Friday, September 18, 2009

Going Over to the Dark Side

Nothing I have to say about my principal would surprise anyone. This person is going through the motions that I understand most principals anymore go through: micromanaging everything, changing what doesn't need to be changed, ignoring input from teachers, and steamrolling out a whole bunch of new programs and initiatives with no training or discussion. I could tell you a few grimly funny anecdotes, but if I think of the thing that truly makes me sad, it's not about the principal at all. No, this is about a colleague.

This colleague and I have been working closely together, for various reasons, for a few years now. She is a bright, funny gal, and terrifyingly ambitious. I knew she was thinking about getting an admin license, and I would always joke with her about her becoming my boss, never, I suppose, really imagining what such a thing would be like.

But overnight, she has become an administrative intern, and just like that, our work-friendship is over. She backs up everything the principal says and does, even privately. If I joke or complain about some new policy, she just says, "Well, that's the way the principal wants it. You better do it." She's never around for lunch or common preps; she's always in the office doing the principal's bidding. She has truly gone to the dark side.

It makes me sad that someone with whom I laughed and struggled for so long is no longer the equal I remember. I have to assume that she is now firmly in the principal's pocket and quite possibly telling the principal anything anyone says, and that the days of commiserating and happy-hour-ing are probably over.

Another of my favorite colleagues is leaving letters to school districts in Westchester and Long Island in open view on her desk.

What is going on?