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The NYC Department of Education is my employer and I do not consider that entity an enemy as many others do. I truly believe that it is a flawed entity, but feel that there is some glimmer of hope to fixing a broken system. Unfortunately to fix something you have to realize or make the public aware that it is broken. This is where this and many other blogs come into play.

In making the public aware the NYC DOE has flaws I have put myself, my career and all those around me in some jeopardy. My hope is that the end result will be to benefit the community and especially the students and therefore benefit myself and those around me as well. We will never really know the ripple effect that we caused by making one small difference to just one child.

” 100 years from now, it won’t matter how big my house was, how fancy my car was or how many days I sat in the Rubber Room. The world may be a better place because I made a small difference in the life of one child.”

I write this post from my couch on a nice sunny Sunday morning. What I really should be doing is getting things ready for my son Alexander’s 1st birthday next week. (I can’t believe it has been a year already!) What I really should be doing is helping my wife, who is 4 months pregnant, with chores around the house. What I really could be doing is working on my lesson plans for the 170 children on my class roster. Their parents pay taxes that in turn pay our salary so we can educate them. However, I won’t be going to my STEM Lab at Berta Dreyfus IS 49 on Monday morning, will I? On April 26, 2012 I was removed from the very school I worked so hard on trying to help.

On Monday morning I will be reporting to  8201 Rockaway Blvd, Ozone Park, NY. I will drive the 1 hour commute, walk in, swipe my digital time card and plop myself in the corner of the semi-underground copy room/mail room/cafeteria/storage room that I have been reassigned to. It is a room inside a room inside another room. There I will sit with approximately 3 other “reassigned” teachers. Some have been there since February and still have not had charges presented to them. Yes, this is still the United States. I too have not been told why I have been removed and why I won’t be educating the graduating 8th grade Special Education classes I am supposed to be teaching tomorrow.

I should practice making Paper Airplanes or Origami with all this paper.

I miss my classroom ;(

     One of the educators thrown into the Rubber Room is probably one of the nicest people I have ever met. Now being that I know A LOT of people, I think that says a lot. He came in late the first day I was there due to the fact that he had to have a heart monitor adjusted. He is a science teacher, a husband, a father and a minister. In minutes he had me seeing things in a different light. He told me “No one can make your prisoner of your own mind.” and referenced Nelson Mandela who was imprisoned for 27 years because he was fighting for what he believed in.  Crazy…broken system. Children First —> Educators Last—>Children left behind.

My dedication got me in hot water when I questioned the lack of discipline in the school. My dedication got me in hot water when I questioned why we are not creating stronger and higher goals for the school. My dedication got me in trouble when I asked questions about alleged financial misconduct, misappropriation of funds, administrators clocking in and out when they are not in the building plus many more. I called all these cases in as well as a case of being sexually harassed by an administrator. It’s not a whistle I am blowing but a foghorn! The end result……they continue running a school ranked 944 out of 1110 in NYS and I sit in the copy room/mail/room/storage room.

I could take my knowledge from Polytechnic University and educate the inner city urban children in Science Technology Engineering and Math. The only way that can happen now seems if the dedicated parents have them on my site where I will continue to post video tutorials. WWW.MRPORTELOS.COM In the interim I will continue to wait for  the bogus charges.

So when they take good teachers out of the classrooms are CHILDREN FIRST?

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5 thoughts on “Children First…..Always?

  1. Pingback: Dear Student, Parent, Taxpayer….I’m sorry but I’m trying. | Protect Portelos

  2. I responed to your comment on Diane Ravitch’s blog, but I had no idea what you have and are going through until I went on your web. I am an ex-teacher who went solo many years ago because of poor, and destructive methods the administration tried to force me to teach. I put the children first and always have. I believe that is what good teachers are about; children first!

    Do not depend on the AFT to help you because Al Shanker sold you and all the teachers out years ago. At one time he was a great leader, but then he became involved in Triladeral and international organizations and forgot his former principles. My advise is just hang in there and force their hand. They have to come up with some logical reason for placing you in the Rubber Room. They can only imprison your body, not your great noble heart and mind!

    One would think we were living in Naza Germany not the United States of America. Your legacy will be to your wonderful son, and children. The cowards who will not stand with you will leave no legacy. You already have one. God bless you. Ann Herzer, Scottsdale, Arizona P. S. I wanted to send this to Diane’s blog, but am not computer wise as my grandchildren.

  3. Portelos is one of the best teacher i ever had i had him back in 2009 and i still know everthing he showed me he should be teaching kids. u have fun when u work in his class the kids are always 1st nomatter if the kids are bad as hell cuz i was in 827 a bad ass class but he never got mad he never gave up he ketp going and everyone in the class loved him and i bet they miss him to cuz i know i do and i gonna get as many people i can to help mr Portelos out he helped me and im gonna help you mr Portelos cuz you can’t let a good teacher go could of mr Portelos i when to school every day i had him and i think it was on day 3 and day 6 #savePortelos

    • Dear Eddie Starks you said it beautifully. From your writings, it seems that Mr. Portelos, as your technology teacher, inspired you and your classmates. Made you want to go to school. No one can say it better and more truthfully that a student like you! Please recruit other students and concerned parents to put pressure to the administration and return Mr. Portelos to the classroom, where he belongs and was taken out unfairly by the administrators of your school. What made them do it? Their jealousy of such a charismatic teacher? His concern and love about his students and the school? The other teachers lay low and wait for Mr. Portelos to fight their battles!
      Eddie….where are the parents and guardians in all this? No one cares?
      No wonder IS 49 makes it to the news for all the wrong reasons…like robbing the pizza man, kid arrested on school grounds for attaching other student…etc…
      Wake them up Eddie!!! You can do it! One step at a time! Good luck to you!

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