How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Cher Your Own Question
Cher, Educator-40+ yrs
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 21448
Experience:  M.A., B.A., Author, Information & Research Specialist
Type Your Question Here...
Cher is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am now sitting in teacher jail. Why did this happen so quickly

Resolved Question:

I am now sitting in teacher jail. Why did this happen so quickly and at this time in my life? Will I be able to keep working for the school district or will they dismiss me. I have dedicated 25 years of my life to teaching and it has been very trying. I need to work for another 12 years to be entitled for my benefits: a pension and health/medical insurance. Will I be given another chance or will they throw me out to the wolves?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Cher replied 5 years ago.
Hello, and welcome back to Just Answer.

It would depend on what they said your 'violation' was, to take these actions against you. You have not mentioned why you are in 'teacher jail'. If there is someone who is looking to get you thrown out of the school and/or out of the district, you will need to find out who it is and also arm yourself with the best defenses. If you are a union member, your first line of defense should be your school's union representative, who will be able to contact the appropriate people and let you know what you need to do next, to save your job. If there are certain people in higher positions, for example, the Principal and/or another direct supervisor, who want you out of the school due to some rule you violated, you have a right to know what you did wrong (if anything) and then defend your position. The union will provide you with the tools to do this. My advice is based on many years of teaching experience, but of course the rules and regulations in different schools and school districts can vary across the country.

If the Principal and/or other administrators are looking to get you out of the school, you might be assigned to another school in the district, but then again, this would depend on what you are accused of doing wrong. If your 'offense' is valid and there is a law on the books within the District, saying that you will be dismissed, there might not be anything you can do about it, but you must make your most valiant effort, with the tools you have available to you. Contact the Teacher's Union and the District Superintendent to get more information about your particular case. If they can prove that you did something wrong and you can't prove that you didn't, I'm afraid the outlook does not appear to be good. However, if the administration or particular people within the administration have not always been forthright and have violated some rules you're aware of, let your union representative know this.

If you have only positive reports regarding classroom observations, etc. in your file, if you have worked on any special projects and have gone above and beyond for your students, the parents, and the school, in all your years of service, and you have tenure in the school/system, this is all on your side, and you need to bring it to their attention.

You need to prove yourself innocent of whatever they are accusing you of, to take such drastic actions, all of a sudden. If you cannot do that, you can try to find a job in a private school, since your record in the public school system will 'follow' you if/when you apply to another District and/or other schools.

I wish you the best of luck and hope you are able to fight this injustice within your school and your District!

Please keep me posted on how things are going, if you're able. I really feel badly that you are being put through this, after all your dedicated years of service to the school and the district.

Please let me know if you need any additional information by clicking 'Reply'.

If you have found this answer helpful, please click 'ACCEPT', as this is the only way I am compensated for assisting you today (although you have made a deposit/have a subscription, no payment is released to the Expert until you click on 'Accept').

Positive Feedback and Bonuses are always welcomed and appreciated.

Best regards,
Cher and 42 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The past two years have been difficult for me. Someone desperately wanted me. They tried to make me look incompetent by removing many items from last year's classroom and this year's classroom. This has to be the working of an adult, and not a child. This adult had access/keys to my room and knew my work schedule, inside and out. School materials, teaching materials, student work, and personal property were taken. The person who was harassing me knew exactly what a teacher needed and when while instructing. For example, he/she/they would take only 10 tests out of a set of 22, and they would take a Math Teacher's Guide when I needed it the most. They took my password XXXXX Jiji Math, which is a Math program that teaches conceptual math without using much language, and the principal was very upset with me when I reported to her what was going on. She blamed me for everything.

