I’ve criticized lazy, ineffective parents on this blog with embarrassing little stories about them plenty of times (here and here are the best examples), but it’s been much more rare for me to call out the unqualified and dangerous among my teaching colleagues. Here are four favorites that come to mind.
1. Back at the first high school where I worked, there was a guy who was legendary across the campus for being a disaster. One day, a few girls in a class asked if they could use my computer to finish typing up and printing a paper due that day. I knew and trusted them, so I agreed. Later, they told me that after doing their work they had checked my browsing history online, and congratulated me for not having any porn on my computer. I was a little shocked (and resolved not to let kids near my computer anymore), but asked what they had expected.
“Oh, we’ve checked a lot of teachers around here. Usually they’re clean, but Mr. ________ must be a real pervert; his computer’s full of porn!”
I didn’t comment further, but I definitely believed them. A friend of mine who worked in this guy’s department told me once that he’d come into their office on a Monday morning to find that the copier had recorded making 10,000 copies over the weekend, using this questionable employee’s sign in number. We both scratched out heads. We knew that he hadn’t been copying worksheets, because he never used any–he didn’t do anything with his classes, not that anyone would ever need 10,000 copies, anyway. We never found out what he’d been copying.
He was one of the few teachers I’ve ever heard of who was placed on probation two years in a row, quitting shortly thereafter.