3- My Fearless Leader – Leader of the Drones!

29 Mar


This inner-city world is strange to me; VERY strange! In fact, I believe Jim Morrison of The Doors speaks best for me when he states “People are strange, when you’re a stranger/ Faces look ugly when you’re alone.” I am alone. I am strange. I have encountered MANY uneven streets (metaphorically speaking) since working at this school than I have in any other and I am no novice teacher. I am beginning to think I work in a circus “Fun” House…distorted mirror images included!

I am incredulous in regards to the things that are ALLOWED to continue at this “school.” The students are not expected to adhere to ANY types of rules or standards because those rules/standards are NEVER enforced! I have never worked anywhere like this (mind you this is my FOURTH high school of employment and my 7th year of teaching)…I am no novice. The students regard our fearless leader as the biggest joke since “W” (sorry Republicans) and I agree! Oh sure…he enforces rules and asserts his authori-TAH, but only when it’s safe for him…only when it’s a teacher. And when he does that, it’s passive-aggressive, yellow-bellied, and underhanded.

My fearless leader’s main concerns are as follows (and not in any particular order):

  • Did you close your classroom window?
  • Did you make it to work by EXACTLY 8AM?
  • Are you attending your one-hour-and-fifteen-minute-long common planning meetings twice a month? (He never reads the minutes, addresses our concerns from those meetings, or attempts to resolve administrative issues)
  • Are you showing ANYTHING that closely resembles a video on a FRIDAY? (even if it’s educational…and our classes meet every OTHER day, so students are ALWAYS confused. If you are teaching Romeo and Juliet…students may ONLY watch on a Mon. or Wed. because showing it on FRIDAY is a sacrilege)
  • Are you physically PRESENT? (EVERYONE should come to work and REMAIN at work even if you are throwing up all over yourself, have a migraine, or can not breathe due to Asthma)
  • What ever it is that you are doing…does it LOOK good? (who cares what’s ACTUALLY going on)

My fearless leader is NOT concerned with the following (and not in any particular order):

  • Fights in the hallway ( he walks past those). In fact, a student once said to me, “Hey, you know how Mr.*** is always wearin’ them sneakers? It makes you think he going to be the FIRST one on the scene of a fight…sprintin’ right, but that n***a is the LAST one there!”
  • Discipline issues in the classroom – I have watched him shut the door on other teachers who have brought the student to his door! He says that he is on lunch…or too busy.
  • Standing in the hallway during class changes to monitor student behavior and (more importantly) to foster a relationship with students aside from that of a “disciplinarian.”
  • The fact that I share ONE set of twenty books with two other teachers who teach the same subject (and NO…we are not sharing a classroom, too)!
  • Students who are congregated in the hallways past the ringing of the bell – he walks past that without a word (I have personally witnessed that).
  • Enforcing the very rules he has so vehemently put into place! Guess what…you named it! He walks past those juvenile wrong doers without so much as a word!

I think it is obvious that I will NOT be returning to that school next year…in fact, the experience, as a whole, has caused me to truly question the institution and concept of public school “education.” I am conflicted. I mean…what am I REALLY doing? I don’t want to deal with anymore obnoxious discipline issues all by myself, poor administration, inadequate resources, ungrateful students, or shitty NCLB…really it’s No Teacher Left Behind (but that’s another blog).

I would like to think that the goal of education is to create free-thinkers (not to micro-manage), however the longer I remain in the profession, I notice the opposite happening. I see the creation of a corporation of drones. I see Stepford Wives. I see students attacking other students for being “different,” while I experience the school administration begin to view me as a plague because I will not wholeheartedly buy into the latest trend of educational bullshit drone-dom they are force feeding down the throats of the faculty. I feel like a leper because all I want to do is to teach kids HOW to think!


Posted by on March 29, 2008 in Work


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4 responses to “3- My Fearless Leader – Leader of the Drones!

  1. Peter

    May 21, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Really, it is incredible. The cry is for teacher accountability (which I agree with but I am not quite sure how to measure) but no one ever talks about administration accountability. The principle, without a doubt, sets the tone for the school. If the teachers are not recieving support from the administration they cannot do their job.

    How are we supposed to discipline students who don’t even bat an eye about detention, suspension or expulsion, and of course don’t care about their grades? We have no leverage.

    Great teachers + bad principle = bad school. I have seen this happen.

    Have a great principle and the teachers will have to be great, they will have no choice.

  2. msfriendly

    May 22, 2008 at 12:24 am

    Peter – You are SOOOOOOOO right!!!! Thanks for stopping by and commenting…Are you a teacher? You seem to understand my “pain”…which, of course, is really going to result in Society’s pain when these “children” grow-up without learning that consequences REALLY DO EXIST!!!!

    Your math is so simple, but yet so accurate…however you forget to average in the saddest equation…

    Bad school + No education = Life of crime

    Statistics show that people who are less educated are more likely to commit crime…It’s like they’re being set up to fail before they even get started! Accountability has to be developed three-fold for education to work: parent/student, teachers, and administration…

  3. Castle

    February 21, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Your problem is that, whether you knew it or not, you’re a pragmatic, skeptical conservative in a world of impractical, feel-good, pie-in-the-sky liberal idelaism/social engineering.
    See, you have a brain; you observe and you think, and you draw conlusions based on what you see. Many of the Kool-Aid drinkers around you, I would venture to guess, probably do not.
    You probably believed the teacher’s union. The TU isn’t so much concerned with teaching kids anymore as it is with keeping teachers in jobs. Just like any other union.
    You are concerned with educating the kids; most of the teachers there are probably just concerned with putting in their time and retiring. The TU is concerned with how far they can push the liberal agenda.
    The inner-city is a lost cause, as is most of the public school ideal, simply because liberalism infected the educational system many years ago, and what you’re experiencing now are the fruits of their labors.
    Conservatives care about results; they want to know how things worked and what didn’t, so they can change it and make it work. Liberals are worried only about intentions. Did he/she intend to do good? Yes? Okay, then. it didn’t work? Well, just keep on….you meant well.
    Then, it doesn’t matter that most of the kids in your school can’t read, or that entire neighborhoods of once-proud, intelligent, resourceful people are now drugged-out, welfare-addicted imbeciles; 14-year old single mothers who spit out child after child becuase they have no incentive to stop; they know the system will pay for them. The fruits of liberalism.
    Discipline is no longer a priority in public schools, and neither are vcivic and personal responsibility, the 3 R’s or history; even the Constitution, the study of which used to be the backbone of the American educational system. Many schools do not even say the Pledge of Allegience anymore.
    See–and I know that this will sound like conspiracy nonsense–but there were three people, educators, back in the 1920s at Columbia Univ., I believe it was, who took a shine to Communism, as many liberal academics did, and still do.
    They realized, however, that the only way that Communism could ever take hold in America would be to undermine the American educational system; to create a population of mindless, shallow sheep who didn’t know enough to question. And so they began. they drafted like-minded educators and students, and began molding the future.
    By the 1960s and 70s, the country started seeing the results of their work. And today, we have the first Socialist president, elected by many of the very people who live in the inner-cities, and didn’t know enough to question. Most people who went to public schools, however, were in the same boat.

    Find yourself a good private, Christian or charter school and apply there. That’s where the future of this country, whatever future that may be, is being educated.


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