I told my principal, who has a PhD, by the way, that my harassment was continuously taking place since the middle of last year and this year as well. The principal called me a lot of names: She called me: a liar, a racist, a victim, delusional, paranoid, disorganized, and mentally unstable. I learned that whatever I did or said, Dr. W would turn it around and use it against me. I was always being caught doing something "bad." Over time, my harassment began to feel like purposeful bullying. My students were there with me in and out of the classroom and saw all of all this occurring. I started bringing home important papers, but the perpetrator found other items to take, such as my lesson planner, miniature animals that I purchased at the zoo, and the Student's Writing Workshop binder.

I tried to maintain my calm and began sending the principal emails when items were taken from my classroom. Basically she ignored me. Instructionally, the administration was holding me back and the coordinator would say, "Oh, using Word to type up student scripts is way too ambitious of a project for your students to do" and on and on ad nauseum. This abuse was hurting myself as well as the students. If I, a teacher, was being bullied from someone in this school, how were the students going to feel safe? Day after day, I observed inequities that were targeted towards our class. Some teachers have two to three working computers in their classrooms, whereas I had none-- the two computers that were placed in my room were very old and they broke down due to connectivity issues. How can my students do research without access to computers and limited access to three computer labs in a very small school?

Also, my Jiji Math folder and password XXXXX taken from my desk, and as a result my students got a late start in the Math lab. While I was keeping track of how the students were doing, I noticed that the class was behind. I asked to schedule Jiji Math 5 times a week for 30 minutes instead of twice a week for 90 minute sessions. 150 minutes a week, rather than 90 minutes, would have helped them with their understanding of the mathematical concepts and applications. Again, I was ignored. I asked for a 3rd slot in the Mac Lab to teach students how to write, edit, proofread and publish their work. I was able to get a slot, and we were beginning to type up our scripts, then a few weeks later, Ms. Coordinator comes up with a rule/policy, that every teacher must have 2 slots for the Jiji lab and that it was unfair that we had a 3rd slot. We were pulled out of the lab. Decisions were made and changed constantly. Is it my fault that they were not prepared? Our students do not have the time to wait! Everything I did was a problem.

The Math lab did not start in September but in late October/ early November of 2011. Why it took so long to get it running is beyond comprehension. Currently, in Rm. 27, there are 20 relatively new computers and I asked the administration if these computers could be dispersed because no one was using the lab. My ideas fell on deaf ears. The principal spends the school’s money without a discussion with the staff. The principal claims that she is being “transparent,” and she is everything but; she is secretive, talks behind closed doors, etc and encourages other teachers to write letters of complaint on other teachers. This kind of behavior is unheard of!

Dr. W decided to purchase these SMART boards at $1,400.00 each. SMART boards are a great tool. However, while other teachers were ready to use their technology since day one, I had to wait again for 2-3 months to get my technology connected and up and running. Once it was set up, I began using it for instruction. The technology cart uses a piece of equipment called a dongle, and that too was taken from my classroom. The principal expects us to use the SMART board interactively with students, but there is not enough time to learn how this technology works, and the quality of training we receive does not address individual teacher’s classroom needs. Technology looks and sounds good, but do not help students learn!

Sometimes, when using technology, it would break down or something would not be connected correctly, and trying to get it restarted would waste instructional time; why I had so many technological problems, I would never know. The principal hired a company to work with the kids in the areas of drama/music. She took schools funds to pay for this and whether the teachers wanted it or not was never discussed. The principal did whatever she wanted and no one called her on it. We ended up writing our own original scripts because I wanted the drama hour to be as academic as possible and not just be about the students playing theater games. The writing of the scripts, which was an extension of our learning, took up a lot of time to complete. With computer lab twice a week, music once a week, library once a week, psychomotor once a week, and drama each day for an hour, there was not that much time in the day to teach the Reading (Treasures) curriculum that is mandated by the District.

The principal did not know what she was doing, and if one school hired ballroom dancing for their schools, she would want in on it as well. Well, the other school had higher test scores, we did not. The principal hired an outside company, at the rate of $1,000.00 per day, to come to our school and teach teachers how to teach writing to students. Again, teachers were not in on the decision making process of whether we wanted to implement this writing program or not. We were not asked but told. It was very clear to me that the principal did not have confidence in our teaching skills. Why else would she have troubled herself? So now, we have two writing programs and there is not enough timeto teach writing, let alone do one program completely.

