Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thanks for the memories, now go away.

So today I went down to the district office for my final "checkout." This is where, I've come to realize, that they make sure you aren't taking off with all manner of equipment, such as, who the hell knows. Textbooks? Wire in-baskets? AND they wouldn't check me out until I turned in (yesterday) my annual reflection of my year as a teacher. I'm not making that up. I was tempted to just type, "I'M QUITTING. HOW DO YOU THINK IT WENT?"

I was looking most forward to the exit interview. where, ostensibly, I would have my say. I would be pleasant, diplomatic, but be clear on why I was really leaving. Because, you figure, an organization wold want to know why it was losing an empoyee that had been with them for eight years, right?

In a nutshell, I was planning on saying this:
I've worked hard and never caused problems; the worst rule I've ever broken was perhaps parking where I shouldn't. Every year I have received the high ratings on my evaluations. Every school counselor I've worked with thinks I'd be really good at counseling, and I hold a master's degree in educational psychology, and a second master's degree in counseling.
I've applied for ten counseling positions. Of the ten applications, I've been interviewed twice. The rest of the time I wasn't contacted, not even to be told when the position was filled. Five positions were at the school where I've taught for six years.
Whenever the people they hired (from outside the district) left, I would reapply for the same opening that I hadn't been hired for--only to hear about the new hiree when it was announced at the next staff meeting, usually someone from outside the district. At least two counselors of the ten had never even worked in a school.

So I went to district, loaded for bear.

And then, well

and then, they handed me my exit questionnaire.

It wasn't an "interview at all". They don't really want to know why a veteran employee is leaving. It's all just bullshit. They asked questions such as:
  • Do you have any problem with any of your supervisors?
  • Do you have any problem with your pay?
  • Do you have any problem with your benefits?
  • Do you have any problem with your leave?

I answered no, no, no, and no. And then I summarized a little of what I said above, adding this:

I have no complaints about any aspect of my employement here: I liked all my supervisors and my pay was fine. I live in and care about this city. However, Rio Rancho appears to have a policy against promoting their teachers and frequently hires support staff from outside the district. If I were afforded the opportunity to work as a school counselor I would have stayed indefinitely.

I got to look in my file. No letters of incident, nothing but good evaluations and rehires.
I turned in the questionnaire to a junior member of HR who appears to have just graduated from high school herself. I have no expectation that it will ever be read, or that if it is, that anyone will care. I think I saw her put it in my file.
I'm just one person of about 20 who quit just at my school alone.

I doubt that I will be missed - they'll just hire another teacher. One who knows her place and stays there. We're expendable, I guess.

And then I turned in my badge.

And then I left.

And now I'm crying and I don't know why.

...

24 comments:

  1. I am sorry you didn't get the chance to voice your very valid reasons for leaving the school district.

    You will find a wonderful fit for you!

    Best part - summer is here!!

    Yeah.

    Em

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  2. Sorry to hear that! They screwed themselves and they dont even know it.

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  3. Ditto what duane said...don't let them bring you down.

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  4. ((((((((BIG HUGS)))))))))

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  5. Their loss. Good luck in your new adventures!

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  6. You didn't get to make your peace. Sometimes we are heard. Sometimes not. Float to where you are heard.

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  7. sending hugs, misty. i can't imagine how frustrating it is to not be heard, especially when you care as much as you do. it sucks, but i think its reality in a lot of situations these days.

    hoping the new job is way better for you!

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  8. Yeah, we are expendable.
    But believe me, there will be people who miss you next year. It will be some of the kids.

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  9. You are crying from huge relief I would geuss. Like leaving a really bad relationship but grieving anyway?
    Hugs..

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  10. Teachers (like you) deserve better. Any sales job I've had has been the same way - years and years with an organization, and no care in the world that you are leaveing. Anyway - close that book...move on to the next one!

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  11. I'm sorry you weren't "heard" but rest assured Misty, you made a difference in at least one kids life. Guaranteed. Now, onward to your new adventures! I'm pretty sure there is a voodoo margarita in your future (after CDA of course!)

