Hi. I'm New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, and I think it's about time we addressed bullying. Personally I've had it with bullying. That's why I'm making 80 thousand teachers give lessons on it. After all, I've made them come back for full school days on June 24th and 25th, after they've given grades and their students have finished all their tests. What better time to tell 34 kids you oppose bullying than right after you've forced them to come back to a hot classroom for no reason?
I'd also like to say a few words about the Democratic mayoral candidates, who have been criticizing the mayor's initiatives, which they have no right to do. It's important we continue closing schools, and those candidates have made unconscionable statements saying we shouldn't do this. That's bullying, and I will not stand for it. Who the hell does John Liu think he is saying we need to involve parents and communities? Does he really think any community would let us come in and close their neighborhood school if we gave them a real say? Of course not. We won't let them bully us like that. We will come in and close their schools whether they like it or not. It's for their own good.
We've also had it with those damn UFT teachers. Who the hell do they think they are trying to push an evaluation system on us by negotiating, just because the law says we have to negotiate? We will not be bullied like that. We will accept our own system, with no variation whatsoever, and as soon as they're willing to accept it, we will agree. If not, we'll just let Reformy John King decide, and whose side do you think he's gonna take? Get real, people.
Once we get this new evaluation system in place, the mayor can buy himself a suitable candidate, and within two years we can fire every single teacher who isn't part of E4E, so if you want to be working in 2016, you'd better join now. Of course if you don't want to, that's entirely your choice. We aren't bullies and we understand you are free to do as you choose.
But we will not be bullied. We will get what we want, when we want, however we want it, and we will settle for nothing less. So I urge teachers to demonstrate to their students that bullying will not be tolerated, and that includes any criticism, however trivial, of our Great Leader Mayor Michael Bloomberg, blessed be his name.
Thank you very much, and remember we have cameras everywhere.
I'm surprised at how many people are shocked at NYC Schools Chancellor Walcott's sales presentation to principals last Saturday. It's encouraging, of course, that the principals gave him such a cool reception. After a decade of crap that never works, it's good to see that even administrators are not buying it. Bloggers I read regularly are shocked that he resorted to being outright political.
Yet it's one of Walcott's primary duties to fight for and defend crap that doesn't work. As long as Rupert Murdoch can squeeze a few extra millions out of it, whether or not it works is of no consequence. The important thing is to keep tossing out untested and unproven mandates and hope for the best. The best, of course, means Mayor Mike gets to fire as many teachers as possible, close as many schools as possible, and have Eva Moskowitz and her minions take over as many buildings as possible. Every dollar paid to a unionized teacher is a dollar that hedge-fund magnates may not get their grubby little hands on.
The NYC Chancellor, since the advent of Michael Bloomberg and mayoral control, is not at all the same position it once was. Ostensibly, the chancellor is supposed to be a voice for public school children. But now, the chancellor serves at the pleasure of the billionaire mayor, whose pleasure is closing neighborhood schools. undermining others by siphoning high-performing kids to charters, and thus creating a domino effect.
When Democrats stand up and say it's time to stop closing public schools, it's time to respect parents and teachers, and it's time to stop enacting insane policies that help no one who isn't already a billionaire, that threatens Bloomberg's legacy. It cannot be tolerated.
Thus, Walcott must be trotted out to proclaim how successful the mayor's policies are. That's his prime directive. He follows in the footsteps of previous non-educators Cathie Black and Joel Klein. Since none of them know anything at all about what it means to be a teacher, they can spout whatever they're told and not worry about how utterly inaccurate it is.
I certainly hope we get a mayor who isn't insane soon. It doesn't seem like a lot to ask, but it's been a long, long time with Emperor Mike, and who knows whether or not he'll change the law again to buy a new term for him and best bud Christine Quinn? But it's time for a new mayor. And it's time for a new chancellor who really has the interests of children at heart.
And if that mayor wants to know what children need, there are a whole lot of parents and teachers who can fill in the details.
