Monday, June 21, 2010

First and last

This school year, I have gone on interviews for three jobs. One was an administrative-type position at a non-profit that organizes free sports activities in the five boroughs. Even though I was overqualified for it and it would have meant taking a substantial pay cut, I was so desperate to get out of my classroom that I would have taken it anyway. Fortunately, I didn't get it.

The second was an opportunity to create and direct a toddler curriculum for another sports organization. I went on multiple interviews and even presented a PowerPoint. I was told the position had come down to me and someone else.

I didn't get that job either.

It appears that the third time's the charm. In the next school year, I'll be teaching in a third grade CTT class in another borough.

I have been trying to leave my school since the day I arrived, but after three years, my feelings are more mixed than I thought they would be. Leaving my school also means leaving behind a significant portion of my favorite students, who would have been in my class next year, and my fabulous colleagues. And just because my class this year was populated by the Not-So-Magnificent Seven doesn't mean every class would be.

But while my students would have changed, what probably never would have is the lack of support I get from my administration. Since the beginning of June, Julio has been off the wall out of control. I'm talking throwing chairs, throwing his shoes across the room, emptying the garbage can all over the floor, showing all of us the middle finger, running around the room hitting kids on the head, excessive swearing, jumping off tables, chewing on paper towels, and did I mention throwing chairs?! Actual chairs, people. Not pushing them, but picking them up off the floor and tossing them. One day last week I hustled my entire class out of the room ("Like it's a fire drill, line up and get into the hallway and don't make a sound"), and my principal sent someone upstairs to take pictures of my wrecked classroom like it was a crime scene, and other teachers stood by in the hallway and gawked like it was a crime scene, and after it was over people asked me, "Are they going to let him come back after this?" when I knew that the truth was that he wouldn't get suspended and that there would be no discernible consequences of any kind. And did you know that you are only "allowed" three (official) student removals per semester? I found out when my AP said, "Because this would be your second..." in a leading tone.

Today I called upstairs to tell her that Julio was walking around the room hitting kids on the head, cursing at them and grabbing their stuff away from them to throw it on the floor, trying to code a little urgency in my voice, like, remember what happened last week when my classroom was a crime scene? From there the conversation proceeded like this:

AP: "Oh, well, I'll try to call the guidance counselor."
Me: "Yeah, she already spoke to him."
AP: "Okay, well, I'll try to give her a call."

Translation: Hang up the phone and shut up. So now I feel a little bit like a second grader myself: You don't want to help me? Fine, I'm leaving and I'm taking my toys with me!

Someone inquired in a comment on my last post about whether Julio would get his special education placement. The answer is yes. Julio's mother signed her consent for Julio to enter into a self-contained second/third grade bridge class in our school next year.


Anonymous said...

Disgusting what you've had to deal with. When an extremely disturbed child I had been complaining about all year similarly wrecked my classroom on a day I was absent, my administration didn't take the photos, I DID. They just made themselves incredibly inaccessible after giving ME a PERIOD to clean it up when I arrived the next day. Capless markers in every corner of the room (most of which I had bought), manipulatives mixed up, charts destroyed, $50 elctroic pencil sharpener broken, portfolio contents all over the room. It's amazing no one got seriously hurt.

I am so glad for you that you got another job. Hopefully this will send a message to your administration. Unfortunately, it probably won't. Mine never lets our staff forget how dispensible we are, and it seems like yours is cut from the same cloth.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you that you got another position. You go girl!

mcaitlin said...

yay on the new job!!! can't wait to hear more about it.

jwg said...

Glad you are pleased. What's CTT?

miss brave said...

CTT (although I believe it's called ICT now) stands for Collaborative Team Teaching -- the class will be 60% general ed kids and 40% special ed kids, and two teachers. I'll be the general ed teacher, co-teaching with a special ed teacher.

Jules said...

oh, congratulations! I am so thrilled and relieved for you to get away from that ridiculous admin! looking forward to hearing about all your new adventures! :)

jwg said...

Around here that's called an inclusion class. My district has both teachers in the classroom full time, plus an assistant for the special ed teacher, but there are some that have the special ed teacher only half time. I'd love to hear your take on what special ed kids do well in this situation and which would be better off in a self-contained class.

Angela Watson said...

I guess you were destined to teach 3rd grade next year! Congrats!!

Jenna said...

I have a friend who does that and really enjoys the classroom environment she creates with her co-teacher.

Looking forward to hearing about your new adventures!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on getting out of your school. I would be completely jealous if I weren't finally getting out of my school too. It was a last minute choice, but absolutely life changing - within the last week I have gone from being completely down and dragging about my future as an educator in this city to being the most hopeful and excited about being a teacher in two years.

-they call me teacher

Janette said...

Finally quit my school. Five years of Julios in sixth grade. Last year the administrator decided I did So well with "those kids" that I had seven of them- between two periods. Three went to the Ed and two to the MH class the rest of the day....oh yes--- the sped teacher was on a different rotation since I was just a Social Studies teacher.
I am missing back to school shopping, but not enough to go back. Sad, because all indications are that I was a pretty good teacher for 20 something years.