More math teacher crap...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pi-R-Squared, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    Talk about digging and digging a deeper grave....

    On Friday, a female student gave me a letter to read. I asked what it was about and she said just to read it. I asked if I needed to escalate if it felt warranted. She said no. Then I read the letter.... I will summarize it like this... warning - controversial topic ahead edited with quotes....

    1. Math class entered into a discussion about “elective termination of pregnancy.”
    2. The teacher voices his opinion saying those who provide them as “devil worshippers” and should burn in “you know where.”

    Come Monday, I’m just gonna give her letter back and ask her if she feels the need to report this latest incident.
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    If she isn't going to report it and won't allow you to escalate it, I would ask her purpose in showing you this information. Boxing you into a corner does not bode well for you if anything ever comes to light.
     
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  4. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    This is the dilemma. I teach in a super-red state in a super-super red district. There are other teachers in the same school who would feel the same. In fact, the classroom to my left and across my door would likely say the same but privately and definitely not in front of school children. I’m going to talk with the student on Monday and tell her that what she wrote is pretty serious. What I wrote was not all that was controversial. It was a discussion about women’s rights that led to the rest of the story.
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Not sure what you mean by this. I was under the impression that this conversation came up in the wayward math teacher's class. (the one that was caught sleeping).
    I'm also not sure why the topic of women's rights came up in math class.
     
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  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    So this student was from the "bad" math teacher's class and this incident took place in his class and she wrote about it?
     
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  7. Pisces

    Pisces Companion

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    You seem to love drama a lot. Just myob and stop worrying about what the other teacher does in his or her classroom.
     
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  8. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    I wouldn’t say I love drama but I do care that students are being treated with respect. As to why conversations like that come up, it’s just what happens in that classroom. I have a policy where if people need to come talk to me for whatever reason, they are assured their conversations can be made safely. This includes teachers and students. Maybe it’s good or maybe it’s not... I don’t want to be a cold unapproachable teacher.
     
  9. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    Yes, she wrote multiple pages on what happened. Today she told me she was going to speak to the P about it so I gave the note back to her and sent her along.
     
  10. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    But what do you have to do with the above statement?
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Yes, I would have just directed the student to admin and keep out of it. This teacher does sound very strange.
     
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  12. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    The female student is a pro-choice bisexual. The teacher is very conservative. Not an ideal pairing for safe conversation.
     
  13. Pisces

    Pisces Companion

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    Not your problem. Stay out of it and mind your own business.
    From what I understand from your previous posts dating back years, you need to do a lot of work on your own teaching practice. Focus on that instead of someone else's drama.
     
  14. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    I guess I can care from a distance but that feels cold to me.
     
  15. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    You can care, but I often get the impression from your posts that you enjoy sharing these stories, certainly with us, and possibly with colleagues at your school. It comes across as a bit gossipy to me. For the letter the student shared with you, I would have told admin about the situation without naming names, just so they have a bit of a heads up should the situation blow up.
     
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  16. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    Well, before my 1st thread about the teacher, yes, I definitely went to others and was gossipy. After reading the suggestions and advice, I stopped being the gossiper. The situation with the letter I didn’t share with anyone at school because I didn’t really know how to proceed. So I came here first. Now the P knows about the student and the letter so nothing more from me to anyone at school.
     
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  17. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I get that. My personal thought on the matter would be to recommend the student spoke with admin or the school counselor if she felt uncomfortable, so that those people could make the decision to take action if they felt it was warranted. It’s a weird topic to bring up in class but I agree it’s best not to get involved. As a side note, it’s strange to me that the student showed this to you personally but didn’t want action to be taken. Was she looking for advice on what to do? Or was it more of a “you won’t believe what Mrs. S. said in class today” type of interaction? If it was the latter, tread cautiously. I wouldn’t talk poorly about any of my colleagues in front of students, and I’ve had some crazy ones. Hence my inclination to reply “If it made you uncomfortable, you may choose to talk to...” It lets them make the judgement and keeps your response neutral, rather than having a response such as “What an inappropriate comment. I’ll report it right away.” (Of course, if it’s blatant harassment, that’s different.)
     
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  18. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Why are you ignoring my question?
     
  19. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Safe conversations? This really isn't about safe or unsafe conversations. Some topics do not belong in classrooms unless the subject requires it. There is no reason to discuss Women's voting rights or abortion in a math class.

    On another note:
    This idea of "safe" conversations has become absolutely ridiculous. What is a "safe" conversation? One in which only certain people are allowed to voice their opinion (not saying a teacher should be providing personal opinion on a subject)? Or one in which people don't have to hear something they don't like? Sadly I think it has become the second.
     
  20. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    I didn’t understand what you were asking me. What exactly are you asking?
     
