Education

Overheard

December 21, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

“His real gift is that he makes every child want to go to school. I do not know how he does it by insulting them.”

—Wolcott Elementary School parent Kathy Goldman, talking about 3rd grade teacher Matthew Dicks, who taught her son last year. The West Hartford, Connecticut, mother is a self-described “groupie” of the offbeat educator, recently named local teacher of the year, despite the fact that he called her son “Big Foot.”

“Dog dander.”

—The reason school officials allegedly gave for barring Sarah Garvin’s trained assistance dog, Satin, from accompanying the 15-year-old, who has Down syndrome and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, to her speech pathology class at H.H. Poole Middle School in Stafford, Virginia. Officials wouldn’t comment about her case but said that animals are generally permitted only when they’re specifically needed for a student to learn.

“They saw an opportunity to hit a teacher.”

—Mark Seghers, a Hurricane Katrina evacuee working as a teacher at South Philadelphia High School. While disciplining a female student, Seghers was pummeled by the student, her twin sister, and more than 20 other classmates. The teacher, who suffered facial bruises and a chipped tooth, doesn’t plan to return to the school.

“We had a ‘Country Club Day’ last year, and I don’t see any difference between dressing up in country club style and dressing up thug.”

—Elizabeth Carlock, senior class president of Highland Park High School in Dallas, explaining why she thinks there’s nothing racist about “senior Thug Day.” The annual homecoming tradition at the school, 94 percent of whose students are white, involves dressing up in Afro wigs, fake gold teeth, and baggy jeans to imitate maids, gang members, and rap stars.

“As an employee of the school system, I comply with the policies, but on a personal level, I am conflicted.”

—Pamela Berthold, the English teacher of 14-year-old Shawnte Andre-Sanders. Under the guidelines at Stonewall Jackson High School, near Manassas, Virginia, the 3.7 grade-point average student could not be sent any classwork or homework to make up during her recent five-day suspension for allegedly scuffling at a bus stop. Shawnte instead spent the day largely in front of the TV with her sister, a 4.0 student who was suspended in connection with the same incident.

A version of this article appeared in the January 01, 2006 edition of Teacher as OVERHEARD

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
When SEL Curriculum Is Not Enough: Integrating Social-Emotional Behavior Supports in MTSS
Help ensure the success of your SEL program with guidance for building capacity to support implementation at every tier of your MTSS.
Content provided by Illuminate Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Profession Webinar
Professional Wellness Strategies to Enhance Student Learning and Live Your Best Life
Reduce educator burnout with research-affirmed daily routines and strategies that enhance achievement of educators and students alike. 
Content provided by Solution Tree
English-Language Learners Webinar The Science of Reading and Multilingual Learners: What Educators Need to Know
Join experts in reading science and multilingual literacy to discuss what the latest research means for multilingual learners in classrooms adopting a science of reading-based approach.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: June 15, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: June 8, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: June 1, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 11, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read