Now we're contemplating throwing our support to a Democratic mayoral hopeful. That, in itself, is probably a good idea, but there are serious considerations. Number one, as UFT members showed, there is a lot of distrust for Christine Quinn, the apparent frontrunner. It's tough to forget she not only supported and enabled Mayor4Life's third term, but also grabbed one for herself. How yet another self-serving brazen opportunist mayor will benefit working people in NYC is a huge mystery to me.
Then there is Bill Thompson, who seems to have gained some traction with teachers. He worked closely with the UFT before the last mayoral election. However, after the UFT failed to endorse him against Mayor4Life, he supported Bloomberg's position that all city workers except educators should get raises in the 2008-2010 round of pattern bargaining. This suggests to me that his convictions do not run deep, and that he is easily swayed by circumstance. While I'd prefer him to Quinn, I don't think he merits our support.
That leaves us with John Liu and Bill DeBlasio. I'd love to see Liu get our support. However, the pragmatic nature of UFT leadership, as exemplified by our failure to endorse against Bloombucks in 09, suggests to me that won't happen. Liu is surrounded by scandal, and the Bloomberg-loving tabloids seem to delight in smearing him, though he's yet to be personally implicated in anything whatsoever. DeBlasio has been friendly with the union, and critical of slime like Eva Moskowitz, so he may be a good bet for us.
The UFT is right that this election is important. I also hope to see a time when we aren't waiting out the mayor, as we seem to have been doing for three decades. I only wonder why it's taken us so long to recognize mayoral dictatorship. Though I'm glad Mulgrew's jumped on the bandwagon, many of us recognized this years ago.
Assistant Principal Sappenbottom got a promotion: she was now Principal Sappenbottom. She got a raise, she got a bigger, more private office, and now she really could exercise her prerogative to do nothing as all she had to do was close the door and say she was in a meeting. She was the principal. Who was going to bother her? The students? They didn't even know who she was.
Principal Sappenbottom attended a Principal's Workshop in which she was told that the new educational model of learning was the Workshop Model. All desks now had to be arranged in groups and students worked together every day in those set groups. Ideally they would walk through different "workstations" as students progressed through the lesson.
This sounded good to Principal Sappenbottom. It was the New Thing. And so she sent out an edict that from now on, all lessons had to be based around the Workshop Model. AP's were instructed to give "U's" to teachers who didn't follow the Workshop Model.
One AP objected. He pointed out that the Workshop Model was great for some classes and lessons, but might not work every day, in every class, and particularly not in his subject. This made Principal Sappenbottom mad. She already disliked this AP and now that she was principal, who was he to question her edicts?
But this AP stuck to his refusal to "U" rate any teacher who wasn't following the Workshop Model. She got madder and madder. It was so much work, having to observe these teachers herself and "U" rate them for not following the Workshop Model if the AP wasn't willing to do it.
But Principal Sappenbottom had a creative solution. She was principal now! She could fire her AP's! So she fired this Non Workshop Model AP and put in place an AP that swore that he'd enforce the Workshop Model as strictly as possible. Old AP was out, much to the consternation of his department.
The next year, the Workshop Model was Out and replaced by The New Thing. Now the principal issued a new edict: "U" rate all teachers still using the Workshop Model and not using the New Thing. This time all the AP's complied.
I taught special education once. I wasn't very good at it.
After teaching for about two years, I drove across the bridge to the Bronx one September morning, only to find my services were no longer required, I decided I would look for a job in Queens, where I lived. Only when I went to the Queens hiring hall, the secretary there showed me a room full of teachers sitting in wooden chairs. She said she had to place every one of those teachers before she could help me.
Things looked bleak. I called the UFT. They told me they were sorry, there was nothing they could do, but when I got tenure I'd be glad they had this policy. Of course now that I have tenure they no longer have this policy.