  21. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    She felt ganged up on because the boys in the class were taking the teacher’s side. And yes, there was no reason for them to be talking about those subject matters and I’m glad she went to the P with it. If not, I would have been forced to remain on the sidelines even knowing something like that was going on. Now I get the “stay away from these matters” idea.
     
  22. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Honestly, if a student gave me a letter to read, if I felt it should be kicked up to admin, that is exactly what I would do. The student loses the right to total confidentiality the minute she shares that with you. If you want to politely ask if it can be seen by admin, go ahead, but the next words out of your mouth should be that if YOU feel admin should see what is on the page, you are obligated, by law, to share with administration - school policy. You don't know what is going to be on that page, and if it were to end up being about abuse, bullying, or many other things, you would, legally, be at fault if you didn't make admin aware. I've seen a career ruined by a teacher who unwittingly honored a student's request for not sharing, and then ended up in a legal situation when a staff member was indicted for sex with a minor. Don't agree to keep silent - it could be a career ender. Let admin earn their money - they should make the calls on what is or is not allowed.
     
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  23. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    What made me hesitate was that, even though religious discussion and all that are illegal acts in public schools, I teach in the Southeast. So there are other teachers here who would agree with what they were discussing in class. Now, there shouldn’t be such topics and I’ve observed classes where discussion involving religion were quickly nipped in the bud. I remember sitting in a science class where a student said, “God made the Earth and planets,” and the teacher said, “Let’s not talk about that right now.” So ending these kind of talks can be done. It just got too out of hand and that’s why the letter was written. If I had to do it again, I probably wouldn’t have read the letter and told her to go to the P if she has problems.
     
  24. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Illegal? It’s not illegal to discuss. I live in a very conservative area. I discuss all kinds of topics in my class. None are presented as the “right” opinion, even if it is the accepted norm in the community.
     
  25. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    You said you wrote something about Women's Voting rights.

    I cannot understand how you writing about women's voting rights fits into this story and the girl's interaction with the other math teacher.
     
  26. CherryOak

    CherryOak Comrade

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    In the meantime, kudos to the student for reaching out to a trusted adult upon encountering something that made her uncomfortable. I wish more did.
     
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  27. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    Ah... ok... I’ll explain further....
    when I said, “when I wrote,” I meant that I didn’t include their earlier talk in my thread.
    In her letter, she said that, before the abortion talk, the boys were saying that women, if they become pregnant, should carry the baby to term no matter what and whatever the men said should be final...So she piped back that she has the right to choose.... and then the teacher chimed in with the devil worshipping and burn in h@ll talk....
     
  28. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    Might not be illegal but should not be in math class at the least.
     
  29. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Following this and other threads about the other math teacher I can’t help but question the fact how much of his conduct is based on secondhand information, e.g., learned from other people, students and teachers, as opposed to direct observation? It is certainly possible, if not likely, everything you and others have brought forth is exactly correct, and based on your conversations with him it would be easy to lean way over in favor of concluding everything is happening as reported. Incriminating as the information may seem it’s still not based on firsthand observation nor face to face meeting with him to find out his side. For sure the trail of crumbs seem to always lead back to the same house, yet it’s a slippery slope to convict someone without gathering information from all involved.
     
  30. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    To the OP.

    I’ve reread both of your threads, and I can’t help but notice something (that a couple of other posters have pointed out).
    • You are responding to second-hand information given to you by others who may or may not be reliable. Since you didn’t observe most of it yourself, you have no way to know if it is reliable.
    • You seem to take delight in every little thing this other teacher does “wrong” (in your opinion) and you can't wait to tell us how he's "messed up again." As a fellow teacher, you are not another teacher’s judge or supervisor. That is your principal’s job, and you have no control over whether or not he does his job properly.
    • If he has done everything you assert that he has done, and your principal hasn’t noticed, responded to, and dealt with it, then you have an ineffective administrator. That is not your issue – it is the issue of the person who supervises your principal.
    • You are judging another person and deeming them to be inadequate and incompetent, when your duties don’t place you in that person’s room on a regular basis. You are discussing this with other teachers, when your knowledge is hearsay. That is very unfair.
    • You seem to feel he is unprofessional, but you are the one discussing him with an aide in front of students who overhear the two of you, and join in the teacher-bashing.

    Just look at some of your posts –

    has told me that this new teacher is the worst teacher she has ever seen...

    Now, from what I continue to hear from the aide,...

    But, from what I've been hearing,...

    What usually takes place to start it is when I ask the aide, “How was Algebra class today?” just to see where the students are.,,Then the aide starts to go off and other students chime in....

    After school, I went to the other teacher to ask what happened because we share the same student. She said ...

    The teacher I talked with said...

    ...is what was described to me.

    Word is he had fallen asleep earlier in the week...

