Autoshop high school teacher…..Now I remember why I hated HighSchool

Well there I was with a brand new wife and a brand new college degree! and I needed a job so where to look? I have a degree in History but with californias convoluted bullcrap credential program I didnt have the paper that said I could teach history but wait! I worked on cars for years and as luck would have it an autoshop teaching job was open at a HighSchool in Rancho Cucamonga. So Off I go to get the job after 30 interviews or what seemed 30 and by up to 7 people at once(seriously) I got the job! My Boss named (ill call him Bob) Bob came off as a nice enough guy but I could always tell he was buisy watching his own ass and not anyone else’s, and the other people in the office were equally distant, vague or downright hostile.

Day 1 I arrive at the shop and its a total mess the last teachers had used it as a trash storage area, I spent weeks cleaning it up and getting someone to truck away huge amounts of trash. I found numerous safety violations including(get this) a mix of aviation fuel and very old and highly illegal parts cleaner which had been sitting in a 55 gallon near the class for years (no one actually knew).

So the class is clean and the classes start, may I say I loved the kids they were the best and only good part of this horror called a job. I will keep many of my kids names and kind words to me for the rest of my life, and it was an honor to meet some of them; then I met the on site administration……Suddenly a flash of my highschool days came back these were the same jerks I had put up with as a student now Im a teacher. The first “incident” was when a student stold alot of hal passes from a class, not mine mind you and I got called in for a “meeting” actually an interogation where I suddenly understood why this job had gone through 8 teachers in 10 years or so.

I was questioned about how many hall passes I had taken and given out and was had a vice principle lie about a “stack” I took I actually took 3 booklets but he didint care. I tried to be a team player and inquire as to how I could make things better and I accidently asked why there had been 8 teachers in 10 years and that there might be a larger problem here, at that moment I knew they wanted me out and I had been their 3 weeks! What follwed was an immature series of suprise visits to my class in an attempt to catch me doing something wrong and a refusal to help me with anything including classroom supplies.

I was asked by the school special ed team and the psychologist to sit on on the meetings they had to decide wether to keep studetns or not and thought that was an honor it turns out that both I and the poor school psychologist were their so they could justify kicking out kids who might lower their ap scores (school score used to dtermine if a school is supposedly teaching well or not)in the end the school psychologist would quit after one year there as well, she was a truly loving person who didint fit in with the robots in the office and knew she was being used as well. I had gone through the huge trouble of getting copmuter donated to the autoshop by jpl and was really proud of this but no one in the office cared, I got new tools for my kids, no one cared, I got apprentice jobs for my kids, no one cared. I would be there at about 8am and leave at 630pm or so which is a long day but I did the best I could. Then in February or so I got put on antibiotics (this can give you the runs really bad) and needed to get some help one day so I call to the office and asked for a security guard to watch the class while I quickly use the restroom, 15 minutes later im dancing in spot and still no help so I call again….still no help so I release my highschool kids out 3 minutes early and who walks in right away but the vice principle, he had to have been right outside the class and new I needed help and done nothing the prock wrote me up for letting the kids out 3 minutes early and hes yelling at me as im trying to run to the bathroom!

Back to my boss Bob he shows up once a month maybe and does little, I know he knew that I was on thin Ice from the start but said nothing the jerk let me spend almost 3000 bucks on vocational ed classes that they said I needed to have and didint tell me they were going to let me go. Joe tells me late in the game a month or so before they let me go that they arent happy with me (no crap) this was his one and only acknowledgement that things werent going well but he really didint act like it was to serious. The the incident as I refer to it, someone broke into my shop and took all the tools and computers!! and get this not one administrator came to my class to see what happened or asked if they could help me! just a lone police officer through some paper work on my desk mumbled something about he might be back and that was it. So there I am teaching autoshop with no tools, no computers and no administrative support.

I taught for the btter part of a month and a half with no tools which was a challenege but I did it. I had my teacher review where the administration (Bob) came to my class, I could tell he knew I knew my business and I deserved a good grade…..I would find out later that due to the politics of releasing me he would give a me a 3 out of 5 I damn well know I deserved a 5.

Then the end of the year came and the call to the office to see if they would rehire me, In my heart I knew they wouldnt I was to liked by the kids and to hated by the administration. I go into an office with Bob and a woman Ill call ice queen but thats not her name, and they begin to go through this large collection of papers telling me my good and bad points. Me being the scamp that I am quickly turn to the back pae and see the box do not rehire marked…..I was so angry….so so angry that I had put in a year given them 110% and they didnt give a crap I went off on them as you can imagine ( not proud of it but I did it it (it a was a heat of the moment thing ya know) and stormed out of their office. I stayed for the week or so of school left but for the kids not the jerks in the office and I have ceased teaching in southern california.

As a postscript to the story some of my kids that are still at the school say they made the class an autobody only class and that the adminsitration is giving the new teacher problems as well, to say Im bitter is an understatement but Im better off for being their as I now know what a whole lot of school administrators are really like and that I dont belong anywhere near them as Im a team player.

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