During one of those Soviet rotations at Alvarado Intermediate, a new principal arrived, who I will call Grendel. In a few years, half the teachers at Alvarado quit or requested transfers to other schools.
On Grendel’s first day at Alvarado, we had a staff meeting after school to meet the beast.
Grendel stood there like a thin dragon with yellow teeth without reptilian skin. Tobacco breath had a raspy Marlboro voice.
Grendel had a flip chart. As the pages flapped like bat wings, I saw words and crude drawings (memory is vague but I do remember Grendel flipping page after page).
Grendel’s voice rasped, “If your students fail, it is your fault. It is your job to motivate and teach them.”
Each time he spoke, it was a blow to the solar plexus and a pain in the gluteus maximus.
Grendel said, “If your students misbehave, it is your fault. It is your job to control them. If you have problems with a student or a parent, my door is closed. Don’t come to me for help. The white-collar parents that live in this neighborhood are difficult, and I don’t need that stress.”
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