Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How it all went down OR why I won't be back next year

While I unofficially decided back in December 2007 to leave the classroom, a lot has happened at work lately to make it official. The contract date for notice from the school (April 15) came and went with no written notice about my future one way or the other. While I had been told since early January that there would be no job for me next year, I would get in nearly the same breath that if I just waited something would undoubtedly turn up. I was just "too good" to lose.

So I was a little confused as to how to go forward. Do I approach my principal or headmaster about the missed deadline? Do I just go forward with through the Union since it was a contractual issue? I decided to go forward with the Union because I knew that the principal and headmaster had a fiduciary duty to the school and not to me. Therefore, if the two were in conflict (like forgetting to write a letter to formally let me go and therefore miss the opportunity to terminate my rollover contract), he'd side with the school.

Well this did get action. I got a tersely worded letter to the effect of "As per our many conversations, you won't be back next year because we have no room for you. This has nothing to with your exemplary teaching."

At least I knew were I stood. I can't say I was saddened.

The letter asked me to sign it as acknowledgement of agreement. I did so, but also sent an e-mail to the administrators saying that they did not communicate very effectively about where I stood.

That earned me a request from the headmaster that I see him in his office for 5 minutes. You can imagine that I didn't look forward to a 5-min tongue lashing, but I did honor his request.

He started the meeting with a "I was as clear as I could be about where we stood with you. I'm sorry you didn't hear it that way." I had resolved to just take the lashing and not fight it. Nothing to be gain. But it took all my strength to not say, "And remember how that conversation ended? With you saying, 'But we are doing a technology review and something may open up there, as I know we are understaffed there.'"

So I just nodded and said that it was very clear now.

To which my headmaster then said, "So how is the job search going?" I responded that I was just starting and that nothing had happend yet.

"Ok, well if something happens in the next week, let's talk," says my headmaster.

"Sure, but why?" I ask.

"Well, we have an internal candidate for the deputy upper school principal position and if he gets the job, then his job will open up, and I think you'd be perfect for it. And I'd hate to think that WIS let the best candidate go." was his reply.

At this point, my head was spinning. Didn't I just say that their communication was confusing? Didn't he just say that I wasn't coming back?

We talked some more and I found out who the candidate was and what the job was.

The candidate was a colleague, that while a nice guy, is a total failure at his job. Like he should be fired, not promoted, kinda failure.

On Tuesday it became official. Mr. Failure got the job promotion.

So his position as technology coordinator is open. It would be mostly working with teachers to integrate technology into their curriculum. And I'd have 1 or 2 classes on top of that. Had the job been offered in January, I would have jumped at it.

But I have decided that I won't be back next year, even if I'm asked to return.

Why? First, because communication has been poor at best, but more importantly because I did a good job. I'm an assest in the classroom. Kids learn in my history class. And they enjoy doing it.

But no space could be found for me. 5 months ago, I was let go.

Yet, Mr. Failure isn't let go. No. He is promoted to a position he has no qualifications for and no business doing.

But I'm welcome to have his table scraps.

I only want to work at a place that I feel welcome or wanted. So I won't be returning to the classroom next year.