The Edu-Matrix Revealed.
Some readers have asked, “What has the protagonist of the strip been doing?” We haven’t seen her much this past week.” Lo and behold, the question is answered.
About two weeks ago, I received an e-mail with the proposed lines of class assignments, from the department chair. It looked pretty much in order, and I made one suggestion that more or less simplified it. That was informally signed off on, and we Had A Deal.
See the capital letters? Yep…I take Making A Deal, and Giving Your Word pretty @#$%ing seriously. Apparently, I’m one of the few people at the Edu-Mountain who does.
Last week, on Thursday, we had the near ritualistic calling in of teachers in order of seniority, to finalize the Matrix of Classes in an official sense. More or less, this should have been a formality. Imagine my surprise, when I was offered a schedule that was worse, by my standards, than the one that I had modified to my my Deal. Needless to say, I was confused by this, and inquired about it, with some quiet but clear ire in my voice.
The first thing I was told, by a VP who has spoken directly to me only TWICE, was, “We need some strong, experienced teachers to handle those (classes you don’t want to teach).” I quickly, but politely silenced that. I’ve been teaching for nearly eighteen years now, and that speech is always total BS. When being delivered by a person who has never been to your class or spoken to you…it is epic BS. After silencing that static, the Department Chair said that “We needed to accommodate other people in the scheduling matrix.”
Translate to what I heard: “You give all this extra time, and clean up all kinds of messes on campus…and are pretty low maintenance as a person. As a result, we don’t respect you, and are treating you like an interchangeable part at best.”
I expressed that there would be serious accountability to ME, personally, as to how those classes were run, and the curriculum. I said that with the full force of a person who is know to have been involved in school reorganizations, and the removal of principals. To my credit, I also said it quietly and politely. I tend made a big show of being a “team player”, signing off on the spurious document, while simultaneously expressing my displeasure, quietly.
Moments later, outside, I expressed to the Department Chair that I felt “disrespected and played.” Furthermore, that there would be a tangible change in my general interaction with the school. Few teachers, if any, spend time doing all of the extracurricular activities that I do, and I have a long commute. It’s not like I get paid for those things, so the least we could do was respect a Deal. Although I enjoy those activities, I also enjoy being at home, and doing things outside of school that I like.
Days later, I am still tangibly angry about this kind of burn.
It’s something we could have talked to me about beforehand. Something that could have been less couched in buzzwords, and more couched in some kind of “do us this solid, and we will do you a solid.” Not that I believe that…my old friend, the Tiger Lady, Cut A Deal with the same VP, and he flipped on it too. She walked in right after me in fact, to have him roll over on her. We were both cross about it, but because we actually imagined that this kind of Double Dealing might take place, we were prepared with a Plan B.
You see, the way things played out, the Tiger Lady and I have schedules that are reciprocal to each other. Same classes, so that we can plan together elegantly. We made those choices, On The Fly, because we had intel that we were most probably going to be played, and wanted to walk away with something of value. Still…it was cold comfort at best.
She won’t be teaching the Leadership class next year, so in all likelihood, we will be radically scaling back our involvement in any of those activities. To be honest, I pretty much participated this year because she was the teacher in charge, and needed a hand. Most of the other teachers don’t participate, and a largely cited reason for that is that they don’t feel like they want to be around the Edu-Lords, who tend to Double Deal them. I hadn’t seen that until now.
I’ve mostly cooled off over it, but I certainly don’t want to talk to any administrators for the remainder of the year, save one. It was a @#$%$ way to deal with people, and pretty much without anything resembling honor or respect. It will be a while before I want to talk to them at all, outside of the basic “Yes, ma’am, no ma’am” that gets me through the most basic of “professional conversations.
With less than twenty educational days remaining, that should be very much an achievable goal.