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RE: Art Teacher Job Openings - and a letter from Leslie-Longish, but not too long-sort of a rant and warning


From: Leslie Miller (lamiller3_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon May 31 2004 - 07:26:41 PDT

Judith, Thank you for posting these and doing all the work you do.

I am just writing this on the eve of my retirement.
I really don't want to leave the classroom, but have been chomping at the
bit to do more artwork. I find it impossible to do any good work of my own
when I'm at school from 7 until sometimes 10 PM, and weekends. Now, after
30 June I'll have time, not only to find things in my condo, but to paint
and make books.
I would advise anyone to stay away from Framingham, MA. This town has a lot
to offer, my school children and most of the parents are the best. I have
loved working with my school, but... and it's a big "but."
This year we have worked without a contract. The newspaper has been anti
teacher, the town has been anti teacher. People wrote letters to the
newspaper saying if we worked harder we'd get more pay, and no one stuck up
for us. Teachers were not allowed to speak or rebut statements made against
us at town meeting, the school committee hired the very same lawyer, who
ripped off the town a few years ago, giving himself raises and a pension.
And so it goes.
Finally, after working to rule for a month, we heard word that there was a
settlement and go stop working to rule. This, of course, was just in time
for the state tests. Now we see the contract, and we get nothing for this
whole past year but one day's pay. Not even on the base. so it would help a
miniscule bit on our pensions. I lose most of my sick days, which in
following years are increase exponentially for future retirees, and lose my
personal days. Mind you I have 300 sick days I never used. I was already
donating books to my school library and leaving things, I had bought for the
new art teacher, but now I'm giving things away, to my teacher friends in
other systems, and will not donate time to this system.
They had enough money to give the super a raise, the ass't super a raise,
and hire the retired director of Human Relations back at $50,000 to do the
same job as a consultant that he was doing before on salary. So over his
pension, he's sitting pretty. He was responsible for many good teachers
leaving over the years. Framingham has become known as the farm team for
other systems around the state.

So even if the opening sounds great, stay away. The principals and central
administration are impossibly small-minded. The teacher inservice work is
not good or forward thinking, and the whole system is test crazy.
Thanks for letting me rant. I've been here 34 years and seen too many
fabulous teachers been treated like dirt.
... off to school to get one last show ready to put up at Barnes and Nobles.

Leslie in Framingham, MA