Wednesday, June 17, 2009


(Not me, before anyone panics. No, I am, at the very least, satisfactory. Now and, with any luck, forever.)

I've been hesitant to blog for a while. There is a lot happening at my school which, I fear, may make it easy for a reader to identify where I am. We have been in the news and the internal DOE gossip for a number of reasons. So I'm going to try to be careful in these next few posts and be even more vague than usual, but it will be difficult. I couldn't take it anymore this afternoon, though.

A colleague spoke to me this afternoon. She is being threatened with a U-rating. She is supporting her family because her husband has been laid off. Her youngest child is going to college next year. She asked me to write something to support her.

Without even thinking, I told her I would. I have had nothing but good experiences with this person. She is a lovely, warm woman who never has an unkind word to say about anyone. And she certainly seems to be, at minimum, competent in her position, though our work is very different and I'm not sure how qualified I am to comment on what she actually does. But she has come through for me in sticky situations and, bless her, she is DISCREET. She does not rat people out. I am rather old-fashioned inasmuch as I value not being tattled on and, in return, I do not tattle. (Unrelated: I was extremely tempted to tattle today when I saw two little children at my school buying sodas in the teachers' cafeteria for their teacher. But I did not tattle.)

I don't know why my superiors are out to get this woman, and I can't even begin to guess. I mean, I have heard rumors that one of the higher-ups thinks she's incompetent. But why, again, I don't exactly know. And even if she is, aren't they supposed to, I don't know, help her out or talk to her first? Has that been done? I don't know.

I don't know what to write, either, and God only knows what kind of effect this will have on my "career." She told me the letter would be anonymous, but we all know what "anonymous" means in the DOE. I don't necessarily buy that--not coming from her, but coming from the DOE. I have to accept that, if I do this, I'm putting at least a bit of my "career" on the line. At minimum, I may have to put myself out on the Open Market next year, though that may be a foregone conclusion anyway (stay tuned for future posts explaining this). Because apparently I have to implicate my superiors in this--at very minimum, support my colleague's statement that she wasn't offered training, assistance, whatever. And, obviously, go against the administration's general thrust of wanting this person gone.

It's a weird way to be ending the year. As far as my kids go (more on this later), I love them dearly and I will cry my eyes out to see them go. And I have gotten to know many of the kids coming up and I'm looking forward to spending the year making new friends with them. That, of course, is exactly the right way to go out as far as the kids are concerned. But the grownups? Things are going way south, way fast. And I'm at a crossroads.

June 26 can't come fast enough.