Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Getting myself in trouble

Between worrying about my dad and making extra phone calls to check in on him, dealing with a friend who is going through a real difficult time, all of the end of the year activities for my son who is graduating, I'm doing what I can to get myself in trouble at school.

We have three student teachers this year.  One is moving to Northern California (way up North) and the other two would like to work for us next year.  We have two job openings next year and we love to hire out student teachers because they have worked with us for the whole year and we know their strengths and weaknesses.  I've talked with everyone in the department and everyone loves these student teachers (except one person) and they all agreed it would be great if we could hire them.

Last week, our department chair was out on vacation and the student teachers started to worry because all the other teachers in their program were getting job offers.  They weren't sure if they should start looking for jobs elsewhere.  Since we had all talked about how much we liked them and how much we all wanted them to work for us, I told them I would go and talk to the principal about them.  I did and she agreed that if everyone liked them so much, I could let them know there were no other real good candidates for the position and they could rest assured they had a VERY good chance of working for us.

Then, one of the student teachers got a job offer in another district.  She is out number one choice and it was her second job offer so far this year.  I asked the principal if she would talk to them and she almost promised them the jobs.  She said she couldn't tell them 100% but it was almost a guarantee.

They both left feeling much better about waiting.

Then, in the afternoon I got an email from the principal saying if we weren't all on the same page, she shouldn't have promised them the jobs.  WHAT?  Who was backstabbing these really nice, great teachers?

I got called into a meeting during my last class of the day to get chewed out for stepping on the toes of the department chair for talking to the student teachers, for going to the principal, for trying to help out.  I guess others wanted to keep their options open.  Instead of saying what they really meant about the student teachers, they said nice things, but really didn't mean them.  People who had never seen them teach were making decisions that were going to affect their futures.  The VP and department chair had their eye on another student teacher from another school that we don't even know.

My attempts at helping were seen as attempts to manipulate a situation or overtake authority.  I came home and told my husband who says, stop trying to help people who don't want your help!  But, I care too much about my department and the people I work with.

So, then last night I went to a ceremony to honor people who have worked for our district for 10,15, 20, 15, 30 and 35 years.  I've been teaching 24 years but at my school for 15 years so I got to get up, people clapped and I got a key chain that says my district name on it.

I went for two reasons.  One, to support my principal and the other to talk to the Curriculum director who is trying to change around the science program.  After making small talk and eating cake, I spent 45 minutes talking to the Curriculum director about some changes she is trying to make in our program.  I got quite a few, "oh, that's a great idea." and "Yeah, we should have thought of that."

In the end she told me to talk to the people at my school (meaning the principal and VP) and if they didn't make the changes I suggested to let her know and she would call them and tell them to make the changes.

Great, I just got myself in trouble again!  I tried following the chain of command and have talked to my department chair, my VP, my principal about these suggestions and they all fell on deaf ears.  Now that I talked to someone above their heads and she loves my ideas and says, "Make it so." it's going to look like I'm a whistle blower or tattle tale, but again, I care too much about the students and the program to keep my mouth shut.

I wonder when this change happened?  I used to be so shy and quiet and now I'm a pitbull, ready to take on the world.  I'm not afraid of a good fight and I didn't even cry when I got in trouble yesterday.  I save the crying for at home! :)


Sue Niven said...

You not only care, but you have a clear idea of where you want things to be, I would say that you have found an inner strength you did not know you had due to all the problems that you have been having lately.

Farm Quilter said...

Working with people who are less than honest is really difficult and I always hated it when department chairs got their panties in a twist when lowly teachers went to V.P.s and principals with good ideas. Stand up for what is right for the kids! Funny, where we wouldn't dream of making waves for ourselves, we'll happily make them for the benefit of our kids!!!