“If my child was in a classroom with a bad teacher, one who is a painful and obvious discredit to the profession, one who isn’t actually teaching the students, what steps would I go through to get that teacher removed?” In the coming weeks, I will ask a few parents, teachers, administrators, and union representatives. If you have had success in kicking out a bad teacher in the past or see a step that I’ve missed, leave a comment here. I’ll incorporate your ideas into what I write in the future. Just as a reminder, here are the steps I suggested a while ago in a post that has been fairly popular over the past year.
This process will be hard, but you have to do it in order for schools to be what they should. Don’t let tenure, unions, inertia, or red tape stop you from getting this teacher out of the classroom. Immediately after each meeting described here, write a summary of what happened. Keep those recollections somewhere safe. Allow about a week between each step. Stop this process as soon as you see results.
- Talk with the teacher to share the rumors you’re hearing (they are rumors because you are not in the classroom when they happen and students can lie or exaggerate).
- Start documenting offenses. Double check your facts with other students, parents, and teachers. Write everything down. Use the PTSA to gather support of other parents of students that have this teacher.
- Meet with the teacher again. Express your concerns, along with reference to the fact that other parents feel the same way. Be polite and let the teacher know you’re going to the principal next.
- Go to the principal with your documentation and reports from other parents. Never accept your child simply being moved into another classroom. This does not solve the problem. Let the principal know that you’ll go to the district superintendent next.
- Continue documenting events. Keep talking with the PTSA and as many other parents as you can.
- Sit down with the district superintendent. Bring all of your documentation and any parents you can. Demand that this teacher needs to be reviewed and that the district needs to ensure quality control of their teachers. Let the superintendent know that you’ll go to the press and county superintendent next. Again, do not accept your child simply being moved into another classroom.
- Contact your local newspaper with copies of all of your documentation. Continue to stay in touch with parents and the PTSA.
- Enjoy your meeting with the county superintendent. Bring other parents and copies of everything you’ve gathered throughout this whole process. Ask for members of the PTSA to be there with you, too. Demand action.
- Continue your talks with the local newspaper. Write an article yourself, if you have to.
I really don’t know where you’d go after all this. Future parts will explain what other folks have to say. The opinions of a few other teachers come next. Keep your eyes peeled.