Before we returned to school on the 9th of January 2012, I participated in a three-day training on PBL (Project Based Learning), which is the way I like to teach and have taught for many years. I implemented/designed my own Zoo Animal Project Based Learning Unit into the 3rd grade curriculum, as a result of the training that we received and got paid for. I gave my principal an overview of what I was planning to do, and had already started designing my own curriculum. Later on, I got into trouble for doing PBL activities. Dr. W and the school district gave teachers mixed messages. There were so many programs to juggle at one time, that I became overwhelmed between the harassment I was experiencing, the lack of support from the administrative team, and their complete distrust in my abilities.

At the end of 2nd grade, my principal called me into her office and asked me to participate in the District’s Pilot Study pertaining to the new Teacher Evaluation Program. Dr. W told me, during the spring of 2011, how "productive" I was, and that she encouraged me and wanted me to participate in this pilot study, which I eventually did. This pilot study was to be "non-punitive" and "not evaluative" in nature, but it became a huge problem because it had become punitive and evaluative in nature.

For the first cycle, I was more prepared than the principal and her immediate supervisor, who is one of Local District's Directors of Instruction. I knew right then and there, that my self-assessment and/or my lesson plan were not read. Instead of talking about the plan, my supervisors were trying to maneuver the platform and to figure out what they needed to do. I did not think/feel that it would have been appropriate for me to explain to them what they were supposed to do. So, I just sat and observed. To make a long story short, I received low ratings, because they did not understand what I was doing. Some people do not understand and/or recognize excellent teaching when it is occurring right in front of their eyes. Right then and there, I realized that this process was not about improving instruction, but was about flaunting their higher status positions. They could not say one positive thing about my teaching and how my students did; they really don't know anything about my students.

Dr. W and the Director of Instruction were threatened by me for whatever their reasons. The botXXXXX XXXXXne is this: as of the 2011-2012 school year, I have endured four formal conferences and conference memos. The principal encouraged staff members to put their concerns in writing instead of sitting down and having a discussion. My first formal conference was based on two T.A.'s, who never worked in my room, and had become empowered by the coordinator and the principal. They filed two letters of complaint against me. Not once was I presented with an "informal conference,” but was subjected to attend a formal conference, which may have ended in disciplinary action.

Towards the beginning of the school year, after I got my flu shot, I was sick for five school days, and did not leave my house for 10 days. When I returned early morning on a Monday, Dr. W called me into her office stating that I am a "fabulous" teacher, and that two T.A.'s filed written complaints against me. One of the T.A.'s was a former student of mine (1997-1998). For the 2nd formal conference, one of my students’ "brother" filed a written complaint stating that I was screaming at his sister. Student S came to school wearing full-faced Halloween makeup and was wearing wedged, open toed shoes. Her costume was bizarre, too. As I walked towards the principal's office with the whole class, I wanted to make sure that Dr. W saw this student's outfit and makeup. She told her to go to the nurse's office to wash off her face and that her mother needed to be contacted because Student S needed to get a fresh change of clothing to wear for school. I was not in the nurse's office with student S, but I later learned that she was very upset about this ordeal.

Later in the school year, I learned from student S's social worker that this "brother" was not, in fact her brother, but the student's “God-child.” I emailed this information to the principal and she never responded to my email. No apologies, nothing.

My 3rd conference was written up from an outside the classroom teacher, the school's Categorical Program Coordinator, who claimed that I was "harassing" her. I was not bullying or harassing her, that was her perception. I was, however, focused on student achievement and knew that i would be held responsible if my students did not score high on the state standards test. I saw myself as my students' advocate, because no one else was, I needed to make sure that my students had universal equal access to the curriculum.

