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Masters Degree at Fault

Assistant Principal AFRAID of Student Teacher with M.S. Degree!

Name: [name redacted]
E-Mail: [redacted]
Anonymous: Yes
Post: Yes
State: California
Date: May 9, 2001


To get a high school teaching credential, I took teacher education classes at a University in California. I invested over two years of my time completing all the coursework required for a full California Secondary Teaching Credential, a total of 43 semester units. The only work I needed to do before being recommended for the credential was a twelve-unit field assignment as a Student Teacher.

The Single Subject Coordinator of the University, told me to report to one of the nearby high schools for this fieldwork assignment as a student teacher. Accordingly, I made my first visit as per instructions given.

At the end of that very same day, the University student teaching coordinator instructed me to not ever go back to that high school and instead he wanted me to meet him at the office of the Teacher Education Department Chairperson to discuss my candidacy in the Student Teaching Program.

When I went to his office to find out what I did wrong, he told me to get out of his office and called the campus police and subjected me to humiliation in front of teachers and students. He also succeeded in getting the blessing of the department chair and the dean to officially dismiss me from their student teaching program and thereby terminating all the work I did in their Teacher Education Department.

There was nothing I did wrong to deserve this cruel punishment. As far as I could tell, my first day visit to the high school went smoothly. I was allowed to have a conference with my mentors, I was assigned a mailbox, I was issued keys to the classroom, and I was given faculty handbook and Instructional materials. A reasonable person would have seen these activities as normal.

The coordinator of the student teaching program at the University, on the other hand, felt my visit to the high school site was a disaster. Without giving me the opportunity to present my view of what happened on that day or without discussing with me what exactly took place, he acted with impulse and decided to remove me from the student teaching program.

One might ask what was their reason for taking such action? Their entire allegation was based on that single day activity and as they put it

· my phone conversation with the high school secretary was not done in a proper manner because I showed an attitude of not listening to what the secretary had to say.

· my face-to-face conversation with the high school assistant principal was not skillful because mentioning my M.S. degree and past teaching experience meant that I was not going to listen to suggestions given by the high school mentors.

Putting the two allegations mentioned above together, they felt I was arrogant and belligerent and not deserving to be in the student teaching program.

Considering their drastic punishment, it sounds as if I have omitted something in this description. Even by their account, this is the whole story. It just so happened that I ran into a student teaching coordinator who is a jerk and a bully. If I don’t get any support, they are going to get away with this autocratic system of administration. I would like to know what kind of legal courses are available to me to remedy this problem.