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School Humor

Jim Hudson

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Betty was excited about getting back into teaching. She had taken off for fourteen years to raise her two children, bjt now she was getting back into a high school classroom. She had planned all summer on how to approach her classes and how to decorate her classroom to reflect the course she would be teaching.

The New Teacher's week was great. The school district went all out to make the new teachers feel welcomed. Betty was one of the older teachers in the room full of fresh college graduates eager to impart education to young minds. She felt a little un-comfortable but she had met another lady about her age and they would sit together through the meetings.

Armed with confidence and full of enthusiasim Betty approached her first day with some apprehension. Little did she know that despite the good wishes of the school district and the apparant acceptance of her new administrators she was about to run " a fowl" of the Barnyard Syndrome. It was not long before she was approached by a more " seasoned" teacher in her department that came with greetings of welcome and warnings of how she should conduct her classes, with whom she should speak and not to speak to and how much easier her stay at the school would be if she just took to heart the unofficial rules of the faculty members of her department. She was appraised of the fact that the teacher that had held the position before had not abided by these guidelines and had been forced to find employment at another school. Then with well wishes the seasoned teacher left the classroom.

Betty had always been a forceful p0erson and decided that she was there for the students, and not some dominant teacher clique. Little did she know that her life was going to be miserable. The education of students is the least important thing on these old birds minds.Self preservation, domination and money are their dominateing factors. The analogy of the Barn Yard Syndrome comes from my childhood as I was raised on a farm. In the barnyard there are older hens that make their lives work to dominate all new arrivals. They feel the " newbys" will make them look bad bacause they are no longer productive members in the yard. They try to dominate and control even though they have no they have no official recognition of any power from the administration. They assume that seniority gives them the right to decide which new birds stay and which must go and as long as you accept their power over you they might let you stay.

These old hens no longer lay eggs and are too tough to fry so farmer Brown, or vice principal Smith lets them live out their days running off new arrivals to the barnyard just as long as there are no waves created by the situation.

Is this a problem to public school education? You bet it is. The losers are the students as fresh new ideas are not being brought to the classroom and good teachers are being run off by the Barn Yard Syndrom. :tomatoes:)

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