Anyway I put on a suit and walked into every high school in Queens. I went to every department, and talked to anyone who would listen. Finally I found the special ed. AP of a high school who had a position she was desperate to fill. She sent me back to the hiring hall with a letter promising that I would only teach English to the special ed. students. When the secretary approved me, I went back. The AP told me I would be teaching music and math.
On the brighter side, she gave me a book of lesson plans for the math, and it was things like adding negative three to positive nine, just about my level. When we got to the Pythagorean theorem, I got a real math teacher to explain it to me. Two students complained to the math AP that I didn't do any work, and that I made them do all the problems on the board. He observed me, and gave me a great writeup. He said he wanted all his teachers to make the kids do the work.
My music classes were OK, but not great. They had a bunch of guitars in various states of repair, and they paid for some instruction books that I picked out. But I had a couple of girls in the back who never paid attention, and were constantly talking to one another. We were in a science room. I was behind a big, long black table, and the students all sat behind black tables.
One day, the girls were talking nonstop, and I was behind the big desk. I stood up on the desk, walked across the tables all the way to the back, bent down and asked the girls politely to please quiet down. Then I walked back across the tables, resumed my place, and continued as though nothing had occurred. My 12 students were fairly gobsmacked, having never seen a teacher do that before. It seemed to make an impression, because the girls never disrupted the class to that extent again.
I was in the cafeteria a few months later, and I met another teacher, who asked me my name. I told him, and he said, "Oh yeah, you're the guy who walks across the tables."
It was very odd. There were only a dozen kids in that class, and no adults. Yet word got around.
A few months later, I grabbed a job at another school, teaching ESL. 25 years later, I'm still doing it. I don't walk across tables anymore, but I may be known for even worse things. You never know until people tell you.
Assistant Principal Ms. Sapenbottom was irked. She was in her office and tired, and trying to take her afternoon power nap. But teachers kept coming in to make copies. She sighed. She made faces. She angrily stomped out to the bathroom and came back and said pointedly, "Can you guys hurry up?" Finally the teachers were done with their xeroxing, and Ms. Sapenbottom was free to take her nap.
Except this kept happening over and over again. Teachers came in to make copies when Ms. Sapenbottom was busy arranging a new addition to her kitchen. They came in to make copies when Ms. Sapenbottom was busy napping. They came in to make copies when Ms. Sapenbottom was busy exercising her prerogative to do nothing. She felt attacked -- she knew that they were all saying whispering behind her back that she was lazy. Sometimes she felt that the teachers purposely made copies when they knew Ms. Sapenbottom most needed her power nap or her "nothing time." Things were escalating.
Finally Ms. Sapenbottom had enough. "The Xerox machine is being moved down the hall," she announced. And so it was moved. But there was a new problem. What would happen when Ms. Sapenbottom wanted to make copies herself? She had the sketches of her new kitchen addition to photocopy. Walking down the hall to make copies was just SO MUCH WORK. So Ms. Sapenbottom ordered the machine moved back into her office.
But then the teachers started bothering her during nap time again, and Ms. Sapenbottom remembered why she had the machine moved down the hall in the first place. Things were at an impasse. What to do?
Ms. Sapenbottom had a genius idea. She started to bake cookies and brought them down to the principal's office. While she ate cookies in the principal's office she whined about her need for her OWN copy machine. The cookies must have been yummy, because a few weeks later the teachers noticed a brand new xerox machine in Ms. Sapenbottom's office, along with the old xerox machine now moved permanently down the hall. And so the teachers could make copies and Ms. Sapenbottom could nap in peace.
Principal Suit was busy, in his office, doing Very Important Work, when his secretary knocked on the door and asked if he could see Susan, the chapter leader. He didn't really want to, but he thought if there was some problem, it might be best to nip it in the bud. So he agreed.
"Mr. Suit," she said, "Did you read the observation report that Ms. Sim wrote about Ms. Whitman?"
"No, I didn't."
