Tuesday, January 26, 2010

ANOTHER teacher quit (!)

Yep. The sixth grade humanities teacher resigned today -- effective today, of course. No one ever gives two weeks' (or even one day's) notice at this school. Since you need a scorecard to keep track of all the personnel changes at this point, let's review:

1) The 7th/8th grade English teacher quit in early October.
2) The 7th/8th grade math teacher quit in late October.
3) A technology specialist (he worked with teachers, not with students) quit in early December.
4) The vice principal quit in late December.
And now 5) the 6th grade English/history teacher has quit in late January.

Here's the e-mail he sent to me and the other special ed teacher tonight:

Dear Artichoke Heart and _____,
I am sorry I did not tell you in person - I simply couldn't say it over and over today - but because of deep financial need and certain health reasons, I left CrazySchool today and accepted a position offered to me last Friday and confirmed this morning at a school I applied to last year. The position starts tomorrow. The hours are fewer, the school year shorter, and the salary significantly higher. I was caught between the needs of my family and my health and then the kids at CrazySchool. It was a horrible choice, but in the end, the only one I could make, I felt, was for family and health.
You have, of course, every right to be angry because what I did to the kids is not right. I hope, in time, they and you understand. However, in the interim, if it's possible, could you try to keep the trial of Socrates going? I know they love doing it and are looking forward to it happening. If not, I get it.
If you'd like to write, even to yell at me (the words are reverberating in my head anyway), feel free. My home e-mail is _______.

It was a privilege to work with both of you and I wish you only wonderful things.
Be well.

Can you believe it? It's like working on the Titanic, wondering each week who will be the next to jump ship. Unreal. But this teacher was in his late 50s and had over 30 years of teaching experience. Considering I was barely able to get them to match my salary to what the NYC Board of Ed would have paid me, I'm sure he would have gotten paid more for all of that experience at another school. More money for less work, you can't knock it.

In other news, my dad is in the hospital. :( He wasn't feeling well so he went to the doctor today, and his blood pressure was so low the doctor sent him straight to the hospital. (Thank goodness he didn't pass out while driving to the doctor, considering how low his blood pressure was.) So I'll be spending tomorrow with him. I hope he gets better soon -- or better yet, immediately!


  1. Keep us posted on your Dad's health. I hope the cause is found and corrected. Don't give up heart at your school. Sometimes a turnaround is just around the corner.

    I've been meaning to ask you, have you read Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman, published in the 1960s, about the travails of a new teacher at a New York City public high school? I think you would identify with the protagonist in this book.

  2. Thanks, Waitress, and thank you for the book recommendation! I've heard good things about "Up the Down Staircase" -- I'll put it on my list!!