Posted by aphillieteacher on July 15, 2010
It was a somewhat large conference room. Forced transfer teachers from all over the district had been summoned with only three days’ notice: if you want to have any voice in where you teach next year, now’s the time. If you don’t show up, you have only yourself to blame. The school I had been at in June did not have a place for me, so I was one of many teachers looking for a new place.
Since choice would be a new part of my experience in Philly Public Schools, I decided to take the plunge. I canceled my reservations at a lovely B&B, and ramped up for my big day:
- Download vacancy list
- Research schools
- Map commuting routes
- Call friends for insight and advice
- Sweat, worry, prepare
- Make list according to preferences
- Show up
I hate to tell you how many people did not do some (or any) of the above. Many of them didn’t show up at all and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart: as name after name was called according to district seniority, all of my choices eliminated one by one. If everyone showed up I would not have been as lucky as I was.
Finally it was my turn. I was second to last and all that was left was a disciplinary high school and a few middle schools. This was an easy choice. If you read my earlier blog posts you will know that my middle school experiences were a pure taste of hell.
I’ll take the disciplinary school, I told the panel of district officials.
The ladies rocked back in their seats in surprise. Are you sure??? they asked.
Flashback to last fall, to the fights, the stealing, classroom ruckus, my loss of time, money and sleep as well as the sweat and tears that I poured into trying to make a go of it with some of the worst behaved humans I have ever met.
Absolutely, I said grimly.
But wait! a last minute ray of hope! Somehow we had overlooked a sabbatical opening in a high school. And now it was mine!! I will be teaching somewhere in North Philly next year.
Question and Answers:
Do I care that I’ll be at that school only one year? no, because in the PSD, teachers are moved around willy-nilly. There is no security and darned little loyalty.
How do I feel? I am damned happy to have a job. This is a very rough economy. Wherever I go, I’ll do my best. Plus when I’m blogging I won’t have to change the name of my school. I can stick with the same name: it’ll still be New-to-Me High School.