Name: [name redacted]
County: Los Angeles
District: Duarte Unified
I have just completed my first year as a teacher on an emergency credential and personally and professionally it was one of the most intense periods in my life.
The District I was at put me into a class of 32 with an aide 2 hours a week. Several of the children were on medication and very violent, others were suicidal and actually had a few breakdowns during class. I was devoted to them and still am. Their parents were the only ones who were supportive. The principal and her entourage constantly berated me about paperwork not done correctly. I tried my best while going to school and teaching, dealing with children who had rather serious problems.
My aide was on oxygen most of the time (she had emphysema) and was only given to me for 2-3 hours a week.
I gave my absolute best to my children, life skills as well as academics because of their inability to cope and violence issues. Twice social services were called-my principal played this down, saying that the children were just "dramatic". She rarely came to observe and would forget her assessments and rely on her entourage to tell her how many times I was early or late to lunch with the kids. Many trivial things were complained about. The office also seemed to rule the school and frequently yelled at teachers about taking too much glue or paper, talking to us like children.
Tenured teachers as well as new teachers were harassed and taken advantage of.
I never saw the children come first and frequently saw PTA members in the cumulative folders. This was very alarming to me. I was obviously not called back. I am no need to work this job for survival, but still feel a great devotion to my children and felt that this should be reported. The treatment of the teachers and staff was alarming.
I am now considering leaving the profession or just substituting because of the treatment I received. In fact I am not sure exactly who would want to enter this profession when they are thrown into such situations and are expected to sink or swim! I am off for summer break and I literally feel that I am convalescing from a nursing position during a war, a battle that was lost before it began.
I am saddened that everything I had heard about our educational system is true at least in some school districts.
Thank you for your time,
Duarte School District
My first year (2000-2001)
My first year as a fourth grade teacher and feel now that I have to recover and recuperate, not from the children but from the awful treatment I received at the hands of the office, principal, district and certain very competitive and (catty) teachers. I have been and always was for the children and finished out my contract faithfully and painfully. Each day I came toward the end the less veiled feelings were toward me. I was not the best at paperwork and now that I have learned, I won't make that mistake again.
However, the children were doing extremely well despite several on medication and others violent. The principal, on one occasion actually admitted she had given me too many "difficult" kids in one class (no teacher aide of course).
Today I can still say I like teaching. But who in their right mind would be a teacher today with large classes and such awful sink or swim treatment. My only consolation was that the kids were as devoted to me as I was to them. They were great (hard) but they also worked very hard as well. The parents actually thanked me at Open House, that made a lot of what was happening bearable. Yet here I am feeling as if I have been in a battle.
I believe I am possibly not alone, what does one do when one is as deflated about the teaching profession as I have become?