"As you know, Ms. Whitman has been teaching for 38 years. She's never gotten a bad observation report. In fact, she hasn't been observed in 15 years. But anyway, considering you named her teacher of the year just last year, it might not look so good if she were to get such an awful observation."
"I'm very surprised," he said. "Ms. Whitman has been very helpful around the office."
In fact, Ms. Whitman had written just about every observation report that came from Principal Suit's office. He could just hand her a bunch of notes, and a half-hour later she'd have a full report ready. She did a much better job than his secretary, who could barely read his handwriting. He would have to nip this in the bud.
"I'm sure Ms. Whitman is an excellent teacher," he said. "Let's just forget about that observation report. Tell her she doesn't have to sign it and it won't go in her file. I will speak with Ms. Sim."
"Thank you very much, Mr. Suit," she said, smiling and leaving.
This was an interesting development. It appeared the English AP was trying to make his life difficult. Well, we'll just see about that. This was something that had to be nipped in the bud.
In fact, now that he thought about it, Ms. Sim was probably the rat who'd been leaking info from his top-secret cabinet meetings. She would have to be dealt with. It was time to open a double top-secret file. Also, he would place a copy of everything from the double top-secret file into Ms. Sim's file, because if Susan could block his double top-secret files from being used against teachers, someone could possibly block double top-secret things from going into Ms. Sim's file too.
On May 9th, I observed your second period ESL class. Your aim was "How Can We Apologize For Our Mistakes?" 21 students were present as the class commenced.
You opened the class by asking who had to go to the bathroom, and listed the names of five students on the board. While you were writing the names, the student in front of me took two wet paper towels and threw them at the blackboard, where they stuck, making a very loud "plop" sound. You appeared not to hear this and continued to elicit names of students who needed to go to the bathroom.
As I confronted the student who threw the papers and wrote a dean's referral, you proceeded to take attendance. Though the students alternately raised their hands or called out, "here," you insisted they stand and say "present." This resulted in several confrontations and two students actually walking out of the classroom. Both times, when I walked out and brought the students back to class, I found you still reading names of students. You did not appear to notice that the students or I had exited your class, or that we had entered again. However, as ten latecomers arrived, you saw them clearly and asked them individually whether or not they needed to go to the bathroom.
Twenty minutes into the period, you got into a loud argument with one student who did not wish to say "present." You then threatened to send the student to my office, which would not have proven an effective remedy, as I happened to be in your classroom at that very moment. I went over and spoke to the student, who finally stood up and said "present." You then demanded an apology from the student, who appeared not to understand what you meant.
At that point, one of your students returned from the bathroom, you crossed her name off your list on the board, and called on the next student on your list. That student replied he no longer needed to go to the bathroom, and you asked if there were any student who wished to take his place. Three students raised their hands, and you wrote their names in place of the student who no longer wished to go to the bathroom. This caused loud protests from the students whose names fell under that students name, and they demanded their names be placed above his name. There was much discussion until I stood up and told the students that there was now only ten minutes remaining in the class, that the bathrooms were now locked, and that there would be no more trips to the bathroom.
You then began your lesson, saying that when you did something wrong, it was a good idea to say, "I'm sorry."
Several students then called out loudly, "Sorry is garbage!"
You asked what they meant by that.
"Mr. Finch says sorry is garbage, and that we should just do our work without it."
"Mr. Finch must be joking with you," you replied.
Several students called out that Mr. Finch was a serious guy, that he didn't like jokes, and that he had repeatedly told them that. At this point the bell rang and your students ran from the room. This lesson was unsatisfactory.
Positive aspects of lesson:
It is certainly appropriate that students say they are sorry.
Suggestions for improvement:
In our post-observation conference, I suggested you give a DO NOW assignment, and take attendance while students were occupied with it. I also suggested you refrain from inviting students to the bathroom, that you wait for them to ask you.
I was going to discuss lesson planning and curriculum with you, but you pointed out that you stayed after school every day doing typing for Principal Suit, that he had made you Teacher of the Year last year, and that no one had criticized your practice over your 38-year career. You claimed that you had a VAM rating of 96% and were certainly the very best teacher in the school. You then walked out of my office, slammed the door, and the glass broke all over the floor.
