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TO: Matanuska – Susitna Borough School District February 23, 2011
501 N. Gulkana
Palmer, ALASKA 99645
FROM: David William Asche
To Whom it may concern, or, To Whom ever gives a damn:
It certainly didn’t take very long for this person (Me) to rise to such a status with the School District as to be considered a “throw away employee”. After just 35 days as a substitute teacher, I was removed from a classroom and informed my “standards were not up to those of the Mat-Su Borough School District.”
Well, let us consider the so-called “standards” of the MAT –SU School District, for a moment shall we?
Since becoming a Substitute Teacher, these items of interest have been brought to my attention:
One VICE PRINCIPAL has told me, quote, “These kids are NOTHING but little HELLIONS!” Unquote.
One TEACHER has told me, quote, “If they give you any trouble, just chuck them out. Don’t be nice to them, just chuck them out.” Unquote.
One girl’s locker door I observed was COVERED on the inside with EVERY SINGLE PROFANIC WORD I HAVE EVER HEARD.
The kids look like hell. No dress codes to abide by, no uniforms either. Ragged clothes, disgusting hygiene habits. Attitudes of low self-esteem and rank insubordination, spouting how they have a “right” to do as they see fit. Some schools do not allow skulls and other gang-like clothing to be worn, but others do. One PRINCIPAL I brought this up with told me, quote, “We only fight the wars we can win.” Unquote. Well, brother, is he losing this one.
It was “reported’ I was being abusive to students AND staff…Gee…That’s news to me. Especially after being at that same school in the same position just two days before…Never mind there was a wrestling tournament being held there and every other middle school in the whole valley was there and all the kids were jammed into the very small cafeteria at the time. NAW. No lack of calmness and peace in there was there?
BUT…It hasn’t been ALL bad! I watched and felt a warm wave of pride as a student I was teaching had his lights come on and he did math in his head and was CORRECT and he beamed with joy as he did it, too! Some kids LIKED ME! I also had some classes that were very good as they showed me some respect and we got along OK. It was not all bad, to be sure. I had some fun with some of them as well. I even had no less than ten or twelve students say TO ME I was “the COOLEST SUBSTITUE TEACHER THEY EVER HAD.”
Gee whiz…Let’s change the subject a bit. Get away from those sweet little darlings we all love and care about so much. My son gave me a private class on the Promethean boards that are in each class room now. Beautiful, EXPENSIVE piece of equipment and very useful in teaching. Or is it?
So far, I have been in just a couple of classrooms, and, if the trend spreads to all the OTHER classrooms as I have seen, it is a damn PURE CHAMPION OF HUMANITY to be a Substitute Teacher. Each teacher, as high a price as they get paid, has their own private little “rats nest” of wires and cords, computer locations, log-in code words, and GAWD ( This spelling is Ok as I am NOT taking the Lord’s name in vain) KNOWS what else just to be able to USE the thing!
Here are some other examples of the “standards” of the school district. This school uses the three step program. This one uses an “SRC” form”. This one, the students have to ask permission to get up from the lunch table when they are finished. And the affore mentioned wearing of gang related clothes are enforced in a few but not all the schools equally.
Let’s also discuss the process a Sub goes through at a school in the SAME district. Log in at one school requires the FIVE digit PIN of the sub, not the FOUR digit EMPLOYEE NUMBER as was told to us to use.
Keys? My god…how many locks do we need? Is this a PRISON SYSTEM? I had two keys on my lanyard. Neither one would open the door to the staff lounge so I could use the can. “Standards”?
Let’s not forget that a poor Substitute Teacher must go in COLD to a school and try to adjust to all the different rules and habits that are at each school in the same district. I was given a few papers on “How” to be a Substitute Teacher. Most were just “You CAN’T DO this or that”. Yup. I know most of those things are wrong. NO training about all the other stuff. Such as how to get all the little darlings to sit and be attentive to the lesson plans, how they try to molest and get away with so much sexual foreplay when they think you aren’t watching. Notice I did not say a word on the simple fact the most students try and do as much as they can get away with just because they now have a “sub”!
Send them to the office? Now when you consider that they WANT to get out of class and GET OUT of their boring, “What the hell do we need to learn this crap for?”, sending them to the office to be reprimanded, once again, for the same crap they do every day, this is just playing into their hands.
I watched with interest as a STUDENT TEACHER was led down the primrose path by sheer mastery of the disruptive students in the room. Her time and lesson was an absolute waste because she could not control the kids. And they knew it. MY INSTRUCTIONS were to just sit and observe which I did with absolute obedience to my lesson plan given by the teacher whom I was filling in for that day. (She also had trouble using the Promethean board, as it was a mess under the desk of wires and such.)
Let’s be frank about a few things…OK?
