Cleaning House

Posted on July 1, 2011

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Picture of statue taken by me using one of those "cool hipster retro" camera apps.

As our house gets packed and cleaned, so does my old job.

The cleaning that began in the fall of last year, has ended in more cleaning this spring.

In those conversations I had with Hired Gun, he asked me to name specific people that I thought “weren’t with the program.”

It seems that several other people had told him the same name: V.P.

“Common themes and names are coming up,” he said to me at one point.

A colleague of mine, who has no kind words for this particular person, has a litany of complaints of unethical behavior (despite him being next in line to take over a “head” position, she gave it to an incoming new person who happened to be a shopping buddy) and being rude to his son (calling him fat and telling him to lose weight).

V.P. changed GPA requirements and Honor Roll requirements so that nearly everybody in the school could be considered “smart.”  Of course, this led to the “dumbing down” effect of the ballooning average.

V.P. changed placement guidelines so that her under-qualified children could enroll in honors courses.  V.P. hand-picked teachers who she “knew” to teach her kids.

V.P. bullied teachers into changing grades for students who happened to be cousins, or neighbor kids, or family friend’s kids.

V.P. personally called a student every morning to make sure he woke up on time to get to school (admitted during casual lunch conversation).  Why? Because the family was a personal friend, so it was okay.

V.P. tried to pass on resumes of friends and family for hire to the department heads.  A shopping buddy became a fellow English department teacher (little experience teaching; was a real estate agent prior).  A former student became an English teacher (V.P. happened to know the parents for a long time).  V.P. even tried to pass on a cousin to fill the spot I was vacating (a cousin who had middle school teaching experience, but a degree in hospitality management).

So it seems that even though everyone thought that she wasn’t involved in things that were related to the initial exodus of administrators, she may have been doing similar things or even colluded with those involved in past unethical behavior.  Wouldn’t one call that aiding and abetting?    In fact, it borders on racketeering.

Yesterday, I was alerted to the news that V.P. had suddenly resigned.

Apparently, she left in tears on the last day of work, but didn’t announce her resignation until recently.

Of course, knowing how the school works and how the minds of the new people work, I have a feeling she was given a friendly push to the edge.

It also seems, from an inside source, that there may be a serious investigation into all these things that have been going on for the past decade.  And by serious, I mean a large well-organized group of crime fighters have been looking at the paperwork in the school.

Imagine, working in a school that prides itself on faith and family (notice the above picture taken by yours truly), and realizing they all were acting like mobsters by promoting family and friends and making money off deals cut under the table.

Anyone want to take a swim with the fishes?

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On another note, I received a phone call yesterday from a former colleague with whom I’ve had numerous interactions.

She called by saying something along the lines of, “Hi, Sohnsaengnim, how are you? I am doing great.  I just happened to have some time since I’m staring at the torrential downpour.  Wanted to talk and see how things are going.”

Now, you see, this person is a fellow English teacher who has had issues with the V.P. in the past.

This person also had issues with the Department Head.

This person also had issues with just about anyone with whom she came in contact.

So, imagine my surprise to hear from her on the same day that it was announced via email that V.P. was resigning.

Was she calling to gossip?  Perhaps.  That would be just like her to do so.

Or she was calling to ask about a letter of reference she asked me to write.

I did a few weeks ago.  Reluctantly.

I would have written her a letter anyway, but not the one she told me to write.  Yes, you heard right.  She actually gave me things that I was supposed to write about her.  She laid out a long list of things she had done that I should mention in the letter.  She also mentioned how I should mention that she tried to be professional in her job at all times, but that the school did not support her and her professionalism.

The most important thing is that I have tried to serve this English department to the best of my ability and that I am a professional. I am willing to work with anyone, but this school that attitude has not served me well because others are not professional. 

How professional is it to ask me to say that others at the school were not professional?

I’m so glad I’m done with the school and all the characters there.

On to another chapter of my teaching career.

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Posted in: Education, Teaching