Saturday, December 30, 2006

I fought the supervisor and won!

As I mentioned before, my relationship with the Supervisor was a constant source of stress during my first year of teaching. This all came to a disasterous point. Our relationship was getting increasingly negetive. As I said before, she allowed me to leave school early each day because lunch was my last period. This was complete against the rules, but I didn't know this. One day, she doubled up my class again as there was a teacher out and we didn't have money for subs. Instead of my usual class, I was faced with double the amount of kids with no warning. As before, many of the kids didn't have seats, and I didn't have an emergency lesson plan. I somehow got through the period and prepared to leave. The Supervisor appeared at the door. She told me that she had had it wrong. I wasn't allowed to leave early and she needed me to stay with the kids longer. This was with no warning and no assistance. I told her that I was leaving and she blocked the door. We started having a confrontation in front of the kids. I finally got out into the hall. We continued to argue heatily. I then went in the office to calm down and left school soon after. That day, I felt completely out of control. I felt like I was trapped in a box. I refused to leave teaching. I had put a lot of time and energy into it and I was close to many of the students. But, I could not get away from this woman's constant barrage of criticism. I contacted the Fellows numerous times and they would not or could not change my school. I was starting to get physically and mentally ill on top of being exhausted and pregnant. I went home and called the prinicipal (the one who never stepped foot in the school.) He was sympathetic and told me that I could take the next day off as a personal day. Then I went back. I was a glutin for punishment.

Note: I also forgot to mention, when I joined the Fellows I was given a $2000 stipend for the summer. Because I was new, the DOE took forever to process my paperwork. I started working the day after Labor Day. I got my first paycheck on Nov. 15th.

O. was a Fellow too. Finally, she was the one who got a representative from the Fellows to take a trip to the school. A few weeks later the Supervisor was replaced. The rest of the year was okay. I was distracted by the fact that we were buying a condo and preparing to move. The only problem I had was that I was supposed to go on maternity leave as of September (the Fall semester). I tried for two months to get the paperwork sorted out, but was never able to accomplish this simple thing. Actually, the DOE's slowness in this case would later work out to my advantage.

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