Sunday, November 23, 2008


The longer you're in HCPS the more obvious it is that any kind of questioning can cost you.

Suddenly you can end up floating, teaching an extra prep class (maybe even out of field), having some obnoxious duty, losing your preferred conference, having your lesson plans evaluated weekly, being evaluated early, observed often, sent to mind-numbing inservices, or termination.

The frequency of these incidents disturb me.

Maybe it's the way the district promotes from within. Golden boys and girls given a fast track into administration before they learn the people skills necessary to manage a faculty. Then when godfather or godmother call in favors their tenuous hold on their position makes them weak and compliant. Not the best qualities in a leader.

Doug Erwin was my clarion call. Bart Birdsall was a reminder. Now "goader" and "Tom".

This is why I will always remain Suzie.

Please follow both cases. It could, after all, be you.


Thomas Vaughan said...

My Principal, has conferred upon herself the additional title of "Instructional Leader".

In documenting her last "walk-through" she accurately pointed out that I was at my desk conferring with a student and that my kids were working on an outline of the chapter but described a Graphic Organizer on my whiteboard as a Venn Diagram.

A small point perhaps but The Venn Diagram is made up of two or more overlapping figures, usually circles. They are often used in mathematics to show relationships between sets. In language arts instruction, Venn Diagrams are useful for examining similarities and differences in characters, stories, poems, etc.. In Social Studies I use them to graphically represent similarities or differences between regions, religions, languages or other cultural and physical elements.

What I had on my whiteboard and what she described as a Venn Diagram was a simple Graphic organizer, a chart with the physical regions of the USA on the left with instructions for the students to write in brief descriptions of each region.

Nothing to do with compare/contrast. As the instructional leader, she should know better.

This person is going to evaluate me next week as punishment for being out sick for 19 days.

Thomas Vaughan said...

LOL...Oh yes, I found out last week that I was going to be floating. That is NO lie!!

Cable guy said...

Obviously retaliatory Tom.

As CTA rep any reasonable person would think they would cut you some slack, if for no other reason than "good will".

Have you gotten any guidance or support from CTA?

Thomas Vaughan said...

Not yet Cable guy although I cc'd them in my message to the SB, Ms. Elia the Tribune, SP Times and Gov Crist.

My Principal has little regard for the CTA. We approached her to constitute the "Placement Review Committee" as required by state law. She did so but started the faculty meeting early, ramming through a brand new teacher as the faculty rep on the PRC and NOT explaining teachers their rights under Florida Law.

We met with her to discuss her malfeasance, this is when she first mentioned my 18.5 days of absence. At meeting such as this, CTA reps are to be regarded as equals representing the legally constituted bargaining agent or the SDHC employees. I was belittled by her bringing up the absences.

I am being punished for representing the CTA. Punished for asking her to enforce the law requiring the Placement Review Committee be constituted.

Punished for asking her to enforce the law by making EVERY faculty member aware of their right to have disruptive students removed from class.

Administrators dont want teachers to know about this. I am sure its no accident.

Do any of you know that state law gives us the right to have disruptive students removed from the classroom pending a review by the Placement Review Committee?

Do you know that state law requires the principal to make every teacher aware of their rights?

How many of you have this committee?

Forcing this issue is part of the reason I am being punished.

When one has nothing to lose, fear dissipates. I am a target no matter what I do. It has been so since my current principal's predecessor arrived. Before her I had excellent evaluations from 3 different principals. They have backed me into a corner and no choice but to fight them.

Like most teachers I cant afford to lose my job, especially in these dire economic times but I am too old and have too much pride to let anyone abuse me or my legal rights.

Anonymous said...

Im at rossac and it is even true for people here. Were afraid to speak up and when we do we get treated like dirt. Best advise is to get out of the district now.

thomas vaughan said...

Cable guy

The so called Union has no clout. They are apologists for the district. I was absolutely shocked by the head officials response to me.

Please check goaders blog for a copy of their response to me.

The only person to invite me to talk was April Griffin.

Anonymous said...

Oh Tom, now you did it.

The "wrath of Ricky" will once again descend upon the Wall.

Anonymous said...

You're right.

The Wall has taken it's share of hits from CTA apologist Ricky Ricotta.

I believe we deserve more professional representation but as long as CTA accepts funding from the district they remain entangled, entwined and beholden to the district, as Tom has found out on a personal level.

See the copy and paste from the contract that Suzie included where it clearly states that the CTA president is paid their current salary from the district while in office - pretty plain to me. Equally plain was the smoke that Ricky through.

Now let's see if Ricky offers any support or suggestions for you Tom.

BTW if you are astute enough to know and promote those pesky, little known state statutes - wouldn't it follow that, as a CTA rep, you would be aware of the "absense" clause?

Thomas VAughan said...

I figured if the absences were justified, I would be ok.

I know better now. I am certain that others have had more legitimate absences and not been forced to endure a BS I have had.

Do they want to risk additional bad press by terminating an experienced teacher of 15 years just because he got sick?

Anonymous said...

Thomas-- Talk to the Trib--yell scream--get it out of the dark!!!!

Anonymous said...

What school--can you name names? They can't do things in the dark if we shine on the light!
pollanna's gone

Goader said...


You said it when you proclaimed:

"Do they want to risk additional bad press by terminating an experienced teacher of 15 years just because he got sick?"

I think they do not.

Thomas Vaughan said...

One of the cc's in my original email to the CTA was the Tribune. Ms Brown responded asking if the CTA was aware. I sent her the smug response from Ms Lyons. Have not heard back from her yet.


I am at Tomlin Middle School

Anonymous said...

Find another reporter if you want them to do investigative reporting.

Anonymous said...

Didn't I hear that Yvonne is hoping for re election? When is it? Who is running against her? I've got pennies in my piggy bank!
Teachers MUST be able to rely on elected union heads!!!

Anonymous said...

Yvonne, the Executive Director, is not elected. She is hired by the elected Board of Directors. Rumors abound that Yvonne will be retiring this year. Jean Clements, the President, is elected, and may be up for reelection this year.

Anonymous said...

For Thomas Vaughan...

Thomas Vaughan said...


Your link about bad reviews assumes that my review was done to assist me in improving. My NI review last year was supposed to include instruction and guidance for improvement. My AYP scores came out after the review and demonstrated to an objective reader that I was very effective with my students.

My own Principal doesn't know the difference between a Venn diagram and a table. As of today she has made NO effort to provide the required assistance to a teacher deemed to have "Needed Improvement".

Ms Mouse, do you work at ROSSAC? The "bad review" advice was gratuitous.

Anonymous said...

I do not work at ROSSAC. The mere timing of my having read your comments and then my reading the New York Times article was such that it seemed to make sense to post the link here. I meant no offense, nor am I part of any conspiracy.

Thomas Vaughan said...

Yvonne is definitely retiring. It was discussed at the last board meeting.