This is fine. Everything is fine. We’re all fine here.

Our assistant principal quit today. That means that, eighteen days into the school year, the following people have quit:

  • The AP
  • A science teacher
  • A language arts teacher (hasn’t happened yet; considered inevitable by literally everyone)
  • Our counselor
  • Our librarian
  • Our attendance secretary

In addition to that, we have not yet filled the following positions:

  • A math teacher
  • An ISS supervisor
  • A social worker
  • A school psychologist

Curiously, the principal hasn’t publicly admitted, even to the teachers, that the AP has quit. I heard the rumor mill before a meeting this morning, waited patiently through the meeting for her to mention it, and then asked after the meeting was over. It was confirmed that he had quit. Spent the day waiting for an email; none came. I’m not sure why you would let the rumor mill take care of that one, but … well, I’m not sure why a lot of decisions are being made this year.

I find myself being pulled in several different directions here. Part of me wants to go scorched-earth and start lashing out at absolutely everyone. Yell at the principal. Show up at the School Board meeting. Email the superintendent and the assistant superintendent and ask them just what the hell they were thinking. Part of me wants to spend some time chewing out some of our teachers and a whole fucking lot of our kids. Part of me wants to just join the fuckit crew and go my merry way. This won’t be the end of it; there will, beyond a doubt, be more defections. Part of me also recognizes that, while she’s good at hiding it, our principal is drowning right now, and despite the fact that I disagree with a lot of decisions she’s making she needs more support than she’s getting too, particularly given the number of late-night emails I’ve gotten. I’m pretty sure she’s working about fifteen-hour days. That’s not sustainable.

The staff is ready to riot. I don’t blame them. There’s talk about a sick-out; I’ve heard that the paras aren’t showing up on Friday en masse. I gotta be honest; that sounds counterproductive as hell to me, and either way I won’t be a part of it. Making the building unsafe for the kids doesn’t help anyone or anything.

I dunno. It’s 7:30 right now and I promised my family I wouldn’t spend the whole evening in the office. This type of post can get to thousands of words pretty easily and I need to do some serious thinking before I put much more down on paper. I was talking with a few other teachers after school let out today and brought this nightmare scenario up: what happens if the principal quits? Like, literally, what happens? Does downtown just steal somebody from another building? Nobody even knows.

We had big problems before today. But losing the AP tilts us firmly from “in trouble” into full-blown crisis mode. And right now I don’t see a way out of it.

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.

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