Guest Column: ‘The 12 Days of Shame’ in Rockford Public Schools

December 23, 2013

By Jane Hayes

On the first day of Christmas, the principal gave to me

A pink slip for all the world to see.

On the second day of Christmas, the principal gave to me

Fear and harassment and a pink slip for all the world to see.

On the third day of Christmas, the principal gave to me

Three poor evaluations, fear and harassment, and a pink slip for all the world to see.

On the fourth day of Christmas, the REA (Rockford Education Association) gave to me

Messages unanswered, three poor evaluations, fear and harassment, and a pink slip for all the world to see.

On the fifth day of Christmas, the REA gave to me … no legal help

Messages unanswered, three poor evaluations, fear and harassment, and a pink slip for all the world to see.

On the sixth day of Christmas the district gave to me, six extra students, no legal help, messages unanswered, poor evaluations, fear and harassment, and a pink slip for all the world to see.

On the seventh day of Christmas the district gave to me, seven payroll problems, six extra students, and no legal help

Messages unanswered, poor evaluations, fear and harassment, and a pink slip for all the world to see.

On the eighth day of Christmas the district gave to me, eight referrals missing, seven payroll problems, six extra students, and no legal help.

Messages unanswered, poor evaluations, fear and harassment, and a pink slip for all the world to see.

On the ninth day of Christmas, the district gave to me, nine nasty rumors, eight missing referrals, seven payroll problems, six extra students and no legal help.

Messages unanswered, poor evaluations, fear and harassment, and a pink slip for all the world to see.

On the 10th day of Christmas the district gave to me, 10 missing textbooks, nine nasty rumors, eight missing referrals, seven payroll problems, six extra students, and no legal help. Messages unanswered, poor evaluations, fear and harassment and a pink slip for all the world to see.

On the 11th day of Christmas, the students gave to me, 11 vulgar words, 10 missing textbooks, nine nasty rumors, eight missing referrals, seven payroll problems, six extra students, and no legal help.

Messages unanswered, poor evaluations, fear and harassment, and a pink slip for all the world to see.

On the 12th day of Christmas the students gave to me, cell phones in the background, 11 vulgar words, 10 missing textbooks, nine nasty rumors, eight missing referrals, seven payroll problems, six extra students and no legal help.

Messages unanswered, poor evaluations, fear and harassment, and a pink slip for all the world to see.

Oops, how could I forget? Teachers should avoid the word “Christmas” or any Christmas music or decorations throughout Rockford School District 205!

So, to be politically correct, just change the word “Christmas” to winter or holiday!

And a merry winter holiday to us all.

I hope you will survive the shame of 205!

Jane Hayes is a member of Watchdogs for Ethics in Education and Rockford Educators Advocating Civil Treatment.

From the Dec. 25-31, 2013, issue

2 Comments

  1. Iteach2Kids

    December 26, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    As a person that teaches in the Rockford District I often read your missives and have to wonder is there anything, anything at all that the district does right in your mind? Yes pink slips happen but not only in Rockford, pretty much in every district that I know of. Bad evaluations, yep those happen from time to time also but I’ve found that they are for the most part are caused by poor performance. Anyone should be able to make it through an evaluation if they put forth some effort, if not then take what is being said in the evaluation and work to improve it. Getting more kids in class, really? Like this doesn’t happen all the time with all teachers? Kids saying vulgar words to you? Either you don’t show them respect or you missed that class during your own teacher education that talked about growing a thick skin. How about you turn this whole negative thingy around and try and come up with 12 good days of teaching in the Rockford District or are you just looking for only the bad things (that happen from time to time for all of us). Stop being such a Debbie Downer and find something to praise the district and the people that work in the district. I’m tired of you being the mouth piece for the district on all things bad when I’ve never heard anything good come out of your mouth. If it is that bad in your world then leave the district and find that little utopia that you must have in your imagination because every district, every school has issues of some sort or another. I for one, with 30 plus years in the Rockford district, still enjoy going to work everyday with my students. The rest of the petty little issues I try and let go of so that I can give my students the best of me.

  2. elizabeth

    January 2, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    To Iteach2kids:

    As you are a citizen of the United States, we applaud your use of free speech. As a teacher, your grammar and punctuation are horrendous! Shameful! It’s probably best that you didn’t use your real name.
    As a tenured teacher you enjoy the perks that many of the much younger teachers do not. You are also not subject to the ridiculous directives and meager wages of a paraprofessional. It would seem that it is you who would prefer to pretend that you live in an utopian bubble and would prefer not to see the ‘man behind the curtain.’

    Go ahead and ignore the grave injustices and poor behavior by this district. Feel free to live in denial and let those around you suffer, it seems to be your preference.

    IF this is the ‘best of’ side that your students receive, we would surely hate to the worst.

    P.S. Please tell us that you aren’t an English teacher.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>