I am requesting that you submit lesson plans to me every Friday so that we may discuss them, and so that I will be able to grant you a satisfactory rating at year's end.
The faculty had been polled by the DOE, and they overwhelmingly declared they had little confidence in him. How could this happen? Didn't he wear a tie every day? Didn't he observe their classes and tell them every little thing he could find wrong with them? Didn't he offer them severe looks when he couldn't decide what to actually say about them? And didn't he make sure they actively engaged in his crucial anti-bullying initiative?
There could be only one answer. It was Susan, the UFT Chapter Leader. She had poisoned the staff's minds with her vitriol. Wasn't it she who persuaded him not to give a U-rating to that upstart librarian, after she had the effrontery to challenge his taking a reference book out? After all that he had done for her, the ingratitude! Why did he let her scream at him like that? Why didn't he just nip it in the bud? Nip it! That's what he should have done! And yet, with her in his face like that, it was so hard to speak.
He hastily called a cabinet meeting, to discuss her undue influence and what could be done about it. The English AP, whom he had never liked, suggested his popularity had waned when he placed multiple letters in files about the failure to enforce the anti-bullying campaign. She brought up that damn To Kill a Mockingbird again, and had the audacity to repeat the notion that the book actually addressed bullying. It was time to nip it in the bud! Nip, and nip now!
First of all, we're talking about bullying, he told her. How on earth can we do that if we're promoting books about killing innocent animals? It's our job to protect the innocent! How can we do that if we're teaching our children stories about killing cute little birdies?
The English AP, for once, was speechless. It was about time he put her in her place. He had done it. It was nipped!
And yet, the following day, Susan barged into his office and went off on a rant about how he had no right to blame her for his bad rating. This was unacceptable. There was a rat in his cabinet. He could trust no one. How could he nip this in the bud? And in fact, if Susan had a secret informer, wasn't it already out of the bud? How, then, could it be effectively nipped?
He searched his mind for a suitable comeback, but found none. He thought of giving the wayward librarian a bad rating anyway, but then there would be Susan, screaming at him again, and things would be so far out of the bud there would be no nipping them at all. The only thing to do would be to undermine her awesome and inexplicable power over the staff. But how?
This would take some serious thought and preparation. He steeled himself for a long and arduous battle.
Principal Suit was in his office doing Very Important Work when all of a sudden he realized he needed some important information. The only way to get this information, he determined, would be to get the book that contained it. Where could he get a book, he mused, when all of a sudden it hit him like a shot. The library! There were lots of books in the library, and it was just upstairs.
However, going upstairs would mean moving from the chair, which fit him so well after all those years sitting on it, so he called a student monitor. The student monitor was excited to be of service, and dutifully took the paper with the name of the book up to the library.
The librarian looked at the book title and said, "I'm sorry, but this book is in reference. You can't take it out of the library."
"But it's for Principal Suit," protested the monitor.
"Rules are rules," said the librarian, and began to arrange things behind her desk.
Principal Suit could not believe the news when the monitor gave it to him. We'll see about that, he thought, and personally marched up to the library. He looked around and decided he liked what they'd done with the place, but would withhold any compliments until this matter was dealt with.
"Excuse me," he said to the librarian.
"Yes, Mr. Suit," she replied.
"I sent a monitor to get a book, and you didn't give it to him."
"That's right. It's a reference book, and reference books do not leave the library."
"But I need it."
"Well then you'll have to look at it here."
This was too much. He played his trump card. "But I am the principal. I need this book to do work, and I need to do the work in my office!"
"Well, Mr. Suit, if you insist on doing things this way, I will need a note, written and signed by you, that you took the book out against my admonition."
Principal Suit was dumbfounded. No one talked to him like that. No one. What was the point of being principal if people were going to talk to you like that?
