Friday, June 10, 2011

How Would You Feel?

Let's play pretend....

Imagine you've been working as a teacher in an elementary school for 6 years. You taught your first year in Title 1, followed up that summer by interning with your principal for many hours, where you wrote the master schedule for the whole school, correlated SOL scores, and did other things trying to better the school. You then starteded teaching 3rd grade with 2 ladies who quickly became your best friend. You planned the 7th grade trip to Washington, DC for the next 3 years, even though it had nothing to do with your assignment in 3rd grade. You continued helping your principal with the master schedule and class lists for each grade during each summer. You served as your school representative on the county calendar committee for 2 years. Then you served for a year as your school representative on the county PAC (advisory) committee. You served on the math committee, climate committee, building plans committee, academic fair committee, and was the "next in charge" for a couple of years when your principal was out, even serving as a full term "next in line" in the office for a week while your principal's wife had their second baby. Your students always had over 90% passing on their SOL tests - most recently earning 100% on most every test. You did 4 VGLA assessments which all passed advanced, one even getting rave reviews as being the best one ever done in the county. You represented your school and county on the state committee of reviewing and rewriting the Math Standards of Learning to be implemented during the 2011-2012 school year.

Are you still with me? Close your eyes if it helps.

Pretend you're a feisty one who is passionate about children showing respect and being treated with respect. You have parents go to the principal about you almost yearly, but about 99% of them sing your praises after giving you a chance to show that high expectations really do produce more successful students. You bust your tail to make learning fun, and you spend over $1,000 easily each year to do so. You buy your own paper to make copies for your students. You make them DVDs at the end of the year to remember you buy, and you usually end up paying for quite a few of their end of the year shirts because their parents can't or won't buy them one. You make them breakfast before their SOL tests, and you hug them when their grandparents die. The principal's daughter frequents your room, and you even spend some time helping her with things she's struggling with. You cry in the principal's office more time than you can count because of something that you are passionate about. You realize he's not quite as passionate about kids as you are.

Then your husband gets a job in North Carolina and you have the chance to stay at home with your sweet baby girl. Your principal won't tell you where to send your letter of resignation. So you send it to the School Board office. Your principal gives you a one-line IM about how you'll be missed a few months before the end of school.

The last day of school comes and you have bus duty. Yeah, bad dream I know! You cry a lot and give a million hugs that day. You hug your two best friends and lots of other close friends. Your principal passes your room and you in the hall several times, but won't speak to you. Then you go to the after-school faculty meeting, where your principal is offering up some free ice cream (but not to you). You sit through grueling lies from everybody about how great the school is. You watch a video talking about how your school is a place where kids come first that was made by someone who doesn't really believe that or show it. Then he tells everyone to go home. Not a word about you leaving (nevermind that they usually have a dinner for that!) When someone reminds him that there are gifts to the 2 people who are leaving, he walks over, picks them up, hands them to you without so much as a word.

How would you feel?


  1. Oh dear. Oh my. I'm going to choose to feel that I'm a better person than this fellow and feel sorry that he doesn't know how to express his undying thankfulness for me. Poor, poor guy.


  2. oh man. I had to sleep on this one.

    My first reaction was that I would feel REALLY REALLY hurt. Terribly.

    My second reaction was that, hey, if in some ways this validates your decision to concentrate on YOUR children for the next few years instead of other people's, then maybe God planned your awkward/painful departure for a reason.

    My third reaction is that you did it for the kids, not the principal, so revel in the thanks and joy and affirmation you continue to get from your students and parents, and don't let him get you down.

    Sorry it wasn't an awesome last day. You're so close to being really really done. Hang in there... :)

  3. I agree with all Erin said and was going to tell you to remember that you did all this work for the kids, not for him. You will never be appreciated the way you deserve to be appreciated, so you have to make yourself remember that you did above your best and many little hearts will be forever changed by you, even if you never know the extent.

  4. I think you're all right. None of you are even close to how I handled it, though. Let's say it involved a phone call to the Superintendent (about this and some other things I kept quiet about for way too long). And it also involved a fruit basket on his desk whenever he returned, which was not while I was still there, unfortunately. I still can't believe he did that to me. He's never done anything like that even to people he doesn't like - and I thought we were on pretty good terms. There are pages more to the story, but I figured this was a good enough way to capture the story. He demolished my last memory at the place I spent the most time over the past 6 years, and I know I'll get over it - but it hasn't come close to happening yet. My heart just hurts. :(


Whispers in the Hallway