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?