Monday, August 12, 2013

I've never been here before, didn't know where to go

First back to work day.  A light breakfast was provided.

It's a new routine and a lot of uncertainty for me.  As I have mentioned, I am no longer teaching K, and am about to start teaching third grade.

And as I mentioned here, the journey leading up to the move was fraught with unnecessary convolution and inconsistent treatment of faculty.  I might as well give the broad outlines of that debacle now.

Two years ago, a position opened up in third.  I went to the Head and asked to be considered for it.  (Even at this earliest of stages, the grim specter of unequal treatment has raised its head, as some teachers are simply quietly moved to other positions they want, while others must go through an application and interview process as if they were new to the school.)  So I go through a mock lesson and interview with the third team.

I'm offered the job, but it is indirectly revealed to me that the pregnant Ms. Atrium, whom I would be replacing, is not necessarily leaving for good.  Instead, she and Ms. Short, her teaching partner, have announced that it would be good if she were allowed to return after taking a year off, and slip right back into her old position.

(And here the grim s. of u.e. again raises its head, as this goes against all previous school policy.  Indeed, my former K team member Ms. Kent was told in no uncertain terms that she would not be allowed to return to her old post after her own maternity leave; she would be given a substitute position.  Yet in this case, the Head was allowing Ms. Atrium to "hold" her place for an entire year.)

I ask to think about it given this new information, and after I sleep on it, I decline.  I don't think it would be good for me or students to have me shuttled around any more than necessary.  Also, a new position requires a learning curve; a teacher who does a year here and year there doesn't ever attain that casual familiarity with the material that lets him really shine.

My refusal to take the offer discombobulates the Head.  I return to K for another year.  I find out later that another employee had been assured that she would be taking over my room the following year.  Whoops.  She quits.

Ms. Atrium's position is filled from outside, with a nice young woman named Ms. Yule.

Last year, Ms. Atrium decides she's not returning after all, and is quitting for good to be a mommy.  Ms. Short moves to another grade, leaving yet another opening in third.

I approach the Head and indicate my interest in the spot.

I am made to "apply" a second time, with an interview with the team.  (Or admissions officer Max tells me he considers this highly insulting, and that if they respected me they would have come to me to offer me the spot.)  Still, I do the interview.  The interview is rather awkward due to the fact that I have been at Prestigius considerably longer than all of the rest of the team, and that I was given and turned down the spot that Ms. Yule currently holds.

I am offered the new position and accept.  I finish out my year in my role as beloved popular hero of K, and now await a new year as clueless new guy who doesn't know anything in third.

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