SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mulgrew Hides at 52 Broadway

I believe in the "pop in." If I lived in Staten Island I would "pop in" at Poretlos' house or I wouldn't mind if he "popped in" at mine. But there are some that are not fond of the "pop in."

I had some business to do at 52 Broadway today. I signed in with the security guard and inquired whether or not I can see "the dear leader." He said he is in and gave me a pass to go to the 11th floor as well.

After my business I head on up to the 11th floor and notice that they are selling movie tickets (Our union hard at work!). Now mind you, I was being a big of a smart ass, but instead of asking for Mulgrew I asked for Philippe Pétain. Nobody got the reference. Eventually I asked to see Mulgrew and when asked by Marsha (Marcia?) why I want to see him I explained;
"I pay $100 a month to this union. I have just gone through a 3020-a hearing and had to deal with confirmation that the email in question is true and assorted perjured testimony. I want to discuss with Mike what is the union doing for me and for others in this situation. Where is the outrage?"
Marsha (Marcia?)  told me to have a seat. I spoke to someone else who explained to me that President Mikey's office is not only on the 11th floor but he has offices all over the building. That met with guffaw from me.

So I sat down and waited. After about 5 minutes of waiting and watching people pay the UFT for movie tickets security came and asked me to leave.

Now mind you I harbor no ill feelings towards the Mike the security guy. He was quite pleasant and had explained to me that he thought I was coming up to the 11th floor for movie tickets but nevertheless had to leave anyhow.

I am confused and I shared my confusion with Mike.

Why is it that a person who works for me and for other teachers is too busy (At least he can send a representative) to see me? As I explained to Mike, it is easier for me to get into my local state senator's office than to see Presidenté Mike.

When I live in Greenburgh I was able to walk into town hall and meet with Supervisor Paul Finer. My wife was able to get hold of John Mara  when she had a complaint about the Giants. I can redress almost all my elected officials, CEO's of major corporations, heck even this guy heard back from the owner of the Knicks, James Dolan.

Isn't it time for Mikey to come down from wherever he is and meet with the multitudes who pay his salary? Isn't it time for Mikey to really listen to us in other than staged forums?

Is it not time for Mulgrew to hear and listen to the masses? Is it not time he leave the gilded  tower of 52 Broadway and truly listen to us and not just solve our problems with hashtags? Is it not time he allows us to be part of the process?

We're done of hearing, "We don't want them to be mad at us," "At least we get a seat at the table," "It could have been worse," "It's the best we can do."

We're done. It's time Mulgrew represents the best interests and listens to the rank and file of the UFT.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Live on WFAS-AM February 17, 2015

I'm am back this Tuesday morning, February 17, 2014, at 6:30 AM joining Bob Marrone on WFAS-AM 1230 as I continue the account of my travails.

Again, there are several ways you can listen. On your radio at 1230 AM, but the range is about a 20 mile circle of White Plains.

Also, WFAS streams live, or got to the WFAS website, on iHeart Radio, or download the app from Google Play or the Apple Store. I know some who downloaded the app and were able to listen while driving in from very far away.

For the social media aficionados, check out WFAS on Facebook, Twitter, and Bob Marrone is on Twitter as well.

And don't forget, the call in # is 914-693-5700. Don't be shy!
morning show on

Monday, February 9, 2015

John Didrichsen Part Deux

Now onto Part II of Does John Didrichsen of PS/MS 291 in the Bronx Have Flaming Pants?

So John tells me he will return. He returns to yet again observe me on June 11, 2013. The class I am working with is a special ed. 3/4 class. This class was a great bunch of kids and I really enjoyed working with them.

The lesson was on using quotation marks. I don't recall the lesson in detail other than I did it by the book. The independent work was geared towards this class and their abilities (DIFFERENTIATION!!!) and not only were the students on task the entire time of independent work, they learned something as well and had fun!

Oh, but wait. it was not good enough for John and his RIGORous ways.

John said he would be back in a few days to show what a truly rigorous lesson entails.

He came back to see me and do that demo lesson I had been asking for since November on June 18.

Punctuation marks was the lesson and what a lesson it was. Not only did the students have a great book read to them, so many punctuation  marks were discussed. But first we had to go through the agenda, the objective(And the definition thereof), and the definition of what punctuation.

After this the students were not only confused they were bored.

So many punctuation marks the students had to work with and learn about. Commas, and periods, and exclamation points, OH MY! Not to mention quotation marks (REDUNDANT), question marks, and apostrophes. SIX SKILLS they students had to work on.

THEY WERE LOST!

The students were restless and not focused on the carpet. The were fidgety and not focused. Oh well, it's been a long day. They were touching and hitting and being silly. Perhaps once they got to independent work things would be better.

It got worse!

Pencils were flying across the classroom, noses were being picked, eyes were gazing outside. Not a single student completed their assignment.