The 4th formal conference was based on my lesson on maintaining healthy lifestyle habits. I have Diabetes type 2 and wanted my students, who are of Latino and African American descent, to understand why they shouldn't eat a lot of sweets and carbs, and to avoid becoming sick with a life changing condition such as Diabetes. In my family, Diabetes is prevalent. My mother, her mother before her, my brother, my niece and nephew all had Diabetes Type 1. For me, testing my blood sugar is like brushing my teeth. I demonstrated how I check my glucose levels and the students were so engaged, that they wanted to try it as well. I tested four student volunteers with clean, sterile lancets. Not one student was pressured or forced into getting their blood sugar tested. Many students wanted to learn about their blood level sugars and the purpose of my demonstration was to teach them about healthy habits, and to not become diabetic like myself.

We had a very intellectual discussion on blood as a result of our Project Based Learning activity. One of the students actually turned out to be hypoglycemic with a reading of 77. The principal removed me from my room on Friday, 2/24, and said that a sub was to cover my room. As I made my way to the door, the students were asking me where I was going, and I said that I was in big trouble. The sub came up and was unable to control the class. Many students, including myself, were upset. Later, the principal explained to me, while being housed in the conference room, all the people/offices she called because she did not know exactly what to with me. My principal's Director of Instruction said to her that it was under her discretion. I knew that I would get some kind of disciplinary action, but when the principal found out that my students were upset, she directed to return to my classroom.

The police officers came to talk to the four students and myself. The students told them the truth as did I. The principal called the parents of these four students, to ask if they would be interested in filing a police report. All four parents refused to file a report. Last week, when we met for my fourth formal conference, I explained that it was difficult for me to focus on our reading program because there were so many programs going on, that I had very little time left for teaching all the mandated instructional programs, struggling students were coming and going to attend a Reading Intervention Program and the Learning Center Program. Plus, I had two autistic students, two students with ADHD, students who had serious emotional problems, students who had parents in jail, students who had parents in rehab, students who were unmotivated, and students who were experiencing financial hardship. Don't get me wrong, all these programs are wonderful and they are good for our students, but there was no discussion amongst the staff to see what we thought about these programs and whether having all these programs was feasible instructionally.

I had a very wide range of students, and I had a group of students that do not listen, they are constantly moving, and are very disruptive. Regularly disciplining these students took away a lot of our instructional time, but if I had not dealt with their concerns, I was afraid that someone could get hurt. Tying shoelaces was a big problem. Most students were not even aware when their shoelaces were untied. On Wednesday, 2/29, at 3:00 p.m., the principal explained that I was to leave the school and to never come back. All my materials were left in the room for the children to use. I am now housed in teacher jail.

Did I make a serious mistake? Of course I did. My intent was to demonstrate how a diabetic person checks their blood sugar levels. Ironically, the Special Education Aide, who was assigned to one of my autistic students had worked for the district for 30 years, sat there, while the four students who volunteered were being pricked. I was caught up in the moment, and she could have easily whispered something in my ear, but she did not. She was smiling and laughing and there was no kind of negative expression on her face. I later found out that the Special Education Aide was the principal’s "spy" and reported everything that I was doing in my class to the principal.

In education, there are double standards. My classroom was dusty, the rug had fleas, and my two own 409-spray bottles were also taken from my room making it more difficult to clean. I told my principal about that and she got super annoyed. I asked for district cleaning supplies, which was as typically ignored. It doesn't matter if my test scores were going up, it didn't matter that I had been a part of the school's community for the last 15 years, it didn't matter if the students and parents loved me and respected my work, all that mattered was that I made a mistake and I needed to be punished.

I am very sad about being pulled out of my school. I was accused of using poor judgment and am paying the consequences, but what will happen next?

Expert:  Cher replied 5 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks for your reply with the complete history of what you have been going through. Also, thanks very much for your earlier Accept.

