Bad Meeting with Superintendent

Discussion in 'General Education' started by orangetea, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Aug 13, 2013

    Today, the superintendent decided to meet with all of the new teachers in the school to quickly discuss curriculum, school culture, expectations, etc. and give us a chance to ask questions. We were also getting our classrooms today so it made sense.

    Anyways, we all sat down in a classroom and I asked a question about parent involvement. The superintendent looks shocked and says "Wow, you speak very good English." I am South Asian, but I was born and brought up in the US and English is my first language. It's just ridiculous to think that someone's skin color dictates how fluent that person's English is. I was so embarrassed that I wasn't even sure how to respond. I just quickly said thank you. I hate that it happened in front of 5 other teachers.

    This just made me feel negative for the whole meeting and I'm just not excited about him being my boss. Other than the comment, he seems like an ok person at least. I'm just glad it's not my principal so I won't have to deal with him on a daily basis. :(
     
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  3. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Wow...someone needs to teach him to think before he speaks! I'm sorry that happened to you, orangetea :hugs:
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Only one foot landed in a mouth: it's his, and I dare say he knows it, or at least he will when he stops to think about it.

    Hugs to you.
     
  5. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    You handled yourself well, better than some might have, so be proud of that. I don't know your district's make up/size, but I know that I don't consider my district's CEO (the actual title they use) to be my "boss" at all. You may have very little actual contact with him going forward.

    In the past 5 years I have worked in my district, I have never actually met or talked to our former CEO (he stepped down in June). I've seen him twice on stage at huge district-wide PD events, on the news and in the paper but never any personal contact. Although, I heard he does visit schools when photo ops need to occur.;)
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Wow.
     
  7. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I wouldn't say that to a stranger on the street, can't imagine a superintendent saying that to an employee. How inappropriate.

    I've never even met my superintendent so here's to hoping you won't have to deal with yours again this school year...
     
  8. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Did you look him in the eye and say, "Wow! So do you. Imagine that." :eek:
     
  9. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    My first thought was the same thing other posters said - WOW!

    I find his comment to be shocking, to tell you the truth. At his level he should be hypersensitive to being more culturally sensitive. He is an idiot and at least you don't have to worry about working directly for him.
     
  10. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    If it wasn't the superintendent or anyone else above you, I would have said, "Thanks! So do you!"
     
  11. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Haha I definitely wanted to say this but I thought better of it. :)
     
  12. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Some people have no filter...
     
  13. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Is it possible that you spoke rather eloquently, and he just thought your appropriate use of English is so uncommon these days, even for native speakers, that he was surprised to hear it? Maybe your appearance had nothing to do with it, and he was just impressed that you knew how to choose your words so well.....?

    I don't know.... I obviously don't know exactly what you said or how you said it. I'm just wondering if that might be possible. Finding people that use proper English when speaking is tough these days....
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I would think that's EXTREMELY unlikely.
     
  15. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I doubt it. My English is fluent, but it's no better than anyone else's. The question I asked was something along the lines of, "In general, how much parent involvement can we expect?" Definitely nothing special or eloquent.
     
  16. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Okay. Well, then, that's just really sad. :(
     
  17. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I think if that´s what he meant he would have said ¨You are very well spoken¨, or something to that degree instead of ¨You speak English well¨ or however he worded it.

    I think his comment shows a lack of understanding, or some sort of disconnect which is sad for someone in his position. I am so sorry for his comment. Just remember, he is the one who should be embarrassed, not you. :hugs:
     
  18. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    How rude! and callous. and unacceptable!
     
  19. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I hope you're right. It's a huge district so I probably won't have to see him much at all. I just realized (checked my email and re-read the email conforming the meeting) that he's not the superintendent but one of the Assistant Superintendents assigned to the schools in our area.
     
  20. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    :eek:

    That's crazy...I would be ticked, too.

    Did the rest of the meeting go well, or were you just too upset (understandably) to really pay close attention? Hopefully your future interactions with him will be more positive.
     
