Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Can't Fight This Feeling Any More

REO Speedwagon said it best: "I've forgotten what I started fighting for." Man, my job sucks lately. Furlough days, lay-offs, pay cuts, and class size increases seem imminent. I'm teaching classes of 40+ ninth graders, which is enough to bring this ship into the shore and throw away the oars forever. Okay. Enough. I don't even like that band.

I'd like to think that when all this crap is going on at work, that at least your colleagues would have your back. Mine don't. I'm a lead teacher for an academy at our school, and every decision I've made with the coordinator has been criticized by the other academy teachers (who aren't in a leadership position, by the way). A couple of years ago, my friend and I became the co-coordinators of this academy, and we were elected over two "veteran" teachers. So, of course, these two teachers feel free to complain about anything and everything we do, from choosing a meeting day and time to what kind of computers we order to which counselor we choose to replace the old one who's retiring. It never ends. To make things worse, when we "took over" the academy, funds and programs had been mismanaged and neglected, and these other teachers hated the fact that we were trying to clean things up and get back to enforcing the curriculum, grant codes, and rules of the program. They'd become accustomed to doing what they pleased (and giving themselves handsome cash bonuses in the process). So, even though we were doing the "right" thing, we got labeled as the bad guys. Note to self: Whenever one tries to do the "right" and "ethical" thing after others have abused the system, that person will become a pariah. That's me--Pariah Carey.

Now, why I'm whining for myself: My co-coordinator and friend is leaving tomorrow for the rest of the year on maternity leave. She is so excited to get the hell out of there, and I don't blame her. But, this leaves me with no ally--no buffer--between the complainers and me. As if being a teacher at a rough, impoverished inner-city school isn't enough, now I'm going to be even more isolated than before. Luckily, the other teachers at the school know that the other academy members are *dare I say* crazy. But, I don't have to work with those sane teachers on a daily basis--I get to work with the loopy ones. Oh, help me.

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