From your detailed descriptions, it certainly does sound like you were being targeted for the past couple of years, your Principal sounds like a control freak and is doing underhanded things without the District's knowledge, plus she sounds like a complete liar, telling you one thing and doing another. It certainly sounds like you were set up in many of these situations; however, I must agree that testing the students' bg without parental permission was a big error in judgment on your part. If the parents did not want to press charges, that's good, but the fact remains that the incident took place.

Who is advising you through all this? Do you have a union representative in your school or District? Have you reported any of the underhanded goings on at the school under the Principal's direction to anyone, as the incidents were taking place? Emails can be altered, so any emails you sent to the Principal are probably not strong enough proof of what you did/wrote her, about the problems you were experiencing. If you have any copies of written notes or letters you gave to her, that would be to your advantage. However, at this point, you really need to get someone who is experienced at dealing with similar situations and advocating for techers, to intervene on your behalf and find out what's going on and what your alternatives are.

By 'teacher jail', do you mean you are suspended without pay and not allowed to teach for the rest of the school year, or are you reporting to work, but not allowed to interact with students?

Is your class considered a Special Education class, considering the problems of the students you described, or is it a mainstream (3rd grade?) class?

A lot of things don't make sense in the accusations you related, for example, the two TA's who wrote complaint letters about you, when they never participated in your classroom. That's ludicrous and a complete falsehood. Unless you had contact with them in some other way and the Principal chose that to make your life a living hell and directed those TA's to write the complaints.

Even though you did something wrong, many 'higher-ups' in the District system (or higher) need to be made aware of the unscrupulous and deceptive activities of your Principal and her 'cohorts' (anyone she got to go along with her in bullying/harassing and/or spying on you).

If no legal charges were ever filed against you for doing the diabetic testing on the four students, that's encouraging, but it's still quite a serious error and depending on the laws and by-laws of your Board of Education, I couldn't say whether they can throw you out of the district or prevent you from teaching again. If you haven't spoken to a lawyer to advise you yet, that would be a good next step. You will need to find an attorney who is experienced in defending teachers and familiar with all the rules and laws of the District, etc.

I do hope this all works out in your favor! You are a very dedicated teacher and your students are lucky to have you.

Best regards,
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My sister, an attorney, and I, drafted a letter, which was the response to my fourth conference memo. She has no affiliation with the district and the union;she is smart, tough, and very attractive. She has her own practice, but she is not that busy right now because of the economy and because she lives in a resort community. My sister looked at the most recent contract between the district and the union, and wanted to see where I fit in in terms of disciplinary action. I am in the "pre-disciplinary act" stage: I have received no: letter of reprimand, letter of unsatisfactory notice, suspension without pay, and dismissal from the district, however, it might be forthcoming, I don't really know.

From being in teacher jail, I have learned that the union lawyers and district personnel are sleeping in the same bed together. The union lawyers earn a percentage when teachers settle. The union tells you to say nothing at a conference or hearing, but to respond later in writing; everything that you say may go against you. I have learned that it is best to not resign, because you can lose your pension and medical benefits. If I get dismissed, I can collect unemployment for about 99 weeks. What is so difficult for me, is that I cannot really look for future employment because I am still getting paid and my benefits are in tact.

I wanted to work another 15 years with the district, so there is a substantial potential loss of earnings here. My class was a "mainstreamed" classroom despite all the challenging/needy students that were enrolled in my class. I know that I made a mistake, but I think subconsciously, I was playing with fire and with my fate-- this was a call for help. Although the last incident ended up in me being where I am today, it had been brewing for some time. I was so blatantly harassed, looked down upon, and ignored.

The students and the parents loved me and that did not sit well with the principal. I asked questions, I saw inequities taking place, I wanted to right the wrong by standing up for my students, their parents, and for myself as well. I am currently in an online doctorate program in education, and as a result of spending a lot of time reading, researching and writing, I have learned to use my words to express my concerns, issues and ideas/suggestions.

