On Thursday morning I met with my principal. We both agreed that Gerry was trying to do my job and it was time to get gently assertive about it. And not to fail Yolanda. At least not on purpose like she suggested. We talked about the concept of remedial math. We talked about fairness and what is right an how to go it alone on a faculty of people who live by the motto "But that's the way we've always done it."
At the faculty meeting on Friday a committee was announcing National Writing Day and buddies and partner classrooms and activity schedule and a whole bunch of other words I could define but not put into context. And Patty asked if there were any questions and my principal said, "Yes." And Patty looked at her like she was nuts, so my principal continued:
"So what is a partner classroom? And who belongs to whom?"
Patty kind of stuttered out an answer and asked if she wanted her to read the list. She did. So Patty did. Then the principal went on: "And then what do we do with this writing? Will there be forms given to each teacher? When? When are they due? Does it all happen at the same time?"
Patty just stared at her.
"Patty," she continued. "I'm just trying to get this explained for those who perhaps have never done this before and aren't on your committee. Because these are the questions I can hear Bridgett thinking."
I laughed along with everyone else. This sort of attention is stuff I eat up and then forget about as the meeting goes on. I am used to being That Girl.
So after the rest of the meeting, which was really good and involved time to fool around on iPads so we could figure out how to use them in our classroom, hello Khan Academy, I went back to my classroom to clean up my desk and go home. And my principal showed up at my door with a look on her face.
"Am I in trouble?" I asked point blank because I don't like to be buttered up before a fall.
"No, am I?" she countered. I was confused. "Singling you out at the meeting? Are you ok?"
I dialed back to that moment. "Oh, no, I'm fine. I've got a pretty thick skin when it comes to all that sort of thing. I like to hear my name, you know, pretty self-centered."
She nods, a bit relieved. "Well I have a pretty thin filter. And I realize that you don't know me yet and maybe I was going too far."
It makes me happy and sad at the same time to think that this is the first job where the person who hired me seems to genuinely like me. The first teaching job I was foisted onto a school by the district; the second one would have hired anyone with a pulse; the last one? I think the parish priest made her hire me. But my current principal? She wanted me and I think maybe she likes me.
This job might turn out to be ok.