He took one more look at the librarian, her arms folded in defiance.
Then he wrote the note, signed it, and she gave him the book.
Every day Reformy John King peered into his magic mirror and asked,
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the reformiest one of all?"
Inevitably the mirror would answer, "You're reformy, this I like, but reformier still is Emperor Mike."
John was sad. What can I do to be as reformy as Emperor Mike, he
wondered. And furthermore, does an emperor outrank a king? Despite these engrossing ruminations, every
morning it was the same.
"Reformy yes, this you can do, but Mike's reformier than you."
Then one day, the evil UFT
Guild got into the act. They said they too would get reformy, but only if
they could collectively negotiate exactly how reformy they could be. They met with
Emperor Mike, who cried, "Not reformy enough!" and sent them on their
way. But Genghis Cuomo from the North was displeased, and told the UFT
Guild that they would get reformier or he would take all the ice cream
away from the little children in the UFT Guild's village.
on you," said Sir Mulgrew of the UFT Guild to Genghis Cuomo. True to his word, Genghis
Cuomo blocked delivery of 240 million bucks worth of ice cream. The village
children were deeply saddened, and Baron Rupert of Murdockistan dispatched town criers throughout the land to call the UFT Guild a bunch of swine, and to further declare that Sir Mulgrew did not want the children to have any more ice cream.
Reformy people everywhere were displeased. Who could help them? Genghis
Cuomo decreed that both the UFT Guild and Emperor Mike could issue
plans on how to get reformy. And then, Genghis Cuomo decreed that
Reformy John could pick the plan that suited him best. And the reformy
And thus, Reformy John decreed that Emperor Mike's plan was the reformiest ever, and made it the law of the land.
That night, Reformy John peered into his magic mirror, and asked, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the reformiest one of all?"
mirror paused for a second, looked Reformy John in the eye, and
answered, "You are one reformy Dude, the UFT Guild's surely screwed.
Term limits mean Mike's hit a wall, and you're reformiest of all."
all the people lived happily ever after. Except the UFT Guild, the village
students, and anyone else who faced the prospect of working for a
Chapter Leader was surprised. He got an email from his principal about placing a teacher center in his school. The principal forwarded him a letter from the UFT, expressing interest in the proposal. But Chapter Leader had never seen the proposal. He shot an email to the principal saying he was very surprised the UFT had taken any proposal from him without consulting with the chapter, and CCd it to a bunch of people in the UFT.
That night he got a call.
"Why didn't you reach out to us?"
"I did. I sent you a copy of my email."
"Yes, but you sent it to the principal too. You EMBARRASSED us."
"Sorry, I didn't mean to do that."
"This was a BAD idea. We keep UFT matters within the UFT. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"
"I was just trying to point out..."
It's NOT your job to POINT things OUT." Got me?"
"Yes, I was just..."
"DON'T tell me that. Do you want to go to the convention in California next summer?"
"I wasn't really thinking about it."
"ANSWER my question. DO YOU WANT to go to the convention in California next summer?"
"Well, yes, I..."
"Then you will NEVER do anything like this AGAIN. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"
"Yes, I do."
"Now this was the wrong thing to do. You MUST agree. You MUST agree with this. Do you understand? You MUST agree."
"Now this will NEVER happen again. You will go and apply for the teacher center in your school, and you will act like you REALLY want it. But if you don't get it, you will NOT raise a fuss. IS THAT UNDERSTOOD?"
And from that day on, he was a good Chapter Leader. Though his school did not get the teacher center, he went to all the conventions, had big fun, and never, ever complained about another thing, not to the union, not to the principal, not to anyone.
With the release of the Cathie Black emails, I'm reading a lot of speculation on how attacks against her were sexist. After all, she is a woman. We didn't know a whole lot more about her at the time of her nomination, other than the fact she had virtually no educational experience, a big plus for Mayor Bloombucks, who apparently met her at the Rich Folks Galas they sipped champagne at.
