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(Message started by: Cheryl Nichols on Nov 26th, 2006, 9:11pm)

Title: School Teacher's Query
Post by Cheryl Nichols on Nov 26th, 2006, 9:11pm
I am a private school teacher with book, curriculum and software ideas.  I was not happy with the privacy agreement they wanted me to sign.  They want an agreement that says I won't talk about my students to anyone outside the school, or use their trademarked terms for my own use.  They agreed to allow my own ideas be my own intellectual property and told me to find a document that I would agree to sign.  What are usually the rights of school teachers vs. school systems?  Where can I get an inexpensive yet comprehensive document that will protect me as a creative being?

Thanks!

Title: Re: School Teacher's Query
Post by JSonnabend on Nov 27th, 2006, 7:37am
I would venture to guess that you're not a teacher of English.  I have no idea from your post who "they" are.  Without knowing that, it's impossible to answer your question.

- Jeff

Title: Re: School Teacher's Query
Post by Cheryl on Nov 27th, 2006, 10:53am
Ha!  Edited that out.  I teach 5 year olds.  It is a private school run by a board of trustees.

Title: Re: School Teacher's Query
Post by JSonnabend on Nov 27th, 2006, 3:02pm
Ok, I'm still not clear on who's insisting you do what.  The Board of Trustees is insisting you not use your materials?  They're allowing you to use your materials but not allowing you to discuss it with "outsiders"?  

- Jeff

Title: Re: School Teacher's Query
Post by Grammar Dawg on Nov 28th, 2006, 10:52am
JS:

According to some standards, your question mark should be placed within your quotations marks.

Your: "outsiders"?
Should be: "outsiders?"
... according to some standards ...

Furthermore, you've posted two items that do not appear to be English sentences.

You posted:
The Board of Trustees is insisting you not use your materials?
They're allowing you to use your materials but not allowing you to discuss it with "outsiders"?

These items appear to be assertions improperly followed by question marks.  

Might I venture to guess that YOU are not a teacher of English?

If you live in a glass house, you shouldn't be quick to throw stones.

Grammar Dawg

Title: Re: School Teacher's Query
Post by JSonnabend on Nov 28th, 2006, 7:20pm
Great, thanks Grammar Dawg for your critique, but I still don't understand the OP's question, so I can't help her.  Apparently, neither can you.  Glad you chose to contribute.

- Jeff

Title: Re: School Teacher's Query
Post by Cheryl on Nov 29th, 2006, 1:42pm
Thanks for the attention.  
The board wants a NDA that would protect the school’s teaching techniques.  They don’t want a teacher to leave next year and privately use the techniques that the school is known for.  I want a NDA that includes me in it, with the future in mind.  If I leave, I want the rights to what I created.

Title: Re: School Teacher's Query
Post by Wiscagent on Nov 29th, 2006, 2:29pm
“The board wants a NDA that would protect the school’s teaching techniques.”

Perhaps that’s what they want, but it is nonsensical.

Are you, as a teacher, expected to somehow teach the kids WITHOUT using the school’s teaching techniquies?  If a parent asks a question about what is going on in the classroom, are you expected to respond “NO COMMENT"?

Every nondisclosure agreement I have seen includes language to the effect that once information (that should be kept confidential) becomes publicly known (through no fault of the person who is agreeing to maintain confidence), then the agreement no longer pertains to that information.  Otherwise you would be expected to keep a “secret” that was no longer a secret.

Does the board expect that the kids will not talk about what goes on at school?

I suggest that you ask the board for a copy of their NDA so that you can review it with an attorney.


Note to the grammer guy - where I wrote "NO COMMENT"? - In that context it is correct to have the ? after the second ".

Title: Re: School Teacher's Query
Post by Grammar Dawg on Nov 29th, 2006, 2:41pm
Cheryl,
I think the general gist of your inquiry has been sufficiently clear all along. I don't have any particular information for you. It seems like your potential employer is exhibiting some flexibility and does not seem to be excluding your creative spirit. You're likely to interact here with people having engineering and science backgrounds. We're rather accustomed to signing rather draconian documents preferred by our employers. Your potential employer seems open to your presenting a document that protects your potential IP rights. It sounds refreshing to me.

You may consider getting some professional help ... and paying for the help. Of course, you may find that protecting IP rights is a resource consuming endeavor. The document you seek may could be prepared by an attorney ... for a fee. Of course, pursuing real IP protection through patent and trademark applications, if and when the time comes, will probably make that document fee seem like small potatoes. So, get ready for a habit of paying for help if you want to make money with your IP.

I found your post interesting because I've faced the IP dilemna in considering employment documents myself. Sign the papers or lose the job is the typical treatment. It's easy to understand from an employer's point of view. So what is the potential employee to do if they already have a head full of ideas? I don't have any answers. Maybe the poster I jostled will come back with more than intentions of beating your knuckles over the form of your posts. Maybe he won't.

Good Luck!

Title: Re: School Teacher's Query
Post by Isaac on Nov 29th, 2006, 4:24pm

on 11/29/06 at 14:41:24, Grammar Dawg wrote:
Cheryl,
I think the general gist of your inquiry has been sufficiently clear all along. I don't have any particular information for you.


I'd have to disagree a little.   The concerns being expressed now seem to be completely different from the ones described in the original post.   I would agree that the problem does not seem to be the OP's command of english.

The school might legitimately be concerned about the privacy of their students (as apparently described in the first post) and the schools own intellectual property.   However, the idea that teaching methods could be presented to a classroom full of students and still be a secret sounds a bit bizarre to me so I'm left wondering what the heck the NDA is to prevent you from disclosing.

In any event, I'm not familiar with any off the shelf document I'd be comfortable with starting with.


Title: Re: School Teacher's Query
Post by JSonnabend on Nov 29th, 2006, 4:54pm
Ah!  I understand now.  Part of the problem, as I think Richard and Isaac have alluded, is that the demands the Board are placing on you are quite unusual.  I never would have guessed that that was the issue here.

I think Richard and Isaac have given you good advice (I'm not so sure about Mr. Dawg).  You might want to have an attorney look over the NDA before you sign it -- or even after, if you've already done so -- as the NDA might not be worth the paper it's written on, so to speak.  If that's the case, you'll be pretty much in the clear to do as you please despited the signed NDA.

- Jeff



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