Tuesday, April 12, 2005

the superintendent quit

There goes another pseudo-somebody. Even though I'd become disenchanted with Amato of late, I hoped he'd fight the good fight and show he cared for the children. I'm disheartened that he would abandon the job just a few months short of the completion of the year, leaving in the middle of a time even when teachers, who work harder than people conceive of, are on the lip of not being paid. The whole thing is like science fiction to me. It is a sinking ship and the weak-hearted captain has taken a lifeboat even before the children got off. How dare he. When is somebody going to stay for these children? A social studies teacher at my school whom I thought had heart and a social conscience quit on her students a few weeks ago because of the system's bullshit. It's true that the system is ridiculous, but all I can think about is, what must the children feel?
To hell with belief.
Quite a few times this year students have asked me if I'm going to come back next year. I have been lately rehearsing what I would say to the impotents in power if they were to tell me I would not be able to work at Douglass next year. I haven't been able yet to boil it down into words, I only know that I will go as far as necessary (not just as far as possible) to remain as a teacher at Douglass next year. No matter what happens, I will not jump in the lifeboat.
I hate it that Amato did. Yet another disappointing man.
I know there are good people in this damned world. When is somebody with heart going to step up? When is somebody going to give it over to the children? When, please, is somebody going to put them first?
I'm heartsick about it. And if you're reading this Mr Amato, to hell with you.

Melanie Plesh

4 Comments:

Blogger Nancy McKeand said...

Melanie, I remember your enthusiasm for Amato last summer. How hard it must be to accept this! It sounds like it wasn't entirely his idea, though.

All we can hope is that there is somebody out there with the training and experience and desire to take on this job. To a great extent, the future of the city depends in it.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

Melanie,
I've been thinking about you and the NOSS ever since you posted with the question, "How long do you stay out when a student punches you?" And reading over all your posts, I can see the days when you got punched spiritually. It makes me wonder if the kids feel like they've been punched each time a teacher stays home, a superintendent quits, a person says that New Orleans schools can't be fixed. When does a person make the decision to stay down for the count? When does a system decide that?

I guess Amato felt like he got punched one too many times.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Clay said...

I hope the students appreciate your sacrifice for them.

The irony is that you have to fight the system for the chance to help them. If you give up, everybody wins but the students. (Which means, eventually, society loses).

But, at what point does you (and Amato's) putting up with all the B.S. merely facilitate that bad behavior.

How do you protest the system?

Sometimes the only protest they'll listen to is if you just walk away.

It's so frustrating that the folks running the system probably just don't care.

There are serious obstacles to providing a good education (funding bing not the least). If you knew the system were fighting ON YOUR SIDE instead of seemingly AGAINST you, it would sure help moral.

Perhaps Amato discovered the system was working actively against him.

Perhaps he discovered he could do more good somewhere else.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Cassandra said...

Giving up just isn't your style and your students can read that in you through and through. You have constantly encouraged us not to give up and by watching you, I know you would shatter hearts.

The way I view it: You are too good of a teacher NOT TO LEAVE Douglass. You are there for the right reasons are up for the challenge and are making the best of the experiences placed in front of you. You took this job because you said you felt called to teach in Orleans -- people who get those "calls" are quitters.

7:43 AM  

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