Oh, and John did not use the Level 2 Card System. In fact he used zero discipline measures.

The lesson was not attuned to these students needs. He did not know the students (Nor did he know the students that I had worked with May 16) nor did he know what he was doing.

The May 16 lesson I did was with the lowest skilled 1st grade class with some of the most emotionally needy students in the school. The fact that I got them to even write a sentence or two should be commendable.

So what if Schmuel Rabinowitz was seeking my attention every 2 minutes and being a nudge. If I went any further he would have had a major meltdown. His meltdowns usually involve hitting someone else.

I am all for getting the fullest effort out of students but rigor for rigor sakes is illogical.

I saw someone so in love with their own thoughts he couldn't see the students true needs through the trees.

Oh, and when asked where was his report on his observation of June 11, John replied;
"I don't know."

Really? This is my judge and jury?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Does John Didrichsen of PS/MS 291 in the Bronx Have Flaming Pants?

One of the witnesses who testified against me was former literacy coach, John Didrichsen from the failed "Maverick Education Partnership," CFN 407. John currently tolls away at PS/MS 291 in the Bronx as a literacy coach.


John has quite the impressive resume. After graduating with a degree in theater John took Hollywood by storm. John soon, somehow, got into education and taught for three years before becoming a literacy coach.

So after months and months of asking for a demo lesson, John was sent to my class. Not to do a demo, but rather to observe me. Funny thing is I found out at the hearings that John had been at the school since mid-November and for some reason even though I was asking for assistance since before that time John was never sent to me.

But to make a long story short, the day John came to visit me was when I had a re-scheduled 1st grade class. Now mind you, the little ones usually had their preps before noon but this day a most rambunctious class was scheduled for me at 12:20 PM, two hours after they had lunch. Strange.

Here are some of John's testimony along with my retorts;

John claims; What are they going to know at the end of this 50 minutes that they didn't know before? And it should be clearly articulated. I did not see that in this lesson.

Yes, he did. We were talking about how to make and keep friends. Was he not there as I gave them an example of how I made a friend in 4th grade? The book I read on how one can make a friend? Or the turn and talk the students had about making friends? I am confused since John said I had the Workshop Model down.

John shares how my management could have been better;  there were several disruptions, students getting up, Mr. Zucker asking them to come back. There were phone calls from the phone near the door, and Mr. Zucker had  to get up to answer that. Students had to get up to get pencils and/or sharpen pencils.

There was one student who was a major disruptor and most came from attention seeking and whining. Let's call this kid Schmuel Rabinowitz. See, I know this young man, John didn't. If John did he would have known that Schmuel was born addicted to drugs and was not wanted by his biological mother. Schmuel had been in several foster homes by the time of 1st grade. 

Yes, I warned a couple of times that I would change their cards and didn't, but the card system used by the school that year was an utter failure and was to be scrapped the following year. Besides, I like using the countdown to zero to get the students attention and also quieting my voice which works as well. But you need to know your audience to know what works, and I did and John did not.

As for the phone calls. How the heck is that my fault? Students getting up to sharpen pencils? I didn't allow them to. But here is another kvetch; 

Even within this group of special- needs students or students with IEPs, I believe all the students were special-needs students in the class.

John didn't know, it was general ed class. Should he not know his audience? More on this later. 

the fairly easy task that he gave them to do at their desks in a very short period of time, but then they really didn't--they weren't given anything else to do, so a lot of them had quite a bit of time where they

Easy task? They were to start a book on how to make a friend. The first page was about why it is important to have a friend. Easy? This was a very low functioning class, I got them to write, to come up with ideas we shared. To be on task, somewhat, which is good for them. And when some finished early, what did they do? They went to the library to get a book to read. That is what I was told to the classroom library was for. We came back to the carpet and shared. JEEZ!!

See, it is really strange that he testified to these things even thought his write up to me suggested to use more rigor and mentioned that things that were completely out of my hand led to an unevenness of the flow. Oh, but I did not get the feedback from him until June 3. About two and a half weeks later. But there is one more interesting thing he blabbered; 

When you do observations, with Danielson what you like to do is find one competency that you would like to concentrate on more than others.

Say what? That's what this is all about? He even asked me to concentrate on 1-E of Danielson. Even though Danielson does not include the Workshop Model? Under cross John blithered;

Well, they would be judged and observed formally and informally the following year on those competencies, and I wanted them to be prepared for that. It was something--I made it my duty to have teachers know.

If that is not made enough, the worse was yet to come.

Under cross John was asked under oath if he had met with me formally after the period. John said it was just informally for "like about 5 minutes in the doorway". Gee, I remember it differently. I remember sitting with John for almost the entire period after that lesson, a period which was cleared for me and John denies it? I remember getting my lunch and asking him if he minds me eating it in front of him. In fact he was asked under oath if I ate lunch in front of him, he said, "No." Maybe this will refresh John's memory.

