Mar 11

Saving our Teachers

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10:  Teachers who ille...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Things are dire in LAUSD and being a parent at a lower-income school, it’s even worse. Six highly trained and credentialed teachers were given pink slips. In a world of budget cuts and people losing their jobs, this may be ho-hum to most, but these 6 are extraordinary individuals. Our school has a great Dual Language Program (Spanish) and one of the teachers who received an RIF (Reduction in Force) was the one who started the program at the school. In fact, three of the teachers who were notified teach in the Dual Language Program. Our school is also, along with the middle and high school, in it’s preliminary years of becoming an International Baccalaureate (IB) school. Over the past 2 years, all 6 of these teachers have gone through the IB training to ensure the goals of the program are being followed.

With the District proposing an increase in class sizes (We currently have 1:20 in grades K-3, the District wants 1:29), this means that in addition to losing the 6 teachers, the school will have to buy 7 more teachers who may or may not be qualified to replace the lost teachers. As it stands, LAUSD does not have any extra teachers who have already gone through IB training and often, teachers who are credentialed to teach Dual Language, aren’t necessarily interested in doing so. The lack of trained IB instructors puts the schools upcoming approval in jeopardy.

The best thing, is that the school is being proactive about keeping these teachers. For our students and for the approval of becoming an IB school, it’s paramount that these teachers remain. On Tuesday, signs were posted alerting parents to what was happening and six chairs are outside, so that students can write words of support or their names on the paper provided. Next Thursday, the school is holding an emergency meeting to inform parents and the community what is happening. I hope more parents show up and more write letters to the District urging them to retain these teachers for next year, no matter the final budget outcome. We need these teachers!

Apr 10

Is this who LAUSD wants representing them?

Today, I had the most bizarre experience with a completely unprofessional teacher representing the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) School Readiness Language Development Program (SRLDP). This mandatory program began this week and runs until June 8th. Parents of Pre-K students must attend the classes or risk having their child removed from Pre-K.


As you can see, the flyer we received gave us 3 days of the week that classes are offered with 4 different 2.5 hours blocks of time to take these classes. I chose today since it was the one day I knew I would be able to come.

Once I arrived at the school, I learned that the class had been moved to another room. Other parents and an interpreter all showed up to Room 1 for the class, I walked them over to the correct room. When we got there, there was one other parent inside the classroom with the instructor.  The instructor looked up, looked at the interpreter and said, “I don’t need you today. I needed you yesterday. Wednesday.”

“They told me to come today”, he replied as taken aback as I was by her tone of voice and lack of niceties.

She snapped back, “They told me I wasn’t even going to have an interpreter. Sit over there for 5 minutes, maybe some random person would need Cantonese today.”

My eyebrows were in my hairline, but I thought that maybe they had a history. I was soon to learn that she was just a bitch.

She turned to me, “What is he doing here? Why isn’t he in class?” indicating my son.


I’m thinking this woman has clearly lost her mind because nobody speaks to me like that.  I explained that he is in the afternoon classes that start at 11:15, fifteen minutes after the time the SRLDP is supposed to end. She said, “I’m trying to teach a class here. You couldn’t leave him at home?”

“Well, yes, I could hav e left him at home, but he would still need to be at school by 11:15. So…I…brought…him.” While I’m saying this, I’m taking my netbook out of my bag, so that I could set up a game for him to play while the class is going.

The instructor had turned away while I was talking and said something to another parent. Then turned back to me. “What is that?! Why are you taking that out?” I looked at my netbook, baffled.

“It’s a computer. I going to let him use it so that he’s quiet during the class. If that’s a problem, please let me know”, I told her, looking directly in her eye.

She sighed, rolled her eyes and said, “I’m trying to teach a class here. Today’s class is in Spanish.”

Surprised, I responded, “I didn’t know that, the flyer didn’t state that Thursdays was Spanish Day.”

“Your teacher should have told you”, she interrupted.

“But she didn’t and you’re assuming I don’t understand Spanish. Is this a problem? Do you need me to leave?”

She started stammering and sighing, “I just don’t know why you have him here and that is out.”

Fine. If I had to listen to this woman say one more thing, she might have to have my netbook surgically removed from her ass. So, I started packing it up.

“Where are you going?!” she yelled.

I looked at her like she was mad, “Clearly, you are aggravated by my presence, I’ll make it easy. I’m out.”

She said she wanted to talk to me. I told her that I don’t want to hear her. She said that she’ll follow me out and I shrugged and said, “Don’t bother. I don’t want to waste any more of my time with you.”

She followed me out anyway and started making noises. I interrupted her, “First of all, you don’t speak to me like that. You don’t know me. Secondly, if this only a Spanish class, then the flyer should have indicated that. And last, your attitude is rude. It’s crap that you expect me to listen to you.”

Her clever response? “What’s crap is your attitude!” Thumbs up. Way. To. Go.

I spoke to the School Coordinator and Principal about this woman. They said they’ve had complaints about her too and that she’s rude to them too. I just can not believe that anyone with that shitty attitude would even be allowed to speak to people, let alone get paid for it.