Thursday, June 12, 2008

Apparently the answer to Tuesday's question was no.

So my principal talked to me today about next year's assignments before she handed out the organization sheets. She said that she put me down for ESL again though there was a vacancy in a lower grade like I requested. She said I was "being considered" to fill the position but the problem was that she couldn't post a vacancy for my license area. If she found an ESL teacher though I could possibly be given the Kindergarten class that had a vacancy. (It was sounding a little hopeful at this point.) Then she went on to say that while she was interviewing for various vacancies she would put it out there that the ESL position was a possibility but that she couldn't specifically advertise for the position because she "couldn't create a vacancy in my license area." Well, what if she hires someone for the Kindergarten position and finds an ESL teacher after that? Can I still have the position? I asked her. No, she said because it will have been already filled she said. I pointed out that it seemed unlikely for her to randomly come across an ESL teacher if she doesn't post the position. Yes, she agreed, as she nodded her head and gave me a look that said "this is the unfortunate predicament that we are in." I pressed on saying that it seems like I am stuck here in this position. It's as if the only way for me to get my own class is for me to go to a new school and start all over. She made some light comment about not letting me leave and I'm so great or something like that. (Throughout the whole conversation she showered me with compliments about how great I am with the ESL program and that the AP thought so as well.)

Essentially I came away from the meeting with the impression that she has no intention of giving me the position but is trying to make it seem as though she is doing everything she can to work it out for me. In the end when it doesn't work out she will be able to blame it on "the system" for not letting her create a vacancy. She compared this to a previous year when a special ed teacher wanted to go into a general ed classroom and so they put her there for the next year and created a vacancy but then "it wouldn't let them do it and she had to put the teacher back to special ed." (She says this all cryptically as if there is a computer system that knows where she is placing people for next year and won't let her do certain actions.) Now I understand about not creating a vacancy insomuch as she can't give me my own class next year leaving the ESL position with out a qualified person to teach it when I am qualified and working in the building. I completely get that. But I don't see how anything is preventing her from advertising and actively looking for my replacement. This is why I know this whole business she keeps repeating about creating a vacancy is her cover. I know this woman. If she really wants to do something, she will *find* a way to get it done. Obviously she doesn't want me out of ESL.

7 comments:

jd2718 said...

I don't know enough about elementary, or ESL to know how much, if any truth there was to what she said.

Ask your chapter leader (if s/he's smart, approachable, and not the principal's pet), or else, call your borough office. It would be good to know how honest, or not, your principal is being.

TessaTeacher said...

I have had this happen to me, so I know what it feels like. Keep doing what you're doing and keep your eyes and ears open for other opportunities.

17 (really 15) more years said...

I think this is all a clever ruse to avoid posting a position on the Open Market transfer list. Unfortunately, you're the unwitting pawn in all of this.

I believe that if you don't get your first choice of assignments 3 years in a row (this is why you should always make a copy of your preference sheet), the 4th year you can grieve the assignment. Having said that, the contract is very ambiguous on this matter, because the principal can turn around and say your assignment if "for the good of the school."

J said...

that is a bummer. i agree that your principal is definitely manipulating you. :( so i hope another year of ESL sounds okay to you. :)

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why you aren't out interviewing for classroom vacancies in case you aren't offered that placement at your own school.

Ms. M said...

The reason why I am not actively looking for a position that I really want is that I really only plan to teach here another year and then I want to teach abroad at an international school. I figure that it is much easier (and perhaps better looking on my resume) if I stay put one more year.

addi said...

I just stumbled across your blog. You are a teacher of a critical needs area. Once you are in that position at a school, you will likely remain there. It is very difficult to get out of a Special Education or ESL position. I hope you told her you were looking at other schools and exploring your international options to press the issue. If you want to teach a normal classroom, after 4 years of teaching, you should be able to do so.

Also, teaching abroad can be tricky. However, since your area is high in need abroad as well as in the US, you have an advantage. I urge you to begin applying to international schools that advertise online and see if any take the bite to hire you.

Also, don't forget Department of Defense schools. They always need people and you could teach in a very exotic place or somewhere fun like Germany or Japan. Military brats can be.. well.. brats.. but it would be fun to teach somewhere else for a year or two but still within a typical US curriculum.