Or what about the part where he is asked under cross;
Do you remember telling Mr. Zucker during that conversation that you saw someone who could teach?
John responded;
"Saw someone who could teach?" No, I don't remember saying that.
Hmmm. John might need some help with his memory.

This might not fall under the level or perjured testimony (We here at SBSB don;t have any formal legal training) but it sure smacks of untruthiness or John just might have the proverbial pants on fire.

I understand. John has his SBL license and wants to play with the big boys. Screw ethics and morality. What matters is how you get to the top.

Tune in tomorrow when it is shared about the time John comes to do a demo lesson and the complete and utter train wreck that ensues.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

RED ROSE SPEEDWAY


My 3020-a hearing ended this past Tuesday, February 3, and now I have nothing to do but wait.

Next up is the lawsuit that had been filed back in August in which the corporation counsel has been dicking around conveniently, considering the 3020-a hearing. But more on that later.

I have so much to write about. I am backed up in my mind. But one thing is at the forefront of my mind.

There's a song, Big Barn Bed on the Paul McCartney and Wings album Red Rose Speedway that gave me some things to think about the last few years and especially the last few months;
Who's That Coming Round That Corner
Who's That Coming Round That Bend
Who's That Coming Round That Corner, Will It
Will It Be My Friend
This happens. The self-doubt, the wondering of who is on your side, who will be supportive, or not supportive, is real. It might not be rational, but it is real. 

I do not want to go into too many details and names right now but there are so many out there who stood by me and supported me. Not only during the last 2 months of hearings, but since September 2013 when charges were filed, back to the 2012-13 school year, to way back when I started this blog. Some of these people had been expected and some just surprised me and even just as good, some were people I had never known before this or had never met.

To all these people I promise in time that I will thank each and everyone of you through this blog. I believe the everyone needs to know what truly great people you all were in my times of need. There is not a single thing I won't do for these people.
 
Sadly, at least in my opinion, there are those that dropped the ball.

Hey it's not that I expect reciprocation, but one would assume the ethical and moral thing to do when one sticks there neck out for someone time after time after time after time is some modicum of support. A teensy eensy bit? I mean, it can at least be faked, which for this one person faking everything would seem to be pretty easy.

For years I gave my time to help (Hmmm, thinking of a pet name) The Narcissist with all of its problems it was having with it's principal.

Phone calls, text messages, emails. I was always there in a pinch. Why? Because that is who I am and what I do.

I mean the kvetching was incessant. Not saying that the The Narcissist had no reason to kvetch, but it was always about (Like an opera singer getting ready before a performance) me, me, me, me, me, me, me.

All I would get was, "Pleaseeeeeeee, can you call this person and find out X," "Please X is writing me up, what can I do?" "I can't sleep anymore," "I am so depressed," "Please Peter, do me this favor." Well... you get the drift. I mean I spent countless hours and constant energy.

Worse, I took a lot of direct hits and shit for this person. I was a shield. I could have put myself in a worse situation than I had already been in.

But I know no other way than to do the right thing.

And I soon got the drift. It is all about, I, me, mine.

 When I spent the 2013-14 year locked up in the Rubber Room, was there support for me, from someone I considered a friend? Kinda.

The support was more obligatory, just for appearance sake. Nothing more, nothing less. Yeah I know The Narcissist was busy, way too busy for it's problems had ended and it was too wrapped up with itself to even look past it's nose.

Oh once in a while it would contact me when there was something was posted on these pages that exposed what a narcissist The Narcissist truly is. But it had a conniption fit when the policies of this blog were shared of removing comments.

I did the right thing and ceased all contact with The Narcissist. I was not angry, just done. And somewhat saddened. Going through life, self-absorbed it can be quite depressing. I felt sorry for it.

A few months ago, I think it was just after my hearing started, I contacted this person asking for assistance. The Narcissist knows several people and I thought that it would be willing to do me this one favor. I was not calling in a chit, but I believed that The Narcissist was due to impart a favor for me.

I was wrong. Like a leopard The Narcissist does not, cannot, and will never change it's spots. Well, I can be wrong. The Narcissist will change it's spots only if it benefits The Narcissist.

I live, I learn. We live, we learn. This person is dead to me. The Narcissist is in the realm of non-existence.

Once again, I am forever grateful to those who took the time to talk me down, listen to me, show up at my hearings, give me advice, tell me it will be OK, etc... There are some out there who don't even realize they supported me by doing little things, like making me laugh or sharing just a little thing about themselves. I appreciate it all.





Monday, February 2, 2015

Good Manners in School

Larry talks to a stick figure on the chalkboard.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Don't Be a Mr. Bungle

A video we all can live by as educators. We should all be Phil.