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  12. I'm with Stronger - you didn't get your say. You gave your heart and soul to that place for 3/4 of every year for 8 or 9 years and then they just had you fill out a form and leave. They treated you like crap. That's more than enough to make anyone cry.

    So have your say. Write a letter to the Principal and copy the Superintendent. It will get read. They may not react or respond but at least they will know what is on your mind. Then do what Stronger said - float to where you are valued and heard.

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  13. You spent a lot of your life at that school, of course it hurts to leave....even though the future will be so much more wonderful...

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  14. I get the crying - or I know why I would cry in that situation (and I know I would because I have been there!) - all we have, when it comes down to it, is our relationship with other people - our community, the love we have for each other. To be told that you - who you are, what you brought, what you have to say, has no meaning has got to feel like shit! You did the right thing by leaving, that's for sure!

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  15. I'm so sorry to hear how things ended at your job, especially since Rio Rancho is regarded as one of the better school districts. I do know where you're coming from, though, since my recent job change was the result of being very brazenly ignored and taken advantage of.

    Just be glad you're able to move on. The world is too big and life too short to waste being unhappy in a place that won't acknowledge and value your abilities.

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  16. You are crying because you CARE...because you still believe that education is about kids... and because you considered teaching not only your job but your passion! I went through this very thing last year when I left my job at the high school. Leaving those kids - and the job I (hated but) loved was the single hardest thing I've ever had to do. There was so much uncertainty surrounding the decision. I was afraid of change...afraid of failure...afraid of success! But I had to believe my new job teaching at the University would bring me even better rewards. Let your future inspire your passion Misty. Open your heart to new possibilities. LIVE in that POSSIBILITY. Best Wishes!

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  17. That just shows how your decision was a good one. I'm a big believer in things working out for the best and it really seems to be the case because this doesn't seem like a place where you want to embark on your new career. Hope the new job is going well!!

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  18. I think the reality is in today's world it doesn't matter if your a burger flipper at McD's or a CEO of a company, if you care about the job you do, you'd like to think your upper management does to - but reality is no one gives a shit - we are all just bodies to fill positions - and if they can get you at a decent wage, you do a good job, you don't make waves, well they might like you better but you are still just a SS# and a body to fill a vacant position. I think that is what hurts

    I do payroll for a school district, I see teachers that REALLY care, they teach because they hope to spark something in some student and I see teachers that don't give a shit, call in every Mon or Fri, do as little as possible, bitch about everything, and are only concerned about June, July and August - but both groups are treated just the same - so it doubly sucks, even in my position, when you give a shit about your job, and don't get treated any better than someone who could care less. Trust me when I see what some of these I could care less teachers make compared to me, it blows even more.

    But now a new window has opened for you, a breath of fresh air, you've not burnt any bridges behind you, and you left with class. Seize the opportunity to begin anew. Wishing you all the success in the world.

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  19. Have a good cry and go on to the next door to open…….

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  20. You cry because you cared about the job, but the job didn't care about you.

    But your KIDS cared, and that's what matters. Sure some of them (most of them) never say it, but you have made a long term impact that will never be forgotten. You've touched them and their own children through your influence.

    Now you go on to touch and influence others (in a purely platonic and wholesome way, of course).

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  21. LOL, wholesome and platonic. Well, I'm busy starting another life, one where I'll hopefully get to have some ositive influence.

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  22. Just so you know, I have learned things from you about accountability and how to do your very best and like yourself for who you are and you aren't even my teacher, and most of the time I'M AN IDIOT. So go figure. Seems like they did really screw themselves. Go GEEK GIRL.

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  23. MIsty...
    Please look at this ...
    http://www.triathletemag.com/Departments/Blogs/Tri_Talk_with_David_Warden/Tackling_the__C__Word.htm

    I would appreciate your response! ALready a local race organizer is using this jerk's editorial to base his decision not to have Clydesdale and Athena divisions any longer! I fear that the intrinsic reward we get from having our own "class" will hamper our drive!

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