Over the past six years, I have reached out to each of you for help. After exposing this misuse of power and the impact it has made on my health your responses were the same, “I’m sorry this is happening to you”.
Senator Paul A. Feeney this bill is designed to protect individuals like me.
However, our teacher evaluation system and our teachers union are leaving us vulnerable.
*Even the photograph of the unfair distribution of resources (air conditioning units) (regardless of the unhealthy conditions I had reported and documented for years) could not be more obvious to those outside our building that what is going on inside is sending a clear message.
Members of MTA like Scott Fulmer and union representatives like Jason Leto, are aware of this injustice and have shown their support by giving me a voice and validating the misuse of power given to my supervisor and the lack of evidence to justify this treatment. When I asked for a grievance to be filed and legal representation so that I would not be forced to return to the toxic environment, administration was unable to make accommodations unless I revealed that, as a result of this misuse of power, I now suffer from CPTSD. My ability to function in these conditions after years of being a target is being used against me. I am to accept that what happened to me is supported by my administration and the union that I was told would protect me.
When I was a little girl my dad would ask me “what are you going to do when the 100 lb. squirrel shows up? To which I had no answer.
Most of my dad’s players or students were often confused when it came to his unique parabolas. However, it was his innate ability to engage all types of characters that made me the teacher I am today. He took the time to figure out those who struggled or didn’t fit in and accepted them. He noticed things that others didn’t care enough to notice.
Like my dad, I am a highly sensitive creative person. What I experienced as a child now impacts how I cope as an adult. My rewired brain makes it difficult to focus when threatened. What others experience is intensified by my heightened senses. I am in a constant state of alert, living in fear, paranoid and hypervigilant.
In a supportive environment I thrive however, my proclivity to working well with children with unidentified and unsupported needs has led to a strategic stacking needs on my roster by my evaluator. These are my people, each one unique and filled with potential. These are complex characters who require a different approach to engage them. When measuring student engagement, you don’t see what I see. I’m not where I am because I “got them to drink the Kool-Aid” if you have met my students you know that some would be allergic, some would react to the red dye and others would spill it everywhere.
If we continue to make excuses and cover up the toxic conditions that we teach in, this will continue to impact the students who witness this disrespectful damaging behavior.
What hope do they have if we don’t act like adults and model genuine kindness?
I am optimistic and a natural playmaker. Our reputation as a district can be a real-life lesson and a model for others who like me are predisposition to this type of powerplay. By educating ourselves about the devastating mental and physical effects, economic strain and systemwide impact this culture has already shown we can also teach solidarity.
All I ask is that together we learn from our mistakes and collaborate to prepare and support our incoming learners, our current students, and alumni.
I propose a plan that shows a unified commitment to raising awareness and support for the social emotional needs of community members of all ages. We can support each other as learners in a safe collaborate environment. As teachers we are not designed to compete or form allies out of jealousy or fear. We encourage thinking outside the box, we share ideas and stand up for each other. We rely on data and evidence to drive our instruction. So why are we not discussing the work of David C Yamada*? As professionals it is our civic duty to educate ourselves and our students regarding social issues that as citizen they may someday face. I am not asking to be the face of this movement however; my story can be the catalyst for change.
• Senator Paul Feeney needs our support of this bill in order for it to pass.
• MTA needs legislation to support its union members.
• FEA members deserve representation that they pay for.
• We as a district need to admit that we need help.
• My family deserves to see their mother, daughter, niece, sister, auntie, and friend take what life has given her and use it to fuel her future.
• I deserve the opportunity to heal and empower others.
Please stop ignoring the 100lb squirrel in the room. I have a plan. I now know what I am going to do... I am going to share my nuts!