Sunday, January 02, 2011

Glad I'm not Working Here Anymore

Just read this post from two years ago  Even having lived through it, I'm incredulous enough that I need to repost part of it.

Happy New Year! If you can't read his headgear, the dog is also wishing you a happy New Year.

I chaperoned a field trip right before Christmas - we took the kids to the Nutcracker. I was thrilled to not be the person actually in charge, so it was a fun day for me! Trips are much more fun when I'm not the one in charge of figuring out how we're going to get there, pay for it, not kill each other, and get home with everyone still in the group.

The principal started off by being his charming self. Mrs. Dwyer set up the field trip and got people to donate the tickets as well as their time - she actually got enough drivers to take the whole class downtown. The teacher was very organized about getting everyone into the correct cars and keeping track of everyone. Mine was the second to last car to leave. As we were getting into my car, I saw the principal come over and talk to the teacher. Apparently he told her that he hadn't approved the field trip. Good timing, dude. Three fourths of the class is GONE and now he says he hasn't approved the field trip?

Except he was lying. The teacher had filled out the field trip request and the permission slip and clearly written that the kids would be transported by private cars. The principal had signed it - his signature was on each and every permission slip. He might want to start reading what he signs because apparently his problem was the traveling by car part, which he had approved.

The principal said that the kids couldn't go by car (it seemed to have escaped his notice that most of them were already gone). Not only could they not go by car, but in the history of the whole school, there has never been a field trip to which kids traveled by car.

This leads me to a few observations:
  1. The school is over 100 years old. Probably there has been a field trip that used car at some point. He does not, in fact, know about every field trip that has happened over the last 102 years.
  2. The only reason that most of the field trips are not by car is because the parents don't have cars - they're poor. It sounds horribly stereotypical, but many, perhaps most, of the families don't own cars and some that do are not licensed because they are not legally in the country. In the schools located in the nice parts of the city (the "hill schools"), almost all the field trips are by car. It is legal, sanctioned by the district, and encouraged. The only reason to not let our kids travel by car when we have found drivers is to continue to hold them back from the opportunities that the richer kids have. Not something the leader of the school should be doing.
  3. Who in their right mind tries to stop a field trip after most of the kids have already left? That's just dumb.
I think that he is aware that he is not dong a great job as principal and somehow trying to deal with that by seizing every bit of power that he can get his hands on. Just my theory.
you can read the rest here:

Two years ago: The Nutcracker! (Or: Men In Tights)

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