And yet, many spoke of what a brilliant choice it was at the time. Well, hindsight is 20/20, and even the NY Post, which initially adored her, has pretty much come around to saying what those of us who were not insane were saying at the time. So were we sexist?
Well, she did come across as a blithering ignoramus. However, that's not entirely her fault. After all, she knew nothing whatsoever about the job she'd taken. So why was anyone surprised when she looked like a deer in the headlights or blurted out inanities? It was very much to be expected.
And yet, Joel Klein did not have similar issues. Sure, he knew nothing about education. Sure, he made many an inane utterance. And yet, the papers loved him. He blathered on about theories that had no basis in reality, about untested notions, about things that had never worked anywhere, and the city editorial boards said, yeah, Joel, go for it!
Nonetheless, anyone reading this blog at the time saw stories of how nonsensical and ridiculous his ideas were. Anyone reading Leonie Haimson or Diane Ravitch read much the same.
So I'm going to say yes, Clueless Cathie was indeed a victim of sexism. When she suggested birth control as a means to reduce class size, there was outrage at the abject stupidity of the comment. Yet when Joel Klein said much the same thing, I don't think I heard about it--until some blogger somewhere pointed out he'd said the same thing Black did.
The papers were sexist in going after her but not Klein. Klein, you'll recall, was on board to praise Mayor Mike for the miraculous boost in NYS test scores, the ones Bloomberg based his third term on. Diane Ravitch examined them next to the NAEP scores and determined the state scores must have been dumbed down. Just a year later, the papers discovered Ravitch's claims to be correct.
So there is some sexism there. Klein was clearly as incompetent and clueless as Black, but has never really been nailed for it in the press. And make no mistake, if there is any sexism, it comes from the press.
I don't feel all that sorry for Cathie Black. But I wonder, is it easier to be a blitheringly incompetent man than a blitheringly incompetent woman in the United States nowadays?
On May 1st, I met with you and UFT Chapter Leader Sleepy McBraindead in my office. We discussed your failure to offer mandated anti-bullying instruction on your class. You admitted openly flaunting a direct order from me to teach anti-bullying. You claimed that anti-bullying lessons were implicit in your instruction of To Kill a Mockingbird.
I directly instructed you not to teach this novel, and to focus more on Common Core non-fiction pieces. I suggested Pearson's The History of Cement and 100 Tedious Essays that No One Wishes to Read, but you persisted in teaching the novel, calling it "classic" and "indispensable."
As principal, I determine what is classic and indispensable, and it's your job to promote my directives with sincere enthusiasm and without question. This is the only way we can promote the free and open discussion that is required in the Danielson framework that we will be implementing during the next school year whether you like it or not.
I have determined that what our students need is direct instruction in our schoolwide anti-bullying campaign. Furthermore, I've instructed you that essays on how students feel about literature is not only unacceptable, but also impractical in terms of what our students can expect in the workplace. For example, have I ever once asked you or any faculty members about their feelings on anything whatsoever?
We are involved in very serious matters here. The chancellor and mayor have decided that bullying is now unacceptable, and that we must fight it at all costs. It is therefore imperative that you focus your students on this matter. It is unacceptable that you continue to teach things that will not help our students in their careers, or help them pass Common Core exams, and I will not tolerate your abject refusal to participate in vital schoolwide initiatives.
The next time I visit your classroom, I would like to see evidence that your students have been instructed in anti-bullying. Such evidence may include, but not be limited to:
1. Compositions on the bulletin board that oppose bullying.
2. Spontaneous conversation from students opposing bullying.
3. Student behavior that indicates they oppose bullying, or
4. A mini-lesson on why you yourself are opposed to bullying that inspires student to student feedback on anti-bullying.
Be advised that failure to promote anti-bullying will result in more stringent disciplinary measures, including but not limited to an unsatisfactory rating, gratuitous, frequent and highly disruptive observations by large groups of chattering observers, suspension with or without pay, and/ or dismissal.