Breaking the Silence: My Final Forty Days as a Public School Teacher
This is a short memoir consisting of journal entries during the last forty days of this teacher’s tenure as an eighth-grade English specialist in a New York City Public School. The author vociferously records her anger and frustrations with her scheduling and the administrative inflexibility as it applies to her teaching and her students’ regulations.
Of all the charges made in this diary, the most distressing is her claim to have been accused of inappropriate behavior without having been made aware of the charges, and finally to be exonerated a year following the anonymous accusation which was made by her principal. Unfortunately, there is so much anger at the school system without sufficient description of how this is eroding her spirit. She claims to be an exceptional instructor, uniquely empathetic with her students, extremely sensitive to her colleagues; however this aura does cut across the text. Undoubtedly, strains and stresses are elicited through short lunch periods, clipped preparation times, and other bureaucratic obstructions, but her tale of woes seem to reside within her own need to star. Her pupils are ideal, most of the administration is blind, and only this author sees what is right. Her suggestions for improvement are short-sighted, and education goals will constantly change as the culture evolves.
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