A fourth-grade class at PS 68 has been covered for weeks by per-diem substitutes. When parent-teacher conferences came along last night, however, the principal realized that he needed a real teacher to speak to the parents. He didn't call in the Marines. He called an ATR teacher, named Rod, who tells the story below.
Today I was asked to cover parent/teacher conferences at PS68. Their regular 4th grade teacher is out for five weeks on medical leave. The class has had day-to-day subs since then. Today, they needed a "real" teacher to deal with parents, report cards, explanations of test results and, of course, a work schedule that extends beyond the time required of a substitute.
Well, the parents are upset. Their kids are falling behind, they claimed. Why aren't they putting a regular teacher like me in until the leave is over? They haven't had homework for three weeks. I think they confided in me because the kids who came with their parents were really excited about their day with me, reading and doing some fun school work for a change. They also saw a teacher with experience and a concern for their kids education.
I told them to speak to the AP. There are options…Oh, like me. I asked the Chapter Leader and he said the administration is too busy to deal with it and takes the easy way out. Too busy to run the school?
How sad for the kids, parents and me. I felt good, like a real teacher today, the first time since last year, teaching this class, getting them to shape up and talking with their parents. I would gladly stay, unlike some who suggest we don't want the responsibility . The DOE needs to look into poor management of schools like this. Stop blaming us. The UFT, too...Someone, please speak up!
Photo credit: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_8SbYNufmwAk/TKo37aE3FlI/AAAAAAAAAIE/LrjnuuzkNS8/s1600/teacher.jpg