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A Teacher’s Regrets and Bitter Lesson

Within the last two weeks the Simi Valley Unified School District hired about 60 teachers for the new school year. I was one of those interviewed for a position. During the interview I was told that my experience and references would determine if I was to be hired.

I possess California teaching credentials, multi-subject and special education, have passed the state CBEST test, and have a strong background in science, math and technology. Also, I am a resident of Simi Valley and therefore know the city, its people, and their concerns and attitudes. Because of these factors, I felt that I would be an ideal candidate. After about a week of hearing nothing, I was astonished to learn that my references were never contacted concerning my teaching abilities.

I realize now that I made a mistake in submitting an honest resume containing all of my previous work experience. From my resume, which includes more than 15 years of computer engineering and only three of teaching, it is clear that I am over 40 years of age. I have no doubt that the district employed discriminatory hiring practices and never seriously considered me as a viable choice for a teaching position.

The net result of this on me is that I am beginning to seriously regret my decision to leave a successful engineering career in order to teach elementary school children, a job I used to find enjoyable and personally rewarding.

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A letter to the interim superintendent of schools for Simi Valley has gone unanswered. I believe that this school district, if not all districts statewide, need to be audited to be certain that they are complying with the anti-discrimination laws of this country. Simi Valley parents should be concerned by the attitudes and practices of their school district and demand an accounting by their elected school board.

WILLIAM JIMERSON

Simi Valley


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