Para/teacher our last year together
The teacher that I worked for excelled at her job. She was voted “teacher of the year” for our school, and for the county. She met all of the requirements and became” board certified” which is a huge accomplishment. Then she began working toward her doctorate degree. During the 2004-05 school year, she was offered a job for the following year working as a curriculum coach/part-time teacher. She accepted the offer, and sadly, our working relationship was coming to an end.
The teacher and I packed up all of her things in the classroom so she could take some of them home. She would be teaching fourth grade math, so she didn’t need any of her first grade stuff. Every box that I packed made my heart ache. I labeled my personal things, and the books and things that I taught with and left them in the classroom for the summer. I felt as if a part of me had just died.
I had been close with the principal of the school for several years because I’d worked there so long. I don’t think either of us ever had a clue as to the way things were about to play out. Just before school started, the principal emailed me and told me who I would be working with for the following year. I knew the teacher, went to church with her, and didn’t think there would be any problems at all…wrong!
From day one, things were bad–and I don’t think either the new teacher or I intended for it to be that way. We were just as different as the former teacher and I had been alike. The new teacher was young enough to be my daughter. She felt intimated by me, I felt older and much wiser than her.
If that wasn’t enough, she was not a disciplinarian at all. She allowed her students to do whatever–until she’d had enough–then she got mad and fussed, which didn’t do a lot of good. I could hardly work in that atmosphere, I don’t know how children could be expected to learn! It was so bad that sometimes I took the students into the hall to read so I could hear them.
My former teacher and I were “hoarders of supplies”. We had a well-stocked cabinet. The first thing the new teacher did was to throw out nearly all of the supplies–into the hall! She didn’t like clutter! The other teachers were like vultures descending on our supplies! I cried. Years of collecting for hard times–gone–because the teacher didn’t like clutter!
The new teacher arrived late nearly every morning, and left early nearly every day. I arrived first, and left last. I couldn’t believe it…what ever happened to work ethic?
You know from my previous posts how I love reading! I was getting concerned about what was not going on. Our class was not reading like they should’ve been. One day, I dared to mention the fact that I was concerned to the teacher. We had words, we both ending up talking with the principal. I don’t know what the teacher said to the principal, but I expressed my concern about what was and was not going on in that classroom.
I was so miserable, I was a nervous wreck. Sometimes the teacher would go all day and never speak to me at all. Sometimes I’d sit in the lunch room and eat my lunch with tears in my eyes. I knew in my heart what I had to do. I told my husband that I’d worked too hard for too long to become a part of what was going on in that classroom. I’d always taken pride in my job, but I found no pride in anything going on in there. I made my decision to resign.
After the first nine weeks, I turned in my letter of resignation. I gave it that long to see if things got any better and to get my affairs in order. When I turned in my letter of resignation, I stated the reasons that I was leaving, in other words–what was going on–and not going on in that classroom–and that I wasn’t willing to be a part of it.
The principal refused to accept my letter of resignation and demanded that I just sign a form letter. The principal threatened to fire me if I didn’t change the letter. I called my husband for advice. I was advised not to do anything until I met with the school superintendent. I told the principal this, and she told me that she had been given the authority to fire me that very day if I refused to change my letter. I went to my classroom and packed up 15 years worth of work and love and with the help of a friend, loaded it in my car, but I also, made an appointment with a lawyer and the school superintendent.
I met with an attorney to discuss the matter, then I met with the superintendent. He began to bully me immediately and had all intentions of firing me on the spot for refusing to do what the principal asked. I’m normally a meek person, but this time I stood my ground–just as I had with the principal.
When I told the superintendent that I’d met with an attorney, then he began to get a little nicer. He listened as I presented my case as to why I felt I had to resign. I had documentation to back up everything that I told him. He did something I did not expect, he offered me another job elsewhere in the school system. I suppose he had to cover himself. I declined, telling him that I had lost faith in the system, which I have. He accepted my resignation.
However, I did not get to work out my two weeks notice– at the request of the principal, but I was paid for it. I would’ve liked to have had a chance to say good bye to everyone, but I didn’t get it. I guess that’s the price I had to pay for standing my ground. However, I did send an email telling everyone goodbye– right before the principal suspended my groupwise priviledges.
How could something that was so good for 15 years, turn so bad in 9 weeks? Why didn’t the principal try to find a solution? I hate it that things ended the way that they did. I missed school for a long time, but I’ve put it behind me. Of course, I’ll always love teaching–especially reading!