First, I am 58 years old. I have been through Elementary, Middle and High School, Graduated, Went into the United States Navy, that means BOOT CAMP, and following orders, having to fold and stow my own clothes, take a shower each day, and I served on three WESPAC cruises, a WAR, and I received an Honorable Discharge after all of it. I have been married, divorced, married again, watched my son being born and raised him up with my wife, and we didn’t use many baby sitters to do it. I have been through bankruptcies, car wrecks, hospital stays, surgeries, watched my mother die, along with my aunts and uncles and father. My life is full of good, solid, practical experiences. I have also had many jobs to try and earn a living doing all sorts of things. Never mind that I have degenerative disc disease and can’t walk or stand for long periods of time. That’s my problem. I still try my best to do the job.
No college and teaching degrees at all.
Since the PURPOSE of the schools we serve in are to EDUCATE our beloved little darlings to SURVIVE and be able to FUNCTION in our society after they get out of school, wouldn’t it be nice to SUCCEED?
I raised up my son, in the VERY SAME Matanuska-Susitna School District we are dealing with here. He IS and ALWAYS HAS BEEN a very good student and person. Teachers used to fight over him to be in THEIR classes the next year. EVERY TIME my wife and I would attend some school function we would be told just how nice our son was. It was ALMOST disgusting to hear it so much. MANY kids would also ask me…..”Are YOU Keith’s Dad?” That is what I have had to endure. It has been tough.
My son attended Mat-Su Career Tech High School. He was awarded the High School Technical Student of the YEAR for 2009. But now I hear that the standards of Career Tech are going down. There used to be no graffiti in the rest rooms, the level of classes are dropping and attitudes are falling off. Soon, that school will be like the others in the district, too. Because they are ALLOWED to get that way.
APPARENTLY, MY standards must be OK to turn out a kid like this. But as a SUBSTITUTE TEACHER?
I also wonder just how long the Matanuska-Susitna School District is going to live. From what I see, you are already on fire and it is getting much worse. The plane is going down. It is in a rugged area and no hope of recue is in sight. The patients are running the asylum.
Well, I’m out of your system now. Now, that I have lost this job as a SUBSTITUTE TEACHER, It no longer matters to me if the kids working the fast food restaurants can’t tell the difference between a hamburger and a fillet-o-fish sandwich, as many of them now are doing. I will just consider it the “standards” you are allowing to exist in the Valley and Alaska, and subsequently, our country.
Want to save money for the District? A few “Suggestions”:
Stop printing the Diplomas. They aren’t worth as much as they used to be and I’m sure they cost a bit of money to produce. Besides, the GED programs are out there, so you don’t need to graduate the kids anymore. Maybe some “hard time” in the real world will pay off a bit better. Just “chuck them out” and they will smarten up when they find themselves in a tough, nasty world. Or not.
Hire “Babysitters” instead of “Teachers”. Kids only need to be tended while they are at school. The materials and stuff laying all about are such a bother to them as they would much rather goof around and raise hell than learn anything. You’ll save a fortune by hiring “babysitters” as they don’t need to be paid for all that college time teachers put in for a degree.
You can also cut back on classes such as Hygiene and PE. The schools have showers, but the ones I have seen haven’t wet anyone down lately. And the way they pass drinks around and share food all over the place, it is a wonder you don’t have outbreaks of hepatitis, herpes and other assorted diseases all over the place.
Save some bucks by not showing films and stuff with people who died from STD’s and drug usage. I saw those things in the Navy and believe me, I did NOT want to do any of that stuff. The kids in school now CAN’T WAIT to try that stuff.
Let’s not worry about banning drinks such as Red Bull and AMP in school. Oh, sure, they are NOT available in the machines, but so much of it is smuggled in, you may as well put it in the machines and make a few bucks. I also saw so many apples, pears and other perfectly good food go in the trash, you could save a few bucks and make money by serving junk food. Sure Michele Obama would be upset, but hey, the school district’s financial problems are pretty tough.
And heaven forbid you expel any of the ones who don’t learn and just disrupt the classes….You may upset their parents a bit. After all, they NEED your schools to have a place to put their kids for the day to take care of them. And it sure would be a shame if LEARNING SOMETHING was able to HAPPEN.
Just keep on doing what you are doing. Let’s forget about the nasty old world out there, the one with wars, disease, hardship and suffering. Mathematical problems and home schooling will be made available to those who discover that they should have paid more attention. They can learn in the “School of Hard Knocks”. No diplomas there, either. Tutors can earn a few bucks this way, too.
Being a Substitute Teacher has been both a bit of a rewarding experience, and an eye opening one as well. But, no matter to me. I tried to be of help. I thank the Lord Almighty my own son did so well. At least I know I did my job in one case. I can rest now and know I am not responsible in even the LEAST AMMOUNT that the products of our school system is NOT my fault. By firing me you have ensured my innocence.
David William Asche
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