Friday, March 20, 2009

A Fresh Start

So I thought that last week was a challenge, boy was I wrong. Monday morning I had a verbal confrontation with a student that turned ugly. This student butted in where he was not wanted and totally lost his temper when I told him to go away. Eventually he managed to push the big red button and I lost my temper as well. I had a meeting later with my principal about what happened and figured that it was resolved as did the principal.

Tuesday afternoon I get a call from the chancellor of the school telling me that she had heard of the incident and that until her investigation was complete I was banned from the campus. So I go from getting ready to graduate and lesson planning and all that to looking at a teacher career that was about to come to a screeching halt. To say I was shocked would be the understatement of the year. And it wasn't just me, my cooperating teacher and the principal were both shocked and in the case of the principal, really angry that the chancellor felt the need to investigate what had happened. I think he was also angry that she was usurping his authority in what he thought was a private, not to mention closed matter.

So Wednesday passed and I found out that my inquisition er interview would take place Thursday at 1pm, at which point I would be able to tell my side of the story, then finally learn my fate.

So after a 2nd sleepness night, I arrived at the school to tell my tale and attempt to save 6 years of work. I arrived at the school and flanked by my principal (who fought very hard for me) and my adviser from Nevada State College, I told my side of the story as honestly and accurately as possible. I explained what led up to the incident and as much of the incident as I could, because most of it was a blur.

After that was over, I got a call from my advisor who explained that my career was not in jepordy and that I would finish my 'student' teaching at another school. I put the '' around student because in reality I had been teaching there since the first day of school, and in no way shape or form was I a typical student teacher because I took over a class that had no teacher until a replacement could be found so my 8 weeks was more like a semester and a half, literally. The reason that I am going to switch schools is to give me a frest start. To say I was stressed would be another large understatment, try teaching two subjects, go to school and try to be a dad and husband all at once. So going to a school were I could just observe and help out is going to be nice, even if it will be unpaid. We do have a bit of money saved up so we should (with God's help) be OK until the summer.

So today after school I went to turn in my laptop, badge, key, etc and collect my belongings. I arrived right after school let out to talk to the chancellor and get my fingerprint reports and I got mobbed by my (sadly) former students. They all came to say goodbye and to wish me luck at my new school. The chacellor was very nice and told me what a hard decision it was for her to make and that if there was anything she could do for me to let her know. She then told me she could see how much I cared for the kids and that my next school would be lucky to have me.

I also got to see some of my colleges on the way to my room. The principal and some of my students (funny how I can't bring myself to say former) had boxed up my belongings to make it easier for me. Some of my students also wrote me letters saying how unfair it was that I was leaving because they were misbehaving. (Hopefully that lesson will stick, mess with the good teachers enough and they may leave for greener pastures!) One asked me for my lava lamp (It's at home) and reading them brought tears to my eyes. They'll go on the wall by my computer with the letters from previous teaching stops.

What I could not believe was how much stuff I brought home with me. 1 packback, 1 office depot bag and 4 paper boxes worrth of books, lessons, posters, coffee cups and more. And that was just from the middle of August to today! I did leave a few books for three students who need to be reminded to put the books away until they finish their work. A good problem for an English teacher!

I will find out early next week were my next school will be. I'm sad that I won't be able to finish the year where I was but I am thankful I can still teach. Which brings me to why I won't finish at the same school. There are two reasons actually. The first is that I'd be second guessing myself everytime I try to correct a student's misbehavior. After all I'd been suspended once, the second time I'd be done both there and as a teacher. Secondly, for the rest of the year I'd be 'the teacher who got suspended'. And when there are only 190 middle school students everyone would know who I was and it would seriously inhibit my ability to teach.