YOU'RE FIRED! (Or, why I haven't written lately)
The principal was very friendly when she pulled me into her office (i.e. smiling, complimenting the top I wore) so I didn’t automatically think I was in trouble. When I heard the news, my face fell.
“You don’t really fit my vision for the school,” was what the principal said, citing that my classroom management needed polish, and that I may be too young to teach the population.
After her spiel she had the grace to say I looked surprised. Since I had gotten S’s in all my observations, and no one had remarked on my management skills before, needless to say I was very shocked. Diplomatically, she offered to score me an interview with a principal from her old middle school, since I’d “work better with younger kids.”
I was choked up. I spent my whole year working hard, getting better, and learning…and only to find out that the principal wasn’t willing to give a first year teacher a shot at putting what I learned into practice. Who expects a teacher to be perfectly on game the first year they teach? I was told from everyone I spoke to that the first year was the hardest…but it really broke my heart that some people “weren’t willing to wait.”
You may ask why I didn’t stop the meeting, get up, and get my union rep in the room. My only excuse is that I didn’t know I could leave a meeting, and I was also terrified. But you can bet your sweet behind that I went straight to the union after I left that office.
My chapter leader was ready to fight, and told the principal so. However, the next day I was asked to meet with the AP. I grabbed the union rep, and was told by the AP that the principal had “reconsidered” and that I could keep my job. It’s my theory that the principal assumed I would just cut my losses and go to another school…roll over and die without trouble.
But I like my job, and I love my kids…I’ve built relationships with people in the building. I know who to go for to get quick copies and who to sweet-talk for extra supplies…But it took me a year to build that.
In the few weeks that passed it’s been like nothing had ever occurred. On the one hand, I’m relieved and happy to know I have a job to come back to in September. But some of the joy has gone out of the work, as I imagine I’m being watched closer. What happens if the administration really wants to get rid of me, and they start a paper trail early next year? I feel like slogging through the political muck is harder work that teaching ED students!