Friday, October 16, 2009


What a day. Our first resignation of the schoolyear.

Don't worry, it wasn't mine (!), nor the math teacher's, surprisingly enough, since she's said things to Cori like, "These kids make me want to leave teaching after 14 years!" and "I hope to be out of here by Christmas." It was the seventh and eighth grade English teacher who quit. But we all knew she hadn't been happy at the school. There were the little signs, like her coming in late half the time and never doing the mornings duties of helping to supervise Tai Chi and breakfast, like the rest of us (except the math teacher) do. I also remember she left our professional development in Long Island a day early because "she'd had enough," according to what Cori heard. And before school even started, the other special ed teacher told me she was trying to help the English teacher plan because she was already feeling overwhelmed -- in August! The other special ed teacher and the literacy specialist were not exactly impressed with her lessons, either, and I have to agree. Her idea of teaching seemed to be, "Open your vocabulary books and do the exercise on page 3." Not all the time, but a good deal of the time, which was worrisome. It makes me wonder what her demonstration lesson was like -- all of us who got hired before the schoolyear ended had to teach a sample lesson before our interviews. But she might have been hired over the summer and not had to do one. And our principal's interview process is not exactly thorough. For me, I did my demonstration lesson, which the special ed coordinator observed, got positive feedback from her, and went in to talk to the principal. She basically just told me a little about the school, I asked her a lot of questions, and then she offered me the job. I honestly can't remember her asking me a single question! It was weird.

Anyway, Mitchell already made arrangements for a sub for next week, and he's hoping to find a long-term substitute A.S.A.P. while they take their time to interview deeply and carefully so we find hopefully find someone who's a really good fit and not have to go through this again. I feel bad for him because he was hired in mid-August and had no say in the hiring procedures (such as they were) -- but now he has to deal with the aftermath.

Ah well, at least the weekend has arrived. T.G.I.F.!!!


  1. The more I read of your frustrating days and the unruly students, the better the idea seems of those militaristic-style, tough-love schools.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Waitress from Mensa! Funny you should say that -- one of the 6th grade teachers, who has been teaching for 37 years, worked at one of those strict, almost militaristic-style charter schools for the past few years, and he didn't like it. He said the good thing was, you could always get through an entire lesson without behavior disruptions because they had a whole complex system of rules, demerits, etc. "But that also sucked all the joy out of it," he said. Interesting, huh?