I was supposed to sit on one of my student's IEP for two consecutive years because this students spends the majority of his instructional time in my classroom. I, as the regular education teacher, was not invited to sit on these IEP meetings, which is a direct violation of a federal law. When I brought that and other matters to the administration's attention, the principal accepted no responsibility and blamed it on the Assistant Principal from the year before, and who was no longer there.

I have documented all the emails that transpired between the administration and myself and there is evidence of me being harassed and bullied and my plea for support/help from the principal. She had everyone put everything in writing and created a hostile atmosphere for myself and others. Three of my good friends have left the school, and one close friend, also sat in teacher jail as well. My principal is very good at harassing teachers. She had a falling out with her Director of Instruction last year, and has been assigned a mentor.

I was going to lose no matter what. I didn't expect it to happen so soon and so abruptly. Our school is a PI 4 (Program Improvement) School. If we become a PI 5, then the principal is removed and possibly the staff as well. Last year, the combination of my English Language Arts and Math scores reached 798 points, which is 2 points away from being 800/1000 points. My class scored 40 points higher than the school did.

In the letter, I did not admit to any wrongdoing per se, nor did I deny that the incident took place, but we basically decided to use the section that states that an employee, who falls into the pre-disciplinary stage, can "work off" the misconduct in a period of four years or less, which is determined by the powers that be. Although it is difficult to sit for 7 hours each day, and my work with my students has been severed, I know that all of this happened for a very good reason. Maybe, our staff would have been disbanded eventually, I just got a head start.

I don't know if I will ever go back to teaching with the district and being in limbo is very trying. I know that I gave 100% of my efforts for 15 years, and made many personal sacrifices. My union representative feels that the district will not dismiss me, but will ask me to get a psychiatric evaluation from a district doctor, and be reassigned to another school. I will do whatever it takes to fight for my cause, but I am prepared for the worst case scenario.

Maybe I should write my dissertation on teacher abuse and administrative corruption.
Expert:  Cher replied 5 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks for your reply with more information.

I wanted to let you know that I just logged in and received your response, and need a little time to type your detailed answer.

I'll be back in touch, shortly.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks so much.
Expert:  Cher replied 5 years ago.
Hi again, and you're most welcome.

I'm glad to hear that you have the support and legal expertise of your sister to help you. Also, the fact that you have received no formal letter of reprimand, letter of unsatisfactory notice, suspension without pay, or dismissal from the district and that you are in the "pre-disciplinary act" stage is good for the time being.

Can you please tell me what 'teacher jail' entails? Do you report to work at a location other than your school and do some sort of non-teaching work there for 7 hours a day?

The fact that you might not get dismissed from your district and/or moved to another school is encouraging and also, if you are still being paid and your benefits are in force, that's also good news. While it may be just delaying the inevitable, since no other action has been taken yet, there's always hope. Did they indicate how long you would have to wait for a formal decision re: your future in the school/district?

Your past record with the students, the test scores, etc., speak for themselves as to the type of dedicated and wonderful teacher you are, so that's on your side. All the 'write-ups', etc., from your principal should be discounted, considering the incompetent way in which she has run this school. From your description, she is incompetent to be an administrator, she has personal vendettas against specific teachers, instructs other teachers and personnel to contribute to the bullying and harassment, and 'leads' her teachers through intimidation. If there is any way to make a case against her with all your written accounts of past incidents, it would be great to see HER dismissed from the school, WITH disciplinary action. The fact that she needed to be assigned a 'mentor' because the school is not receiving good grades, points directly to HER lack of
direction/leadership for the teachers and the school. Why she is still in her position is a mystery--unless she's got friends at the District level.

If they require you to have a psychiatric evaluation, you'll go through it and it should be fine. The most important thing is to be prepared, and your sister can help you with this, plus, it might be a good idea to ask someone you know in the psychiatric field, what to expect in the way of questions, and what answers they expect to hear.

I do think it might be a great idea to write your dissertation on teacher abuse and administrative corruption. Unfortunately, you've experienced it first-hand and you certainly have enough material to include.

