Re: How do principals get away with these bullying behaviors in FCPS?
Date: July 24, 2015 07:11PM
I don't usually sign out, but this is very personal and private to me, even a bit shameful, so I'm hoping to stay anonymous:
I was in your shoes many years ago. I was once given that option and my union seemed to be on the side of the principal -- even though I was adored by students and parents and respected by my colleagues and had good test scores to match. As OPs said, she had her picks and many good teachers were choosing to transfer to other buildings within the district. I didn't have that option and frankly, I didn't really want to leave at all. But, as with you, I was young and they were suggesting that they were 'saving my career.' That didn't really make sense, because if everyone agreed that my career was worth saving then why were they getting rid of me? And, why were they working hard to get rid of me so covertly? The answer to the first question is probably that the P and I were no longer a good fit. She was near retirement and I was a bit unconventional. The answer to the 2nd question is that we had very empowered parents and if I didn't walk away quietly, it could've gotten ugly. I was hurt. I was crushed. And I didn't know what to do. I had poured so much into being a good teacher and now was 'unwanted.'? I considered holding out. I was well respected by a number of other principals and could've tried for a transfer. I had great observations for the first few years. I had NOT gotten WORSE during my next two years. But, I was intimidated along with being hurt. I chose to leave (and yes, I cried like a baby on my last day) and I did get a job by the fall in another district. (Which I truly love.) I guess I ultimately decided that I didn't want to work for someone who didn't appreciate me. And, I wouldn't trade this position at this school for ANYthing. So although I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I chose the other path, I do not have any regrets.
BTW, my departure papers required me to state that I CHOSE to leave and that's the story I stuck to. However, I know parents knew something was up, because one YOUNG child had asked, "What were your other choices" which I couldn't answer. Also, the parents kept pushing me that they 'wanted to go to the board' on my behalf. I said, "Well, I CHOSE to leave" and a parent replied, "Yea, so did Nixon." I have managed to keep in touch with many students/parents which is probably more than the principal -- whom I once so admired -- ever did. We each travel our journey and do the best we can.
One caveat that I'll mention, however, is that I learned this summer that some teacher applications now ask specifically, "Did you ever resign in order to avoid termination." Wow! That's one that could haunt you if you 'choose' to leave now.
(((((Hugs))))) and Prayers!