A Phillie Teacher

I was a starry-eyed teacher from New Jersey. Now I work for Philadelphia Public Schools.

Room 1075

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:

  1. Download vacancy list
  2. Research schools
  3. Map commuting routes
  4. Call friends for insight and advice
  5. Sweat, worry, prepare
  6. Make list according to preferences
  7. 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.


3 Responses to “Room 1075”

  1. Jen said

    Congrats! I’m sure there was a reason those middle schools were left along with the disciplinary school, having spent a year in a middle school that sent several kids off to our disciplinary school. Love the reaction of the ladies.

    Be interesting to see what’s up in our district. I have a position for next year, but there are rumored to be upcoming layoffs. I think the layoffs are for teachers that got bumped last year and didn’t find a position yet, but there’s not much extra info included in the rumor I’ve heard.

    It’ll be an interesting year no matter what.

  2. Amazing that they would have layoffs considering that they must have been bumped from somewhere, right? In our district they all just exchange schools and positions. In theory no one should get laid off and as a matter of fact so many teachers decide not to return, that we often open with too many jobs left unfilled.

  3. Jen said

    Well, it’s semi-official that I may be laid off, some schools have lost positions (or funding has changed, etc.), so then those teachers can look at the positions of those with less seniority…and claim them. It’s likely that within the first month I’ll get something, somewhere, but I’ll likely have even less of a choice in the matter than you did!

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