Today was my mental health/sick day. I feel a million times better than earlier this week and I am positive it is simply because I didn't run around a germ-infested school all day. I am going to take it easy this weekend and hopefully can finally kick this crud and be more or less "normal" for next week, especially because it's a busy one (Halloween, birthday, meetings and the birthday party, oy!).
I went down to my old stomping grounds, the school I taught at when I first got hired to help my friend who just got placed there (she was at another school and got moved). She is terribly unhappy because she is teaching 4th grade and her classroom is in a former kindergarten room and is WAY TOO SMALL for her students. She is about 2 miles away from her teammates and she just feels out of her depth. I feel bad for her...because it's how it was for me there as well. I was so far away from my team if I didn't make a point to go on our break time, I would never see them! She also got dumped on (ie they gave her the bad kids) which they did to me when I was there too. That pisses me off. WHY would a principal knowingly do this year after year?! I don't know if his game is to try to see if teachers can "make it" and this is his test but it's pretty crappy!
So I went to see her for about 45 minutes this morning before school...shared my behavior plan with her and helped her set up some procedural stuff. I am a big believer that 99% of management issues are procedural ones in that the kids just don't know what you want them to do. Plus she is overwhelmed because she thought she would be teaching 2nd this year like me and now she's up to 4th. This is why my district is so frustrating -- people get moved and shifted around mid-year and it makes it so hard. THEN you have the double whammy of trying to "undo" the procedures of the teachers you got kids from and teach them your own and it's not easy (I know because I had to do it!).
It just upsets me that this principal, who I do genuinely like because he took a chance on me and was good to me for the most part, continues to allow his teachers to dump on newbies like this. Additionally the reason her room is in the kindergarten wing is because he didn't want to "ruffle feathers" of the reading teacher upstairs in the room my friend should have gotten. Um, excuse me? Are you the principal or not?? Grow a pair dude!
I think, however, that I made her feel better. She is so overwhelmed she wants to quit teaching. She is an amazing teacher and I refuse to let her just give up. So I invited her to take a visitation and come and see me at my school. I am also going to ask one of my colleagues if my pal can pop into her room for a bit so she can see the 4th grade reading street in action. I am crossing my fingers that her and I end up teaching at the same school again soon because she has been through so much crap in our district I think she's lost her confidence. It's sad.
And shame on any principal who knowingly allows ANY teacher to dump on someone like that. I have to give mad props to Mrs. Principal on that one. When we got our new teacher last December, she plainly stated that she would NOT allow us to dump on that person (I wouldn't have anyway because it's been done to me but I know Mrs. CT had a few choice kids she was really pissed she couldn't hoist onto the new teacher). Why do teachers do that to each other?? So rude and unprofessional.