After spending more than a decade in the teaching profession, I now find myself in an unpleasant situation where I feel like I am being punished by education officials for having dared to request professional mobility. . In January 2020, I was sent to Annandale Secondary School after an incident involving the media during the last week of the 2019 Christmas Term, at Ann’s Grove Secondary School. HGP Nightly News ran a story about me without verifying the information received or contacting me for comment. On the show, I was accused of failing to pass exams for subject, health and family life education (HFLE) and grade 9 Spanish, by two people who claimed to be parents. Also, a cowardly person who was given anonymity by the media entity and labeled as a seasoned teacher made allegations against me without showing any evidence to back up his claims.
If the editor and reporter of this newscast were interested in spreading factual information and not disinformation, they could have at least verified what they were given. To begin with, I never taught HFLE and wasn’t even in that department. At the time, it was common knowledge that for this subject, a “letter grade”, which does not contribute to the overall percentage, would be awarded by the teachers concerned instead of taking an exam. Also, Spanish was not offered in grade 9 and I wasn’t even assigned to teach grade 9 classes by the administrative staff. And about a “teacher” bashing me, why should I even defend myself against an anonymous person without a shred of evidence whose gender cannot be inferred because this news entity even tuned the voice distortion like second layer of anonymity?
Although the allegations against me could have been easily debunked, the architect(s) of this charade exposed my proven innocence and possibly issued an apology. Unsurprisingly, no investigation or internal meeting was undertaken. Instead, I was sent to another school as if I was the bad guy. I believe the petty minds brought up this prank because I was looking to advance my career through further academic training and it was not received favorably. For example, after completing my academic program and shortly before the fake broadcast, I requested a document from the administrator to facilitate the process of “upgrading” my designation to the school. I was denied the document and given a frivolous excuse instead. Finally, I was forced to file a complaint with an outside organization in order to obtain this document. Also, throughout my program, I encountered obstacles at my former workplace which I fortunately overcame.
These were not the only problems I faced, several times I felt that I was treated unfairly compared to my colleagues and I even faced “public humiliation” in the presence of my colleagues and students. The farce involving the information entity and all the other workplace annoyances and conflicts that have occurred before could have been avoided if the education officials who were repeatedly contacted had actually listened to the grievances of the parties, treated them fairly and resolved the issues raised amicably. . Now, for more than two years, I have been placed in a school where I am treated as temporary staff. Also, due to education officials’ reluctance to treat my “transfer” and the unresolved manner in which I was sent to school as if I was guilty of all the allegations against me , I do not have the same privileges as other teachers and I am not included in internal decision-making or briefed or included in routine changes.
For example, in the middle of a term, two courses were taken from me and given to a new teacher. I wasn’t even told about the change until the teacher informed me. Recently, the Head of Department (HOD) retired and a female teacher who is junior (according to her status recorded in the time book) was given the position of acting HOD. While this may be perfectly in order, I was not included in the discussion regarding changes to our department. There are many other little things, but it boils down to the fact that I am now seen as a temporary teacher, a villain and an outsider with fewer privileges and voiceless after being in the education system for more than a year. decade. Editor, I ask the Department of Education to rectify this and treat me as a valued employee and professional. Why am I being punished for daring to seek academic and professional advancement?
(Name and address provided)