So, remember a couple of weeks ago when I said I was applying for a teaching job? That wasn’t quite true, at least in the strictest sense of the word “teaching.” It was a job, in a school, that would involve occasionally interfacing with kids but which seemed, from the description, to actually mostly involve backing up teachers and being a resource for them rather than a job where I was in front of a classroom all day. I messed around with my work schedule a bit this week after getting a couple of emails from the HR director, who indicated there would be an informational meeting at the school that it might be useful to come to.
(I’m leaving out a lot of details, obviously; this program involves a pretty substantial infusion of money and is a new thing for the school to the point where renovations are happening in the building right now for it, so the idea that they’d invite people who are applying for the job to this informational meeting makes more sense than you might think– the building staff was also invited.)
So. Yeah. I went to the meeting. There were maybe a dozen staff members present and at least three people who were there because they were applying for the same job I was– me and two others, in other words.
The lack of buy-in from the staff was a physical force in the room, and the sinking feeling that started moments after the presentation began never really got any better.
I happened, after the meeting was over, to walk out of the building with one of the other two applicants.
“Was that job what you thought it was when you applied?” I asked.
“Not even a little bit,” she said. And she didn’t say “You can have it,” but it was pretty damn clear she didn’t want it any longer.
They are actually looking for two people to fill this job, who will both be in the new facility at all times. Along with sixty kids.
Sixty. At once.
Three blocks a day, of– lemme say it again– sixty kids. Seventh and eighth graders. In a program that, in my professional opinion, is a massive waste of time and resources if they’re going to treat it as a class that you get a grade for. In a nicely renovated, brand-new space featuring two load-bearing walls in the middle of the Goddamn room that cannot be moved and guarantee that there will be no place where a single teacher can stand and see all of his or her students.