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October 03, 2012


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That's DOCTOR Gladly.

I know, I know, two wrongs don't make a right.

Oh ugh. What are you going to do? Is there another class he can move to?

Linda, there's another class with a better teacher, the one that my two older boys had. I need to send a calm reply to her email and see what she has to say before I go to the principal, but I'm not expecting much.

Bearing, I was SO tempted to say something along those lines.

Oh good. I'm glad you have options. I kinda hope that she is having some horrible personal crisis (if I can hope for that sort of thing) and that's making her feel burned out and bitchy at work. I sincerely hope that this is not her normal teaching practice.



what you said.

p.s. I hope your polite email contains some version of this sentence: "if you were to succeed in your efforts to teach him that assiduous reading is less important than a grim determination to stick to the schedule, you would be doing him a grave disservice. It is difficult for me to imagine that a teacher would really want to drive a stake through the heart of a student's zeal for reading, his willingness to be drawn inside a fictional world, but based on this and other encounters I have to conclude that you find his alacrity unacceptable."

Because she really needs to know that she is wrong about this. I am glad to know that you will likely move your child, but I feel so sorry for the other children...

1. My husband would've made sure to drop the DOCTOR in there. It's the only time he does it, when someone gets all power-trippy like that.

2. Oh my word, none of this ok. None. He should be encouraged to read, not this. Ugh ugh ugh.

Go get 'em.

do you need someone to hold the napalm for you?

Ugh. Who helps kids to get excited about a great book and then punishes them for having gotten too excited? That doesn't make any sense.

The summer before tenth grade, the high school sent home this fabulous list of several dozen of the great classics of English literature. The title of the list was DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING BOOKS, with the justification that those books might be used in the curriculum in the next three years. I thought this advice was stupid nonsense and I set about to read as many of them as I could. I made a pretty good dent in them, too.

Not one of those great classics was in the tenth grade curriculum.

At the end of eleventh grade (in a different school district) I finally was assigned to read a classic from that summer: The Scarlet Letter. It hadn't been one of my favorites the first time through, and the re-read was brutal; there wasn't even anything surprising this time. Finally I just abandoned the re-read. I completely bombed the exam; apparently my memories from two years earlier were not adequately detailed.

This story has a moral, but I don't know what it is.

Jamie, it makes me sad for the kids who have to remain in Rutabaga Woman's class. When you have to recover from what was inflicted upon you, it was torture--not teaching.

Dang girl, er, Doctor, you should send her the whole email as written! What a miserable woman and how unfair that she subjects students to that torture. Go after her, and know everyone who reads your blog is right behind you!

Not sure but I wouldn't have sent her this version. That sortof stuff makes me want to go on a crusade for all the other kids who have to put up with Mrs R.

As a teacher this kind of colleague makes me want to scream. She needs to be sent packing. Teachers' unions do a lot of good things but I hate, hate, hate how they protect "teachers" like this.

Mrs. Rutabaga needs to GO. GO GO GO. In the absence of that, though, get the boy OUT. Forget the polite email and the negotiated agreement. Have him switched right now. And send a letter to the principal, cc'd to the superintendent, the district director of instruction, and the chair of the school board, outlining precisely which common core literacy standards she has egregiously violated in her non-instruction of the students in her class.

OMG. I would explode.

I agree with Jody. A letter very much like this one needs to be sent to her principal and the appropriate overlords. The only way to make a dent in her crap is to make an actionable paper trail.

In the well-written email to the overlords, make sure to include notations regarding definitions of the vocabulary used. I would guess that Mrs. R. does not have a thesaurus.

Paper trail. My overlords FREAK out about literate parents and bend over backwards to meet their requests.

Good luck!

You should sign all your correspondence with her "Dr. J. Gladly, Ph.D."

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