Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Why Is Ben Sherman Still Principal?

If you are a leader, and virtually no one has any confidence in you, it's unlikely you'll stay in that position long. I'm a teacher, and while I'm not perfect, the kids are not quite lining up in my AP's office to tell her just how awful I am. In fact, when kids complain about teachers in my building, they sometimes get called to meetings to explain themselves. I know because I'm called to every single one of those meetings.

Sometimes teachers get in trouble, but I can't ever recall 90% of a teacher's students filing a complaint. That would be extraordinary. Of course I'm not a principal. Mike Bloomberg decided that principals could do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, however they wanted, and established a Leadership Academy to teach that principle (to principals). Evidently, Ben Sherman learned well.

I've been chapter leader under two principals. If a teacher were to expose himself to female colleagues while urinating, I'm trying to think how they'd react. What if that teacher made cracks to women about their appearance? Now imagine that the teacher slept in his car outside the school to stalk people coming in one morning. I'm pretty sure my first principal would move to have that teacher removed. My current principal, on the other hand, would also move to have that teacher removed. Truth be told, I'd be surprised to see any principal put up with that.

Now imagine the teacher allowed kids to smoke weed in the class, saying it's gonna be legal anyway, so what the hell. And then, of course, there are 90% of the students complaining about him. Though some might fear that teacher, no one respects him. I see 3020a in that teacher's future.

Of course, that teacher isn't a principal. Principals are above it all, somehow. You know, when you read that CPE 1 finally got rid of a vindictive small-minded principal you might think the principal would be shucking oysters somewhere. You'd be wrong. That principal is off working for the DOE, doing who knows what, and collecting more money than any working teacher in NY City for doing said who knows what. Some days I feel like doing who knows what, but instead I'm relegated to, you know, working.

In the case of Ben Sherman, though, they haven't even bothered to make him report to Tweed and do who knows what. Instead, they hired another principal, or superintendent, or someone to report to Forest Hills High School and supervise him or something. Hey, if I did all the things Sherman is accused of doing, there's no way they'd send someone to supervise me. They'd send me to a rubber room, or whatever they're calling those places these days, and I'd twiddle my thumbs while waiting for a hearing in which they'd try to fire me.

I don't know what it is that principals do, or what they have in their contracts that makes them bulletproof, but if your behavior is as bad as Sherman's is supposed to be, you ought not to be principal. You ought not to be a teacher. You ought to find a job more suited to your particular talent, like, say, a fascist dictator, or perhaps a bicycle seat.

Actually I don't know or care exactly where you place people who do things like that. I'd conjecture prisons are full of them. Nonetheless, I'd say a public school is about the last place someone like that ought to be working.

It's remarkable that the NYC DOE feels otherwise.
blog comments powered by Disqus