At this time, it sounds like you have everything under control, and you only need to wait for their decision which I know is very nerve wracking.

Please keep me updated on your situation and continue to stay strong and hope for the best. I'm hoping that you will prevail in this!

Best regards,
Cher and 42 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Teacher jail is housed downtown in the local district offices. I have validated parking and I sit at a cubicle with about ten other teachers. I sign in and out each day and if I am ill, I can use my illness days. As far as what is going on in my case, my Director of Instruction said that she knows that I did not intend to harm the students and she repeated that I will be getting paid and I will have my benefits.

The question here is time. There is one teacher who has been sitting there for 11 months and he has not heard a thing. What the district does and gets away with is to try to break you down spiritually, emotionally and physically, and become so stressed that you would want to resign.

I agree with your sentiments about the principal and maybe I am the catalyst for bringing her down. If that is the role that I am to play, than I will do so. I am starting to be okay with the notion that a dismissal may occur, and if that it is the case, than it may be a time to move forward and dedicate my time to read, write and do research. This could be a blessing in disguise.

My blood pressure has gone down as well!


Expert:  Cher replied 5 years ago.
Hi again, Sigi and you're most welcome!

Thanks very much for your reply. Your accept and most generous bonus are also greatly appreciated!

I agree, it sounds like they are just trying to break you down so you quit, but you know you will never do that. It really sounds like a form of emotional torture, but if you can occupy yourself and speak with the other teachers, keep your mind active/stimulated, it's not so bad, considering the alternative. I'm surprised that other teacher has been there for 11 months and has heard nothing! Are you just supposed to wait there until you're notified of the outcome in your case, or are you permitted ask whomever, for updates?

If you can bring a laptop, you can work on your dissertation.

I'm glad your blood pressure has gone down and I agree that this may be a blessing in disguise. Right now, there is not much you can do until you know their decision, so dedicating yourself to the 'cause', which is equal treatment for all teachers and not allowing the treatment you (and others) have received at the hand of this particular principal or any principal can be your present and long term goal.

What the Director of Instruction told you is on the positive side, so until you hear otherwise, that's encouraging.

You are a strong person and they will not defeat you. Even if the worst scenario plays out, you already have a plan, and I so admire you taking this in your stride and not giving up!

Best regards,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I am in teacher jail and I am in a lot of emotional pain. I feel that I have been set up by the school's administration. I have spent 25 years of my life teaching and I am awaiting my jail sentence.

Where do i go from here?


Already Tried:
I have tried a few people but I am still very upset and i can't focus on what i need to be focusing on.

Expert:  Cher replied 5 years ago.
Hi again, Sigi and thanks for your reply.

I feel your pain. I can empathize with you so much. I have a friend who was in a similar situation and every day she went to school just so upset and so aggravated because she was constantly bullied by the Principal. She hung in there, though and is trying to hold out until she can retire, which will be soon.

You sounded extremely focused in your last message and knew the path you were going to take; however, a lot does depend on the ultimate decision made by the powers that be. Since this is now an unknown, you can't stress about it, because for the time being, it is out of your hands. Once you know the decision, you will have a plan of action. I'm wondering if there is an 'appeal' process available for you if the decision does not go your way. There usually is; but, let's remain positive.

Look who/what you have on your side: your sister, the lawyer, the other personnel who saw and were aware of how you were being treated, the parents who are not pressing charges, many items in writing regarding all the situations where you tried to do your best, XXXXX XXXXX purposely diverted or tricked off-track by the Principal or her lackeys, and you are thinking of writing your thesis on corruption in the upper echelons of the school system, plus teacher bullying.

Concentrate on the positive and keep a journal every day of how you're feeling, what you are angry and stressed about, what you feel positive about, and writing it down will not only make you feel better, but you will be in essence, starting to gather material for your thesis.

