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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Jacksonville will never reach its potential as long as it ignores its teachers.

Superintendent Vitti announced that next year behavior specialists will be put in some of our neediest and challenged schools. This is a great idea and one I and other teachers suggested eight years ago and at a minimum dozens of times since.

You see teachers understand that why so many kids act up or perform poorly in school often has nothing to do with school. As the people doing the actual educating we are closest to the situation and know what does and does not work as well as what our children, our students both need and do not need.   

Unfortunately like in most places teachers in Jacksonville have gone largely marginalized and ignored. There is no other field like education and I say that because in other professions the people that do it are routinely consulted and involved in the decision making process and the people making decisions about the profession usually rose from the ranks, that so ignores and marginalizes its rank and file . Imagine a hospital where doctors weren’t on the board or a police department run by laymen, whose experience consisted of reading a few articles and watching a lot of Law and Order.

Our golden boy superintendent only has two years of teaching experience total that took place in two schools in two different states. Then only two of our seven school board members have any real education experience. How do we expect to reach our potential? The answer is we never will as long as we continue to ignore and marginalize teachers, to think of them as easily replaceable rather than professionals.

So thank you superintendent Vitti for recognizing that our schools need mental health professionals, but shame on you and the city for not recognizing it despite the cries of teachers years ago.  Shame on you both for that and so much more.


  1. We need these services in the middle schools and high schools. Every school should have a behavior specialist. $15,000,000 could support each school (middle and high) with a psychologist and social worker for several years. Why are they using the money for coaches in only several schools at a time? That $15mil could be spread out for years and have dedicated staff for each middle and high school. How the money is spent is the real issue. Use it on personnel who will actually come into contact with the students.

  2. Imagine having a math coach in a high school but she is not calculus capable. LMAOOOOOOOOO............... Go Duval County Public Schools!!!

  3. In Jacksonville, teachers are expected to humble to the ego of parents. You just have to be near a parent-teacher conference for one of those spoil-brats that the parent(s) can't control. Because you are a teacher and the school board and the department of education gave parents the assurance that these professional teachers will mold all their sweet-hearts into the most perfect little creatures that ever exist, the parents will usually give the teacher a real good dressing down if the child is failing.

    Teachers beware, especially if you are a foreign national with a strange accent, inner city parents will treat you like filth. It strikes me that even inner city students and their parents consider themselves better than highly qualified brown-skinned professionals with foreign accents.

    I personally experienced 3 sessions of verbal abuses in one year. Luckily, the third time an Assistant Principal (AP) was clandestinely listening in, at the behest of an office clerk who knew me from a previous school we both worked at. Boy, he just let the student have it for all the lies she was telling against me, and accosted the father for condoning the lies of the child and berating me. It was a great relief for me, especially when the AP progressively raised the tone of his voice at them. The student (17 year old) started crying and the father quickly withdrew into his shell (Why? Because he premeditated did what he was doing). The student was not turning in adequate assignments and was missing tests,because she and her boyfriend (both my students) were missing classes, simultaneously; only God knows where they were at. Of course the boyfriend was 18. I thanked God for the way He used his agents,the clerk and the AP, in that surprise intervention and I shall always remember those two wonderful human beings.

    The school system, has been so diabolically designed by unscrupulous, ungodly, menacing politicians, that teachers are being abused even by delinquent parents who would systematically exploit us, teachers, for a passing grade for their child. Have you ever seen "Bait Car"? A hoodlum takes off in the bait car and when the cops remotely shut down the car and arrests the culprit (s)he says "What the f**k you pulling me out my car; this is my car". Got the Idea? The cops have authority, though; whereas the teacher has to quietly absorb the abuse. In America, is it only teachers that belong to Christ? It seems so to me! Is Rome falling again? It seems so to me! I shall ever abide in Christ!