Monday, December 17, 2007

So Outta There!

Wow, this district is messed up. I tell you, I love these kids, and they need good teachers, and I felt called to this district when I came... and I don't think I can go any longer. They have successfully completely demoralized me.

The missing administrator - we're just going to leave him missing. I think it's been three months now, and the only thing ANYONE can get out of the district is that he's not coming back. That's all. And by the way, I emailed two local reporters who have previously covered events/problems at this school and they apparently had no interest. I guess administrators disappearing off the face of the earth doesn't matter when the kids in the school are poor. Because how well do you think that would go over in a middle/upper class school?

Speaking of how the poor kids are treated, apparently in October there was a break in a sewer line in a school not far from mine, causing raw sewage (yes, that's poop) to flow onto the playground. The school didn't close. Apparently it's OK to have the kids at school when the contents of the toilets are on the yard.

Why are the people who are in charge of this district not ashamed? I honestly do not understand how they can sleep at night.

I am subbing now, and I still haven't been paid. I have turned in several timesheets, and I'm not sure if any of them have gotten from L, the sub manager, to payroll. L has a problem with me - she actually called and yelled (yes, yelled) on my voice mail when I canceled a sub job because I had a fever. No matter that I did everything in my power to alert the teacher. She said, among other things, "You call up that school right now and get over there and ask what you can do!" Coincidentally... she didn't turn in my time sheet that month.

I have emailed this woman now five or six times asking about being paid and she has not answered one of them. It's definitely the right email address, because I'm replying to one of hers from the summer. She just chooses not to answer me about when I will get paid. Now a teacher requested me for a sub and the sub computer system tells her that I am not available. Hmmm. I am available. The only way I'm not is if someone with the power to do so has taken me off of the sub list.

My current plan (and I would LOVE feedback) is to do this:

  • Wait until the next payday (Friday, Dec. 21) and see if I get paid.
  • If I don't, email the head of HR and explain everything, including the nasty voice mail left by L,(which sadly, is no longer on my phone) and how I haven't been paid even though I have turned the time sheets in TWICE.
  • Whether or not I do get paid, I will be resigning at the end of the year.
  • I will write a detailed letter of resignation explaining why a qualified, committed teacher is resigning from this district. I would love any input anyone wants to give about which examples I should use. I probably shouldn't send my blog to the district!
  • I will send this letter of resignation to the head of HR, the superintendent, and anyone else I can think of in the district.
  • I am thinking about sending a copy of it to the newspaper.
This last one is where I need feedback. I don't think the newspaper will publish anything like a letter to the editor anonymously. Do I send it in? I may at some point want to apply for teaching jobs in neighboring cities, so I don't know if I want to publicly badmouth the district. On the other hand, the behavior of the district needs to be made public. All these stories in my blog are not things that should happen in this country - in the richest state in this country. It doesn't matter one bit to me that these kids are poor, are minorities, are on welfare, are from largely uneducated families. It is not all right to treat them like this. And it is not all right to treat teachers - who are trying to help them - like this.

Please tell me what you think. I've had more than enough.


meloukhia said...

Sending a letter to the editor is a sticky wicket. It certainly would be unfortunate if that letter came up whenever someone Googled your name, even if it was a well worded explanation of why you chose to leave the district. As a frequent letter to the editor writer myself, I am well aware that reputations are made and broken on the letters page.

On the other hand, I think that writing the paper as a teacher and mentioning generic problems with your district and neighboring districts might be a worthy endeavor. The behaviour of your district is really shameful, and it is something that needs to be brought into the open; alas, I think you're right when you say that because it's not a rich white district, people aren't as interested. It's a messed up country we live in.

Anonymous said...

Teachers have to keep teaching.

Maybe a door is opening elsewhere, where others need you.
Maybe someone wonderful is hoping for your position.

Children all over need good teachers. Everywhere.

Choose your battle.
If it's teaching, then teach.
If it is changing society then get to work, it's a tough job, and there are no benefits.