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There is No Dignity in Teaching

May 27, 2018

A profound story out of New York, both for the inhumanity of system politics/bureaucracy and the kind, altruistic nature of many who serve children. Be sure to also read comments and the blogger’s “about” page.

urbanesl

heartbreak_SIIt is rare that I have no idea how to start a story. That something is so wrong, so mangled that I can’t begin to make sense of it.

I guess the only place to begin is the beginning, so here goes.

I met a teacher named Gretchen in early October, 5 years ago, at East High School. It was Parent/Teacher Conference day, and I was wearing a dress and heels. I was 8 months pregnant and massively uncomfortable. I had trudged down to the main office, no small feat in our city’s largest urban high school.

As I was leaning on the counter, catching my breath, I overheard the woman next to me talking to the secretary. She was asking for my supervisor and explaining that she was an ESL teacher assigned to the building.

What?! It was October, our department wasn’t expecting a new teacher.

I turned to…

View original post 1,812 more words

4 Comments
  1. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    I hope that your reposting, along with that of Diane Ravitch will muster some tangible support, pro bono legal, and a job where she is not paid as if a beginning teacher. Talk about courage…of the teacher and the teller of her story.

  2. Lisa Englert permalink

    The story is, unfortunately, true

  3. Gretchen Kress permalink

    Good Morning Mercedes!

    I’m Gretchen, the woman Kelly wrote the blog about. I wanted to say thank you for sharing my story. I also want you to know that what Kelly said was true. I was treated horribly by the school that I loved. It’s really hard for me to put myself out there, but I need stories like mine to be told so that it doesn’t happen to anyone else. I’m not the only one who carries a heavy load.

    I know that people from the school are saying that we’re disgruntled employees. All I can say is that Kelly never worked for the EPO and that the things she wrote about me were true. I guess I am disgruntled, but for good reason I think :).

    This whole thing has been overwhelming. I’m still not totally ok after the loss of Tristen. I just wanted to say thank you in believing in us.

    If I can do anything to confirm the story in your eyes, please let me know. You now have my email through your blog. I think that some people who can verify what happened have already facebook messaged you. So you may want to check there too.

    What happened to me can’t be swept under the rug. One person didn’t fail me or wrong me. The whole system has failed all teachers, I just happen to have a really good friend who writes well. 🙂

    Thank you Mercedes.

    Gretchen Kress

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