Thanks for the congrats. I guess I better turn that contract in real soon before someone changes their mind!

Anonymous said...

Rock on woman!!!!

TXsharon said...

After working at the local school district as the technology director, I decided to homeschool my youngest son. I did put him in school so he could experience the wonderful 4th grade teacher then I took him out again. I wish all teachers could be like you and like my friend Peggy Jones who taught 4th grade for about 40 years.

I'm glad you have a new job but I was hoping you would move closer to us. I'm selfish, I guess. Kermit ISD is so lucky.

Jovan Gonzales said...

I think you should just admit it: you're liberal. I mean, being compassionate = liberal in MY book. You know ... the first step to recovery is admittance ... right?

I am SO glad that you got a job. Hopefully they will appreciate you in all your awesomeness!!! Wanna be a prof at A&M? You can teach me!!! :D

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

You're so sugary sweet! :-) Hmmm...I'd prefer to stay independent if that's okay. Don't want to be boxed and labeled! lol

Prof at A&M...what would I teach?

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Annie asked to be home schooled this year. She abhorred one of her teachers and was dismayed that she would have the same set of teachers for the next three years. BUT now that I'm teaching in another close by district she won't have to! I appreciate the sweet sweet sentiment and would of loved to have moved away from here, but it just wasn't in the cards. I'm honored to share such high praise with Peggy Jones. Thank you