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As more companies are using drug testing, back ground/credit checks, and psyche evals as a tool in which to ensure employee integrity- wouldn't it also be appropriate for those to whom we entrust our children? I'm in favor of it. With consideration to the more "infamous" teachers of the area-perhaps the use of these tools could have identified potential problems before full manifestation.
I don't know that ANNUAL psych evals and background checks are necessary, but I support them being a part of the hiring process. Drug testing could be done initially, and then on a random basis...
My son's high school instituted a mandatory drug testing program two years ago, for students, and there were parent concerns about "why not test the teachers, too?" Apparently, the teacher's contracts would have to be written in such a way as to indicate that's a requirement for employment, and so they couldn't do it the first year (teacher contracts were already signed) but it is a consideration going forward.
(I should point out that the reason drug testing was implemented across the school was because they didn't want individual students "singled out." The state athletic association was concerned about high school football players using steroids, etc., but the football parents said "why should our kids be the only ones tested...why not the soccer team, the math team, the band, etc." So the school decided everyone will be tested annually, with random re-tests every few months...)16321
Healthy, the reason I like the idea of annual is people's lives, situations perspectives change. Ultimately people change as well. I'm not the same person I was at 20-25 or even 40. I walked into my son's first grade class once and his teacher told me the kids had 4 naps that day explaining she just couldn't handle them due to personal issues. There is obviously no one watching the teachers for signs of stress or if there is-they might be afraid to report a co worker. Many teachers will go out of their way to protect other teachers and since teachers are unionized it's hard to get rid of a bad teacher or give aid to a good teacher who needs assistance.16320
mom2mom, unfortunately, the situation you describe still might not be caught through annual psych screenings, and even if the teacher were identified, most companies (and presumably teacher unions) would offer counseling or other measures before immediatedly firing someone. In your situation, I would have written a factual letter documenting exactly what happened, and submitted it to the principal, with a copy to the superintendent. It could have been written in a way that doesn't "blame" the teacher, but still formally documents the situation, expresses concern, and makes it clear that it's unacceptable.... For example:
Dear Principal, My child is a student in (Mrs. Teacher's) first grade class at (ABC School.) Yesterday (date), I went to the classroom to volunteer (with a project) and (Mrs. Teacher) expressed gratitude for my showing up. She mentioned that she is experiencing a great deal of stress in her personal life, and she had told the children to take four different nap periods already that day.
I am concerned about (Mrs. Teacher's) health and I am concerned about the children's valuable instructional time that is being lost during these multiple nap periods. What is the district's policy regarding these matters? Thank you in advance for your prompt response. Sincerely, Mrs. Mom2Mom 16319
Healthy-in a perfect world-I might have done just that. But it's not and reporting a teacher is not simple. You will immediately become the enemy of every teacher in the school. Only positive and subjects of the utmost importance should be written and documented so that one does not seem adversarial. This particular teacher suffers from depression. While she should not be fired, she should be granted an aide (which she now has) and given the opportunity to have ample sick leave. Same as she would if she had aides or cancer. It's important that we, as parents familiarize ourselves with teachers health care packages. These are the people who are influencing and protecting our children. We have an interested in their emotional and mental well being. I don't believe it should be brought up at every PTA meeting but there is a need for supervision of this. I can name two well known incidents in Poughkeepsie alone where yearly evaluations may have averted tragedy. You can find them by googling Crimes committed by Poughkeepsie, NY Teachers.16318
mom2mom, I know the world isn't a perfect place, but I've actually written the letter to the principal, similar to what I suggested to you. I thought long and hard about whether to do it, but in addition to my own son's learning being impacted by a teacher with personal problems, I figured a lot of other kids were affected, too. Ignoring it wouldn't make the problem go away.
As it happens, I found out I was NOT the only parent to express concerns. The teacher at my son's school was let go about 3 months later, and I'm guessing it was after they tried to work with her, to no avail. (These were junior high students, and if she told the kids to take naps, it would have been a GOOD day.)16317
I would like to think the school districts already do an FBI background check as a standard.I agree on a Psych evaluation pre-job but not necessarily every year amy be every 3 years. Yes to the drug testing pre-job and once a year unannounced. No to credit check I believe there has beenadequatee checks done and feel that is over the top. I would like to see a decency clause in their hiring packet that they have to sign.16316
Yes....upon hiring and yearly thereafter. I also believe they need to change grade levels they teach and possibly schools within a certain mile radius of their home - every 5 years. The only reason why I say this is - because I have met some that have taught at the same school/same grade for 20 years. Her ideas are stagnant and her attitude towards the children is de-motivating and inappropriate. I feel she is burnt out and needs a change. Not necessarily terminated, but, a new envirnoment/age group - currently teaching 5th graders. However, with this scenario - the teacher suffering from depression - yes....she needs to be given time off under FMLA and provided counseling or work in a different capacity while receiving counseling, but, not as a teacher w/an assigned class.16315
oneprayingmom- excellent idea about changing grades and even schools! I know of only a few professions that do that and for the very reason you explained. I think you are right, it would be very helpful. odachimaster- BRILLIANT! I was certain that teachers took some sort of oath and signed a decency clause before becoming teachers. Then I read an article in the journal about a teacher who had an affair with a 17 yr old student. There was no clause in place and since he didn't break any laws, he's free to teach anywhere he likes. It's not just the teachers we need to hold to moral standards-Kendall Francois worked for the Arlington school system.16314
I think it would be a great idea. The background, drug testing and psyche evaluations would be a great way to monitor who's teaching our children. People change all the time and you see it everyday, people who have suddenly fallen into a very unsteady life of drugs and crime. Someone said its not necessary but I can't see how it would not be. I seen on a tv show interventions a former teacher who was shooting herione. It could so easily happen that someone who has no control of their own life is controling our childs classroom.16313
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