The most important thing now, is that you did not lose your salary or your benefits. I know you'd rather be teaching and you miss your students, terribly, but you're being paid to sit in an office and do nothing all day. That 'nothing' will be turned into 'something' when you begin writing and if you can use a laptop, you can do your online classwork.

You have definitely been set up by the school's administration, and you know what a good and effective teacher you are. You will get a chance to prove that again, after this is over. Don't they have to put a limit on how long you can be kept in teacher jail? That guy who's been there for 11 months--it seems excessive and there must be some sort of rule/law that designates a time limit.

Ask your union lawyer if there is a time limit within which they have to make a decision, and ask her to try to move things along for you.

I'm pulling for you Sigi!! Stay strong!

Best regards,
Cher and 42 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi, Cher,

Thanks again for your kind words. One of my parents facebooked me privately and shared with me, that the principal is really giving my students a very hard time. She has accused them of taking school property and even went into their backpacks to check if they had removed any items. She also took down their work that was up on the bulletin boards and told the students that the new teacher wants to redecorate the room. My parent is getting upset and may go and talk to the principal about how she is accusing them of taking stuff.

At this time, I do not know if the principal is looking for new missing items or for older items. When I was there, and informed her of items that were missing, she called me names, blamed me and did nothing about it. Once she told me that she interviewed each teacher individually and asked them if they were missing items. Later, I found out, by asking a couple of my colleagues if they were interviewed by the principal, and they said no.

Here is what I am thinking: my most recent response was provided to the principal and her Director of Instruction, could it be possible, that the Director is calling her on it and that is why she is behaving the way she is? To me, it sounds like she is pretty desperate. Whatever the case may be, I am seeing karma at work here.

In jail, I can't bring in my computer, but I can read and write. I read that these kind of placements need to be resolved in 120 days, but that timeline doesn't seem to be very rigid. Time will tell.

Thanks again,

Expert:  Cher replied 5 years ago.
Hi again, Sigi and you're most welcome.

Thanks for your reply with more information, and also thanks very much for your accept, which is greatly appreciated.

I'm glad you heard from a parent of one of your students on FB, so you can be kept in the loop re: what's happening at the school and in your classroom. What you are describing the Principal doing, does sound quite desperate and doesn't even sound like appropriate conduct toward the students. Is the Principal allowed by law, to accuse the students of stealing and physically look in their backpacks? I'd double check on that.

Taking down their work from the bulletin boards is an insult to the students and is creating an unstable atmosphere for them, as it is 'familiar' and they associate it with you, which helps them feel comfortable and secure. Making all these changes in the classroom and in the way the students are being treated, is going to have an adverse affect on the special needs students, especially, who require consistency and stability.

It might be a good idea to encourage this parent (and any others you have contact with or she can contact) to definitely speak to the Principal about her actions in the classroom, which caused anxiety to the students, and also encourage the parent to report this behavior on the part of the Principal to HER supervisor at the District. This woman does sound like she is going off the deep end and should not be the administrator of a school and should not be interacting with students. This point needs to be driven home and I think, will add a great deal of credibility to all of your previous problems with her.

If the Director of Instruction is your Principal's immediate supervisor, yes, she might be calling the Principal on all her past actions and this is causing her present, desperate actions. I completely agree that Karma is at work here, and is on your side!

You had mentioned, I think, that the Director of Instruction was in on that special 'project' the Principal wanted you to work on with her, which then turned out to be a set up, so I wasn't sure if the Director of Instruction was an impartial party, in a position above your Principal, or if she was working in cahoots with her.

Try to find out who to contact, to check if the timeline of 120 days is correct and what reasons would cause it to not be enforced.

It's too bad you can't bring a computer, but if you can read and write, try to bring some books to do research and work on your thesis. If you're allowed to bring an iPhone, if you have one, or an iPad, you can use that to connect with the internet and do research, too.

I hope you were able to relax a little bit more today and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Best regards,
Cher and 42 other General Specialists are ready to help you