I never tried to be difficult or argumentative, it just came out that way. Teaching, like much in life, always seems to be a balancing act between either standing your ground for what you believe is right, or going along to get along. In standing my ground, I’d always ask questions. These Socratic style inquiries always seemed to me to be obvious or logical: ‘How is this training going to help me or my students when, I assure you, it doesn’t fit them or me?’ or ‘Where are the parents and students in this ‘Let’s hold all stakeholders accountable’ reform?’ I could go on, but you get the picture – I hope.
My questions brought me nothing but enmity from the powers that be downtown. Ms. Curtis told me that I got mentioned (in absentia) at a district sponsored training she attended. They started the training by going around the room and having each teacher tell their name, subject they taught and what school they worked at. When Ms. Curtis told them that she worked at West Hollywood, the administrator gave a ‘knowing nod of the head’ and said, “Oh! You’re friends with DeVuono!” Curtis told me later, with no small amount of alarm in her voice, “I was damned just for knowing you!”