I went in to school again the other day. As I walked into my principals office, the words I heard were, "Wipe that smile off your face Ms. G. You won't be grinning for long after you hear the news I just got."

Less than a week before the beginning of a new school year and my principal got e-mail... "We have made the decision to change the Behavior Disorders Program in the Newark Public Schools. Your school will no longer be hosting a 7th and 8th grade therapeutic ED/BD program. It has come to our attention that you had intended on Ms. G to teach that class but we will be placing her in a 4th and 5th grade ED/BD program which we will be moving to your school."

Yes, my principal got an e-mail that tells her that I have been assigned to teach the one thing that I absolutely DO NOT want to teach again!! The only reason that I decided that I could stay and teach another year was because they were changing the program and I was going to have the opportunity to teach a 7th/8th grade class. My principal fought for me... she showed me the e-mails, but it seems that no-one that actually has any contact with teachers or students makes the decisions that affect all of us.

I spoke with both my principal and VP and they both agreed that after observing me teach for the past 2 years that I am a much better teacher for upper grades, and that the places that I struggle the most and bring the most gain in my students has been with my youngest students... yet we have already filled all of the middle school positions, and there is nothing that they can do except place me in a 4th/5th ED/BD program. ARG! This is so frustrating.

I told my principal that I planned on contacting the Office of Special Education about this decision, and she encouraged me, but said, "Please, be professional"
A little confused I responded, "Of course, why wouldn't I be professional? I think that considering the circumstances you just presented me with I have handles this situation really well."
"Just don't use any expletives, okay?"
"What do you mean, I've held my tongue when I've been speaking with you," I reminded her.
"Well, you have, but even though a single curse hasn't come out of your mouth during this conversation, the only thing that I hear from you is a line of expletives. Just be careful when you write the e-mail. I think that you need to tell them how you feel, just be professional like you always are."

She was probably right... I might as well have been cursing. I am so frustrated with this decision, and the fact that no-one that knows anything about our school or our kids, teachers, or the way things ACTUALLY run makes the decisions. I do not shine as a 4th/5ht grade teacher! I know that I can do it. I can show up everyday to work and do my job and teach kids what they need to know from the core curriculum content standards, and try my best to keep their behavior under control. I know that this is something that I CAN DO. The thing is, ANYONE can just show up to work and do their job, I want to be able to go to work everyday and do something extraordinary. I want to do my job exceptionally well, and I want to be able to enjoy it. I don't want to have a bunch or 4th graders starting at me like they don't understand what's going on, because I just don't quite know how to communicate with 8 and 9 year-olds. AHHHH!!
I don't know if I can do this for another year. Tomorrow is the first teacher in-service of the year, and I get my 12 new 4th and 5th grade BD kids on Thursday... I think I might cry.

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Anonymous inanediatribes said...

I'm sorry that this happened to you. I know you really didn't want to teach 4th grade again. Oh, the dirty tricks school districts play! It's not fair! Anyway, I hope everything works out for you and I wish you the best.

9/05/2007 1:31 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

I'm so sorry to hear about that. Maybe you could just spend the rest of the year bartending instead? At least you don't have to put up TFA anymore. Feel free to call if you need to bitch. Lord knows I know what it's like to be screwed by Newark.

9/07/2007 11:24 AM  

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