Some teachers say don’t throw your life away, this one says you better not throw your lunch away.
About 20 hyperactive and moody five- and six-year-olds are getting ready for lunch in Bridgeport, Conn., with a teacher who is approaching 70 years-old. It’s just after morning work time on Tuesday, but she’s wondering how she’s going to make it to the 3:00 p.m. bell on Friday.
“Ok boys and girls, throw away your trash from lunch… Not you, Billy; I’ve had enough of your behavior. This isn’t playtime! This isn’t daycare.”
Billy seems like he is physically unable to control himself. He laughs like a maniac and disturbs other students. He needs one-one-on attention just to focus write his name. Lunch time is unbearable, and he chooses to launch his food at the girl near him instead of placing it in his mouth. Moving his seat doesn’t work, sending him to office is a joke, and his parents don’t understand the problem. What’s worse, right after lunch during math, he usually throws a fit saying he’s hungry.
She’s had enough.
“That’s it. Get your nuggets out the trash – you’re gonna eat every last bite.”
That’s how I imagine kindergarten teacher Anne O’Donnell, 67, came to be arrested and charged with risk if injury to a minor on Tuesday at Park City Magnet School. She allegedly took the five-year-old boy’s chicken nuggets and banana out of a garbage can and forced him to eat them.
She was released but agreed to appear in court.
67 years-old!? In a kindergarten classroom?
My mom, who is in her early 50s and has been teaching kindergarten for about 15 years is stressed out, frustrated and nearly crazy. Even though she’s been a teacher for 30 years, she’ll have to continue working in education until she’s 68 to receive her full retirement benefits. If she’s stuck in kindergarten until then… Well let’s just say she won’t make it.
I don’t know anymore more details about this teacher, and I am by no means defending her action. Such punishment is obviously endangering the child, not to mention humiliating and animalistic.
I do not defend her, but perhaps it should bring attention to what teachers need. My guess is she’s stuck in that classroom, without much support, just working a few more years so she can receive her well-earned retirement. She feels defeated and trapped, and maybe even worse because she knows the kids need her patience.
If she doesn’t torture herself, along with the kids allegedly, for just a few more years, she’ll have a rough retirement, maybe have to move-in with her jerk of a son, crazy and condescending daughter -in-law, 3 young kids that are wilder than the ones she escaped and spend her ‘golden years’ as a charity case in their basement. Who knows.
Back to the point: Instead of just handing out pink slips randomly or to low-performing teachers, hopefully Obama’s education team will spend their millions restructuring the staffing system. O’Donnell could be out of her kindergarten class, using her years of experience to lead new teachers or implementing new programs. More pay caps would ensure her retirement as well as a fresher teacher to take on the classroom, and there are a bunch of nonessential positions that can be eliminated. There’s dance teachers making $45 an hour who do nothing but stretch with the kids in their classroom for a short time.
I hope people see bigger implications from this incident: 1. Until some kind of restructuring in each district happens, both students and teachers will continue to be slighted, and even in danger.
2. Only get nuggets from McDonald’s. Nobody can throw those away.