Sunday, April 10, 2011

You were not selected...

With those four words I now find myself without a school to call home. Oh, I'll be where I'm at until June, but I no longer consider myself a part of that family, and before you start writing about how I'm going to short change my students, relax. I plan on staying loyal to them and to teach the hell out of my poetry unit and to prepare them for the spring final. My loyalty is to them and them only. And no, I am not going to burn any bridges with the administration of the school either. If they need a sub during my prep, I'll cover for that teacher and that sort of thing.

Will I be taking many souvenirs from my school? Why the hell do I want all those reminders of my failure to measure up? How would you feel if you knew you were in the bottom 50% of the teaching staff at your school? The only things that will come with me will be a coffee mug, my BSU shirt and my rejection letter. The mug I'll take because I can put pens in it. The shirt because it was a gift from the club adviser and has no school name or logo on it, and the letter (which I'll have laminated) to remind me never to feel secure in my position again.

I'll be honest, I thought that I would be a 'One School Guy'. I'm not, nor was I ever a nomad. I don't get those teachers who constantly move from school to school. I figured that since I had gotten off probation my first year, and had received good reviews both years, I was pretty safe. After all, how many teachers actually want to teach at a Title I school? And of those, how many want to teach 9th graders, especially at a school that has had such low test scores for such a long time? The answer is not many, so you can understand that I got a bit complacent and lazy.

When the turn around was announced I had my application in as soon as I had answered all the questions and I felt comfortable in the interview, but I also had this feeling of dread that I would not be selected. That feeling was confirmed Friday afternoon when I got the letter via e-mail. That part I don't mind, at least I knew right away to start looking for another (very scarce) teaching job. In addition, I have my resume updated and Monday I'll ask a couple of people for letters of reference.

Finally, I have a rule about shirts etc., when I leave a position. If I leave on good terms, then I don't mind keeping a shirt or hat assuming that it's OK with my former employer. I still have a Xerox shirt and jacket from my 4 years working for them. I also have my shirt from a middle school where I subbed from late February through the end of the school year. But when I get fired like I did here, everything goes back to my employer, or gets donated to Goodwill. Is it immature? Probably, but that's how I roll.