    I heard he got caught...

    she said ...

    Teachers are hired to teach their class, not judge or evaluate other teachers. That is the purview of administration. You are not his supervisor. You are not his evaluator. If you personally observe (with your own eyes) something you feel certain is a danger to other students, then of course, you must immediately report that to admin, but other than that, you are trying to do someone else's job. Do you have so little to do in your own class that you have time to try to do your administrator's job, too? Is your classroom so perfect that instead of focusing on your teaching, you have so much extra time that you can focus (and obsess) about another teacher’s perceived shortcomings? If things are as bad as you indicate, either the principal will intervene, or parents will complain, or test scores will be so low, that it will become self-evident.

    As many posters (including myself) have already said, let it go, and focus on your teaching. I’m not trying to be unkind, but you don’t seem to notice that your posts have a very definite “I’m better than him” judgmental tone, and post after post shows that you like to listen to, and participate in gossip. These behaviors have been the ruin of many teachers, and I ask you to examine yourself to find out why you feel the continued need to do this.
     
  31. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
  32. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Original quote:
    Your entire response to me
    Your response....
    You wrote "What I wrote" not "When I wrote". When I wrote doesn't make sense in the sentence, "When I wrote is not all that controversial."
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
  33. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    I guess my most glaring fault came from past experiences from this school and I’ll explain.

    The 1st 2 years here, the teacher’s aide, who I’ve been mentioning, sat in my classroom because she provides 1-on-1 help with a student. She told me that I was a good math teacher and a big change from the one I was replacing and that me and the other veteran teacher made a very strong math team. My 3rd year, the aide goes to the other class taught by the other math teacher in his final year here. This year, I was supposed to have the student and teacher aide back but they ended up with the new teacher. So, after school starts, I just causally ask the teacher aide (yes, my fault for asking this in front of other students) how it was going in the other math class. And that’s when she said he was the “worst math teacher she had ever seen.” I wasn’t looking for bad news..... I was hoping she would say something like she said to me when I first arrived. So, when I heard that, I was disappointed. In the end, it was my fault for asking but I wasn’t trying to be nosy.
     
  34. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    Just for the record, in my 1st thread, when I wrote that I would stop bashing him and help him, that is what I have done. The times I thought about reporting on him, I didn't because I felt it was unwarranted. When he's come into the classroom and has questions, I answer them. When he needs me to watch his class during my planning time, I watch his class.... Sometimes, he will have not understand something he's trying to teach and I explain how I would teach it. Before, I would complain to the aide.

    Looking back at what's happening now, if a student comes into my classroom and wants to talk to me, I'll just have to say, "If it's about Mr. xxxxx, don't say anything...." Then they'll change the conversation and all will be good!
     
  35. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    If it's a legitimate complaint the student should go to administration. If they don't want to do that they should speak with their parents and then the parents can speak with administration. Having parents complain about the teacher will take the burden off of you.
     
  36. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    That's my plan (which needed more adjustment after my initial thread). Today was a good day... No mention of anything from anyone. Just math!
     
  37. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    Regarding the complaining to parents thing. I know about that student's home life. And no, it's not first hand knowledge and yes, other teachers told me about how her home life is unstable. So, going to her mom would not be safe to do.
     
  38. Pisces

    Pisces Companion

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    I know this is kind of "woo woo" but do you believe in the law of attraction? You are attracting this situation because you are enjoying the drama. It's a reflection of what's going on inside your world.
    Just mind your own business and let admin handle it.

    @RainStorm 's post above was 100% correct! You need to do some reflecting and perhaps find something more constructive to do than gossip.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
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  39. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I believe that teachers can and should be student advocates, but that isn't the same as being their favorite teacher. I have had occasion to report bullying of students by a teacher that I worked with. To do my job, I could not promise that I wouldn't tell anyone what was shared in confidence, or that I wouldn't take it up the ladder to admin. One student was mad "I told" until the teacher in question no longer worked at the school and the harassment ended. A co-worker had observed what I did, but was too afraid to go forward with sharing, fearing that the teacher involved might somehow come after her. I simply saw the situation as unlawful and the matter of a bully picking on those weaker than himself. I did the report as mandated by the state, and let the chips fall where they may. This is why I would never promise to hold a secret or not tell anyone else - teachers are held to a higher calling and expectation of looking out for the students entrusted to our care. If we can't be trusted to inform our superiors when we see wrongdoing that endangers our students either physically, or emotionally, then we are in the wrong job. It is not about being out to get anyone in trouble, but rather upholding the ideals that parents, students, schools, and the state hold of us. I would choose to be a student's protector any day of the week over being their ineffective "friend". I have a pretty strong sense of what this job asks of us.
     
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  40. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    This is WHY you kick it up to admin.
     
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