Thursday, June 25, 2009


One thing that drives me absolutely insane is INCOMPETENCE! I have some co-workers that make me wonder how they dress themselves in the morning, let alone teach a classroom of children.

Anyway, there is one teacher at my school, we'll call him Mr. Clueless, that no matter what meeting we have, what information is disseminated, what task has to be completed, his comment (said indignantly) is always...."I never got that memo." or "No one ever told me about that." I've been dealing with these same responses from this man for years and by the end of any year, if I have to hear, "I was never told that," from him one more time, I think my head will explode.

Well, in the past few weeks I've had to deal with 2 issues with Mr. Clueless and number 1 was bad enough, but number 2 had steam coming out of my ears.

Issue number 1: About a week before we left for the big 5th grade trip to Cliff's Amusement Park, Mr. Clueless was confused because he didn't know how his students were going to pay for it and what he should do with the kids that couldn't attend. He asked how I was paying for the trip and I REMINDED him that everyone had the opportunity to sell candy, in the fall, to raise money for this trip. "No one ever told me about that." I INFORMED him that yes, indeed I had, and left the room before I pinched his head off. We made it to Cliff's and home without any incidents. Then as we were all waiting in the parking lot for parents to pick up their children, a parent approached us looking for her son, who happens to be in Mr. Clueless's class. We'll call him "BIG BOY."

NOTE: I need to interject here and let you all know that Mr. Clueless teaches SPECIAL EDUCATION and BIG BOY is indeed special. He's very sweet, but has issues, enough said.

Mother of BIG BOY asks where her son is. Mr. Clueless tells her, "Oh, he's at Cliff's still, with "Joe-Bob's" mom. She said she'd take him home. She hasn't called you?" Now let me explain a few things....where do I begin....OMG...this is a law suit unfolding before our eyes.

First, each child has to ride on the school bus to and from any venue because it is a school sponsored event. Second, you may only leave students at Cliff's who have mommies and daddies attend. Third, any student that wishes to go home with another child's parent, MUST have a signed note from their parent stating that such an arrangement is, in fact, OK with all parties. BIG BOY made it home, but mom was a bit stressed for a time because cell phones were not working and the two mother's weren't able to connect.

On to issue number 2: Well, on Monday we had the 5th graders practice for their graduation: walking in, how to give a good handshake, how to stand, how to walk out etc...etc...anyway, I put a note in EVERYONE'S mailbox, letting them know where and when all this was going on. At the appointed time, in walks Mr. Clueless's students, but no Mr. Clueless. They were a discipline problem the entire time they were there and although they now know what is going on, Mr. Clueless does not. Before I left for the day I put a note in Mr. Clueless's box informing him that he was not at the practice and to please have his students ready for the graduation tomorrow at 8:15. Tuesday arrives and Mr. Clueless tried to get my attention to talk with me before school, but by that point...I WAS DONE! Let him figure it out for himself. He realized I was upset, so he went to another 5th grade teacher, Mrs. P, and said, "I think Tracey is upset with me." Mrs. P answered, "Do you blame her? You didn't show up at the practice and we had to deal with your kids." Mr. Clueless said, "Well, I was outside playing softball with my other students." Mrs. P said, "The other special education teachers made it." He left this alone and said, "I don't seem to have any graduation certificates. What should I do."....I love when this it's everyone else's job to solve his problems for him. I also want to add that this is now about 20 minutes before the ceremony is going to start.

NOTE: I need to stop again and explain that two weeks earlier we were ALL told to submit our class lists to the (retiring) technology teacher and she would print out the certificates for us. GUESS WHO DIDN'T HAND HIS IN?

Continuing the story...Mrs. P. said, "I don't know what to tell you." Mr. Clueless left and showed up at the ceremony with three rolled up, yellow pieces of paper, with elastic around them. Someone else must have told him how the ceremony would proceed, because everything ended up going pretty well. 

There is one more little piece to this story....Today, the other technology teacher comes to me and asks where she can get graduation certificates for Mr. Clueless? Do I have any extras? I told her all I knew about how we got ours and, biting my tongue, I left it at that.

What do you do with co-workers that are obviously INCOMPETENT, never do what they sign up to do and constantly slide by under the radar? Please, I'd really like to know! UGGHHH! Breathe, Tracey, only one more day!


Virtual Teacher Collaboration said...

As a fellow 5th grade teacher, I would have gone to my principal about the first issue. It was a matter of student safety. Tenure be damned, he endangered a kid and should not be able to get away with that!

Also, administration would want to know about that issue, because that parent could OWN the district for that screw up - especially b/c the kid is SPED!

At some point YOU need to CYA when you work with someone that clueless. He could associate you with some of his hijinks and cast suspicion on you.

I'm sorry you have to work with such a ditz! It chaps my hide when incompetent people get tenure and give hard-working teachers a bad name!

Headless Mom said...

Ugh. I'm guessing that he's really good with the kids? I can't imagine a principal that would put up with that for long.