I'm a so pissed off right now! I just got completely screwed over! It's kind of a long story that builds up to what happened today.
I completed my multiple subject teaching credential in May 2005. This means that I am qualified to teach any subject from k-8. In elementary schools that means that I teach all subjects to one class of kids. Like many others I have been working as a sub to try to lead into a permanent position. Last Nov I walked into a 3rd grade classroom for a one day sub assignment. By lunchtime they had asked me to stay with that class for another week and a half and then do a long term sub position in a 4/5 combo class at the school. I agreed to both. I was ecstatic! This was my way in!
I was in the 3rd grade class for one and half weeks. During this time there were 3 boys out of the 18 students that we misbehaving on the playground but it was nothing too serious. They were fine in the classroom and I was dealing with their playground behavior. Then I went to the 4/5 combo class. I had a great time with them for 6 weeks while their teacher was on maternity leave. There were 2 students that refused to do work and in each case I came up with a plan to fix the problem. I called the parents of each kid and we worked together to find a solution. By the end of my time there, both students were back on track.
On my last day, the Principal approached me and told me that she really appreciated all the work that I did. She said that I went above and beyond the call of duty for a sub. She said that she was really impressed by my work with the two students and the way that I worked with their parents. She said that she would keep me in mind for any other long term sub positions and for hiring next year. Another 4th grade teacher on campus was retiring and he had been so impressed by me that he was recommending me for his opening at the school. I was so excited!! I was pretty sure that I would be hired the next year! I had also been told by another teacher that I would probably get hired because the principal likes me and she needed all the allies that she could get. If she hired me, I would be her ally. I didn't understand this at the time.
Later that day the principal called me on my cell phone. The long term sub that had been working with the 3rd graders that I started out with couldn't do the job anymore. She asked me if I wanted to take it. So I agreed. I was a bit apprehensive because during the time that I was in the 4/5 class I had heard about the insanity that was going on in the 3rd grade class. Basically, those 3 boys had gone off the wall! They were having violent issues everyday on the playground! One (we'll call him Boy A) was confined to the office during recess and lunch on the principal's order. He was not to be released from the punishment until she thought that he was ready. The other 2 boys (Boy B and Boy C) were benched for the next 2 weeks due to something that they had done when the other sub was there.
I took the job anyways and started my work. The boys were crazy and I was having a difficult time with them. As a long term sub, I knew that I was not going to be in that classroom for the whole year so I felt that it was important that the principal be informed of what the boys were doing. IF something serious were to happen later, and no one knew the boys' history, the school would have big problems! Basically at the end of each day I would go into the principal's office and tell her what had happened. That was my biggest mistake.
Now, you might be thinking, one is in the office and 2 are benched, how much can happen? A LOT! On the way to the office, the boy would kick or hit other kids. The 2 that were benched would fight on the benches! So then they were given to the custodian and they would help him pick up trash and clean during lunch and recess but then they started throwing trash at people and climbing the fences! These are the things that I would report to the principal.
What I didn't know is that this principal holds a staff meeting at the beginning of each school year and tells every staff member that she does not have anything to do with discipline, she wants you to handle it yourself and she doesn't want to know about it. Well, as a long term sub, no one told me this!! So I continued to tell her what the boys were doing and how I was dealing with it/what I was doing to resolve the situation. One day I went into her office and before I said a word she said, "STop. I don't want to hear it." She pointed to a stack of papers on her desk. "You see this? This is how far behind I am on paperwork. I'm never this far behind on paperwork," she basically went on to say that I'm the reason that she is that behind on paperwork. Really?!? I take up less than 1 min of her time each day and that's what I cause?! Damn!
This is when I started to see the dark side of the school. 80% of the staff on campus hate the principal. A lot of it has to do with her "don't talk to me" rule. They think that she isn't doing her job and doesn't support them at all. Now that I was no longer viewed as "an ally to the principal," they spoke freely to me about why they didn't like her and all that. btw...the other 20% doesn't exactly, like her, they are just don't really care. This is when I talked to another 3rd grade teacher on campus and that is when she told me the whole "Don't go to the principal for anything" rule. So I stopped talking to her.