  21. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    WOW!! Completely inappropriate.
     
  22. worrywart

    worrywart Companion

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    That's pretty shocking, for sure! Luckily, you will probably not be interacting with him on a day to day basis. Some people really just have no filter and have a hard time communicating productively.

    I agree with the other poster that said HE is the one who should feel bad or embarrassed. Try to put it aside, consider the source, and enjoy your year!!
     
  23. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    I would have responded, "Thank you for noticing. It's my first language." Big smile follows. :D
     
  24. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Are you kidding me? I would be SO offended. There's no way I would respond as nicely as you did. :dizzy: If you never saw this video, here's a little relevant comic relief to cheer you up... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWynJkN5HbQ
     
  25. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This is so offensive. I'm sorry this happened to you. I hope he realized after the fact that he looked like an idiot and did the wrong thing. I hope that he replays his silly comment in his head over and over whenever he talks to anybody.
     
  26. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    That's really terrible.
     
  27. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    I have worked in the same system in for over 20 years. During the first 19 years I spoke one on one to my superintendent and/or assistant superintendent no more than 5 times. The current superintendent lives in my neighborhood, and his children go to the same school as my children. I do see him on a regular basis at sporting/school events, but never at work. So, your chances are pretty good of not running into him too much.

    Some people are just wacko. I would just smile and steer clear of this guy.
     
  28. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    If you're concerned, perhaps pull your principal aside to say something. It doesn't need to be formal, just a venting of your superintendent's stepping in some rudeness doodoo.
     
  29. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Let it go. Morons are in all walks of life even Supt. positions. He is probably an older guy who might have been nervous talking to you guys........
     
  30. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I wouldn't do this...one never knows the relationships between admins...things could get blown out of proportion.
    Put it behind you, orange tea...it was a faux pas. He either has realized he made a mistake or he's simply that unaware...you were hired because you are intelligent and will be an asset to this school....live up to that. Let this go.
     
  31. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    :lol::lol::lol:

    This is hilarious!!! I am so tempted to respond this way the next time someone asks me where I'm really from.

    Anyways, I'm still annoyed, but feeling better than yesterday. I'm probably not going to talk to my principal because I like her and I don't want to make the situation worse...and I didn't get to know her too well yet, so I don't feel comfortable talking to her. It's just so annoying because obviously if I was hired, my English would have to be decent no matter what subject I'm teaching...I'm not sure what he was expecting. :rolleyes:
     
  32. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Wow. I can think of one time I've ever uttered the phrase "Your English is really good." The conversation went something like this:

    Him: I'm sorry my English not good.
    Me: Don't worry about it.
    Him: I feel really bad. I just move from Cuba 8 months ago. I speak no English before that.
    Me: 8 months!!! Holy Cow! Your English is really good!
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    That, or a younger guy caught by surprise - funny how hormones can derail one's cerebrum - who simply blurted out something inane.
     
  34. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    This is true. I still remember my college president calling my friend "a mystery of the Orient". Um, her parents were from Hong Kong but she was from Irvine, CA.
     
  35. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    That is totally unacceptable, especially given what you said (which, by the way, is a very good question).
     
  36. Toy_03

    Toy_03 Companion

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    Disturbing and discrimination
     
  37. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I'm sorry, I forgot to reply to your question!

    The rest of the meeting was average...but I was upset and I didn't really say anything else except thank you at the end. He seemed like a fine person other than the incident but you're right--I wasn't really paying attention. The fact that my supervisor was racist was on my mind most of the time...
     
  38. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    I suggest you let it go.

    Holding a grudge is like letting him live rent-free in your head. :)
     
  39. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I'm not suggesting OP holds a grudge, but it's hard to imagine how bad racism feels unless you experience it. It's not easy to just let it go as many are suggesting. It's okay to be upset.
     
  40. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Congrats on how well you handled yourself. Cultural awareness is very important as well as the golden rule to think before one speaks!
     
  41. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I thought that the golden rule was to treat others as you'd like to be treated.
     

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