Thursday, August 19, 2010

the accidental nuclear option

On Tuesday there was a localized student stoppage: the third-years barricaded themselves in some classrooms all day. I wasn't up to extracting the details at the time.

It turns out they were protesting the teaching styles of three teachers, women in their 60s who have all been here at least 30 years. Apparently they move through the material too fast (or talk too fast, or both, I'm not sure), and at least one of them often teaches while seated, because she's in her 60s and standing up while talking 40 hours a week is hard.

The school's director did not provide a satisfying response quickly enough, so the students called some higher authority from the Ministry of Education, who came to the school and summarily fired the three teachers, without any review or hearing. (To answer the obvious question: no, that's not legal in Chile, either.)

The students say that wasn't what they wanted, and everyone is now having conversations about how to manage these relationships in an adult and productive way. Oops.

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