I strongly believe in the impact of parents so for 2 weeks I had parent/teacher conferences with the parents of these 3 boys. We developed a behavior plan for each of them. We chose rewards, consequences, and goals that were specific to each boy. After 6 weeks of craziness, things began to calm down. I decided that I should share the good news with the principal so that she could see that I took care of the situation! YEay me! Right? No....I went into the principal's office and told her that things were started to turn around. Instead of saying, "good job" or "I'm glad" she said, "I'm going to remove those boys from your classroom because I don't think that you can handle them." WTH?!?! Uh.....things are turning around!??! Why would you remove them?!?! I asked her to give them a chance to improve with the new plans that were made and she did.
One morning I went to get the kids from line and take them to the room when two of my students (one of them was Boy C) approached me and said, "teacher, little ***** from 1st grade sat on our laps and rubbed his butt into our privates." OMG!! I didn't know what to do! First I made them tell me exactly what had happened then I called the 3rd grade teacher next door because it also involved some of her students. "What do I do?" I asked her. "I'll take care of it," she replied. She called the resource teacher (the principal was out at a meeting) and for the rest of the day, the resource teacher interviewed about 20 kids about what had happened. From those interviews she ended up learning of 5 different stories in which students were touching other students innappropriately. Parents were called, people were suspended. The principal blames me.....I was the whistleblower. WTH? She's the type to tell the kid, "Never do that again," and leave it at that. Case in point, one student in another 4th grade class stabbed another student with malicious intent using a push pin. The matter was taken to the principal and he was suspended for the rest of the day....2 hours! He was back the next day. I was thinking, if those students go home and tell their parents that a boy had sat in their laps and rubbed his butt into their privates, told their teacher, and we did nothing about it, we would have a massive lawsuit on our hands! I was trying to protect the school and the school district! My students were the victims here, how is it my fault?!?!
Anyways, I stay there until their teacher returned. She was on mandatory bed rest and then maternity leave from Nov 2-March 17. At this point, I had taught the class more than she had. By the end the class was just like an average class again. The 3 boys had turned around. This time there was no "I like you and want to hire you" talk. The other teachers complimented me on all my hard work and credited me for all the extra stuff that I did that was way above what I needed to do as a long term sub. And I left.
I went back to day to day subbing and then it was summer. School started again and I got called in to sub at that school on a one day assignment. I was annoyed but not surprised to find out that the principal had hired 5 new teachers and never even called me for an interview...The other teachers on campus we surprised that I was still subbing and had not been hired yet. I went back to that school a few weeks after that and was approached by a 6th grade teacher on campus. She was going on maternity leave after thanksgiving and she wanted me to take her long term sub job. Nothing was signed but I agreed. We would get in touch later.
I was apprehensive again about taking the job because I know that the principal dislikes me. I was trying to decide between whether or not I was going to try to impress her so that she'd like me again, or if I'd just avoid her like the plague because I really dislike her too.
Today I walked into the school to do a single day sub job and I saw the 6th grade teacher. She said that she had to talk to me. "I'm sorry, the principal made me interview other people for the job and she gave it to someone else," she tells me. WTH?!?! No freakin way! I know that she doesn't like me but really?!?! To go this far?!? I couldn't believe it! I told a few of the staff members that I'm close to and they all agree that I got screwed over! The words "b*tch", "vindictive," and "completely unprofessional" were used.
After school I approached the 6th grade teacher again and basically I wanted to know what happened. She basically confirmed what I already thought. The principal wanted someone else to take the job because she thinks that if I go back to teach at that school I'm going to "take up too much of her time." can you believe that?!?!
First of all, I never knew about the "Don't talk to the principal" rule until she already hated me.
Second, that's a stupid rule! She's the principal! This is part of her job!! There isn't a vice principal, so this is part of her job! Every other principal that I've ever worked with has wanted to know what was going on! They want to be involved and help you! This is the only principal I know of and that my friends (I have a lot of friends in teaching too) know of that feels this way.
Third, when I learned the rule, I stopped talking to her! See! Lesson learned! I won't talk to you anymore!
But in the end, the job has already been given to someone else and I can only hope that better things will come my way. Maybe I'll meet a principal that I love that wants to hire me!
Wow! That was a lot of typing....