There seems to always be some sort of drama/cliffhanger for at the end of the school year, where there is uncertaintly as to whether or not I’ll be coming back. It isn’t just because it makes for good blogging, but it really is how things turn out. During my 3rd year, our program spun off one of the three teachers to another high school, and I volunteered to go. but they chose someone else. During year 5, the other position spun off to yet another high school. I didn’t volunteer for that, tho. Year 6, I applied for the behavior specialist position. Year 7, I applied for co-teaching science. Year 8 I applied for coteaching science again. And this past year, year 9, I applied to transfer to another school.
When the department head read off the assignments for this fall, my name was read off and a collective groan went up from the entire department. They all knew that I really wanted out. But it appears that I will be doing a 10th year in the SID/PID program. This despite, the words of the supt. of HR back in March. Yeah. He lied.
Calling the guy a liar seems like a strong attack, but I don’t see what else I could call it. I even emailed a follow up a month ago with my resume, certifications and a transcript showing all the things I was qualified to teach. And it all amounted to zilch. He never intended to work with me, and neither did the principal. There was no follow-up and I now believe there was never any intention of follow-up.
I had a long and rather heated discussion with another administrator over this. apparently the reasoning for me being put back into the spot I’ve been trying to get out of was the fact that there is no one else who can do it who is qualified. Not that anyone looked very hard, but people who are HQ in the adapted curriculum are few and far between. And those willing to stay in that field are even fewer.
Gosh, I wonder why THAT is?!?!
Could it be that the administration would rather burn someone out and toss them away rather that try to retain them? If they spent nearly as much effort on retention as they do on recruitment, they wouldn’t have to fly clear to India to find people to fill spots vacated by people already qualified and experienced!
The predicament is that I’m a victim of my own success. I didn’t miss a single day of work this past year. I have never been late to work in all the 9 years I’ve been here. I did all the right things and did them better than anyone else. And the reward for my competence is to keep me in a position when I made it absolutely clear that I wanted to try something else.
“We just want to do what is best for the kids.”
So do I, which is why I do give them my best, but my best is getting to be less and less. But apparently it is still better than anyone else is willing or able to give. So I’m stuck until I become as incompetent as a certain other fellow I worked with who had to be carried out on a stretcher because he had a nervous breakdown. Sheesh.
I’ve watched as other good (and some bad) SID/PID teachers in other schools were allowed to transfer and move. It makes me wonder what I’ve done wrong. Or what I need to do wrong. After watching the turnover in so many other schools, I never dreamed it would be so difficult to extricate myself from this position at this school. It is like the proverbial tarbaby. I thought that by working harder I could earn my way out, when instead it has made me more irreplacable! Now I’m feeling more like Andy Dufresne when he discovers that the warden will never let him out because he knows too much or maybe more like his friend Red who keeps getting rejected by the parole board.
But I think I’m more like Andy, in that I do have hope.
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
And I do have a couple of plans up my sleeve. One of which involves a bit more schooling to pursue my interests, which mainly involve education and technology. And then another little thing that I’ve kind of ducked and dodged away over the years. But I’ll get into that later this fall. You’ll just have to wait and see. It’ll be a major thrill ride if it happens.
And finally, in addition to pursuing my interests in technology through classes and attending Classroom 2.0 webinars, I’m thinking about starting some sort of technology or video club. Part of what gets to me is the isolation of this particular position in regards to the overall improvement plan of the school. I spend a lot of time thinking about things like 21st century learning and using advanced technology and I can not use any of it in my classroom with my students. The technology head of the county won’t listen to me because I have no real application of thing like social networks or wikis outside of what I try to do with other faculty members. And honestly, most of them just don’t get it. While they’re all on Facebook, they haven’t tried to leverage the technology to reach their students or to collaborate with each other. And I don’t have students to try out my ideas on. So a club might provide a sort of venue/sandbox to try some things while supporting the larger mission of the school. Thing is, I have no experience with starting and running a club like this. So that will be a major adventure, and perhaps a source of some meaningful change.
So hang on to your butts. There is a wild ride ahead! I just need to spend a big part of the summer licking my wounds and recharging. I’ll still blog things that come up on my mind as they come over the summer, but a whole lot will be spent just learning, thinking and pondering my fate.