Wednesday, August 25, 2004

A Bloody Let Down

"Then it comes to be that the soothing light
at the end of your tunnel
is just a freight train coming your way."

You know what's coming.

You read the entry title. You read the bleak Metallica quote. You don't have to read any further if you don't want to.

This morning I had an interview with Principal One at one of the two elementary schools in the district that the position I interviewed for would be covering.

She and I got along well, I gave what I consider to be an excellent interview. She told me that either she or the Super Nintendo would be calling me, but that she wanted to send this up to the next level to Principal Two to have him interview me.

Cloud 9. Very happy.

The phone just rang. The Super Nintendo stated that they've decided that the double whammy of me not being certified and me not having any experience teaching really precludes them from hiring me. Even as a long-term sub. And he was sorry for that but they have to answer to No Child Left Behind and the parents in the district who would see "Unqualified" on the list and freak out.

So, I don't get the third interview. And I don't get the job.

See, the thing that bums me out the most is I'm TAKING the MTEL C&L in two WEEKS.

I'll be certified. That's 50% of the whammy right there. Aaron is a little suspicious that they may not be telling me the truth about why they don't feel it's right to hire me.

And, the other thing that kind of gets my frilly pantaloons in a bunch is the concept of "Unqualified" vs. "Qualified."

I know PLENTY of people in education who are certified, with 20 yrs experience teaching, Masters Degrees, and all sorts of "credentials" who are the crappiest teachers on the face of the planet. End. Of. Story. People who have said out loud in my presence "I hate these friggin kids, and if you think I'm joking..."

People who got into it at one point, were interested at the start, and have lost their drive, interest and passion all together.

People who are only in it because they can't do anything else, because they are used to the rhyme and the run routine (to steal from the Beasties). They are the walking dead, waiting for their retirement, sadly in 10 years. 10 more years of them teaching your kids and my kids and his kids and those kids. Kids who deserve to walk into the computer lab to ME as an instructor.

But, based upon the criteria of "No Child Left Behind" they are qualified. And I am not.


So I'm a tad blue, because I mentally was preparing for my first week. I was spiritually feeling uplifted and ready to walk in there and work with the teachers and kids. I had an idea of what would be expected of me, and I say it with more passion than John Kerry... "Bring It On!"

And, I was spending my paycheck on all the cool stuff I need in life. Cool things like a pool. Jessica's college tuition. MY college tuition. A trip to Florida at Christmastime. New Shoes. Dog food.

Bleurgh. Meh. And double poopie. Hello Freight Train.

Geoff is having his Freight Train issues today too.

We stopped in at the school today because he was worried about making sure he knew where his class is. He very much wanted to walk through where to go, and see where things are. I told him his class is up the hall from where he was last year, same hallway, end of the hall on the right.

But he wasn't resting assured.

And because I'm the kind of mommy I am, I drove him over there to take a look around. (Plus, I wanted to look at the lab there, because at that time I believed myself a shoe-in for the job, and would be spending about 3-4 days a week at that particular school).

We ran into his reading specialist, who was thrilled to see us. She informed me of two major changes that will impact Geoff to the extreme.

First, his teacher for this year upcoming was promoted to Assistant Principal. On Monday. Day before yesterday. Wham. Change.

They don't have a replacement for her. No lie. So, Geoff stood there with his mouth hanging open, stunned. He was so psyched to have this woman for his teacher, and now... who knows?

And, secondly, she herself had been promoted to the Special Ed Coordinator for the school. She wasn't going to be returning as his Reading and Math teacher. She'd still be involved in his education, but, she wouldn't be the person working with him. It took a long time for him to get used to her, and for her to "get" him, but she does. She totally does. And I'm devastated to lose her as such a person in his daily life at school.

Geoff does NOT deal well with the unscheduled, the different, the monkeywrench. Change and Geoff are not friends. Going from first to second grade was change enough for him to handle... but right now, there are two unexpected factors that could blow the lid off of his well-balanced little existence.

I'm glad I found out about this today, instead of him walking into class on Wednesday of next week and saying "Wait a minute, YOU aren't Mrs. X!!!" and him freaking out and running down the hall to Mrs. First Grade teacher for safety.

We've got some time to work on him. Prepare him. Talk about it. Work on it... I spent a good deal of time talking with him this afternoon, and he's still confused and unhappy. He was really looking forward to having this teacher. I told him that she'll still be there, just in a different capacity, and that he can get to know her (hopefully not by being disciplined!) but that he needs to think about how exciting it will be to have Mystery Teacher, and kind of look at it as a fun opportunity.

The reading specialist told me that the school is courting a former teacher to return... she went off and had a baby 2 years ago, and I guess they really would like for her to return.

Thing is, Jessica had her for 4th grade. And I have a deep and sinking suspicion that Geoff will Eat Her Alive. I found her to be mousy and timid... and he'll smell that in her, and start chomping. Not good.

So... that's still up in the air. I'm slightly annoyed that the parents in the class have not received a phone call from the teacher now Assistant Principal herself, letting us know of the change... You think we'd be the first she'd want to inform. Perhaps she still has that planned. The start of school is a full week away. There's still time for her to make that call. I'd love to congratulate her and introduce myself... I have a feeling Geoff will be in her office the first week.

We could get to know one another as well as I got to know her predecessor.

I'm back at square one for a job search. I still need to register for my graduate classes and my MAT. I may just dive head-first into all of this education stuff, and just let the situation with this district slide off to the side. I've got a ton of work to do. Better get to it.

Thanks for listening to me whine.

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