Is This What Teaching At a Public School Is Like?I teach in a small, rural district full of family members, previous students and cliques. The worst bullies in the school are some of the adults. For five years I've navigated my way through these adult issues - focusing on the needs of my students to get me through and give me hope.
I have eleven years of experience in my field and have never received less than an excellent on my reviews - until this year. Suddenly, I am being cast as an ineffective teacher and nothing I can do seems to change this fact. For the last six months I have documented my *** off and made myself sick trying to figure out what it is the administration wants. This has not worked.
On Thursday, I am going in to resign. I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone - nothing makes sense. I've given up attempting to vindicate myself and I wish only to leave as amicably as possible. I am certain I would win if I tried to sue, but there is little point. I don't want to stay where I am not wanted.
I've watched something similar to this happen to three other teachers and our curriculum coordinator and I feel guilty for doing nothing, but what could I have done?
Two teachers were bullied and harassed until they left. The curriculum coordinator has been "dismissed" from helping me and will retire early at the end of this year - she never wants to work in education again. One teacher left of her own accord after her first year because she believed the administration had lied to her when they stated that academics were important. Now it's my turn.
My students are passing the state tests (95% in reading and 97% in writing). I've created after school study programs and a creative writing group and I am not getting paid for either. I voluntarily gave up my planning period for one semester in order to teach a class for at-risk teens because the only other option was to, according to my principal, "stick them in the back of the room and give them busy work". This is the first year that I've had a text book so for the last 5 years I've created or sought out all of my own materials (with the support and help of the curriculum coord.). When I asked for input on how to handle discipline problems in a notoriously difficult class, the principal gave me an informal assessment instead of helpful feedback. This informal assessment is the first he has of me despite observing my class for the last three years. It is being used as the major evidence against me. I could write pages of similar experiences, but there is no point.
As a result of this situation, I don't think I ever want to work for another public high school again. However, I can't imagine doing anything other than teach my subject and work with teens. I don't know what to do and the future terrifies me.
acoustickitty 36-40, F 3 Responses 1 Jan 22, 2008