Taking tonight off

yeah, okay, my posts have kinda been taking the whole week off, but I started a new job this week, gimme a break. Well, last week. Also my eyes are dilated from the eye doctor and my vision is not exactly optimal so I’m just kinda hoping everything is spelled right and trusting my typing fingers.

Also, I almost spent $250 on the Lego typewriter earlier today, and if anyone wants to buy me the Lego typewriter that would be cool.

New furniture coming tomorrow, so at the very least you ought to get pictures of it.

Moving on, Pt. 1

Don’t get too hyped up about the “part one” business; it just indicates that I’m done with the kids, and that tomorrow I have my actual last day. Today was bittersweet as hell; the kids in general were a lot more upset today than they were yesterday, and I walked out of the building with a ton of cards and such at the end of the day, but also in a couple of ways more pissed off at my district than I’ve ever been before, for reasons I’ll get to tomorrow.

Then after school like half the staff went out to a local restaurant for piles of Mexican food and margaritas, and that was a lot of fun, both for the obvious reasons and the slightly less obvious reason that I haven’t done anything like it since before Covid hit. And now I’m waiting to throw up, because I really did have quite a lot of Mexican food. An unreasonable amount, really.

Tomorrow I finish off my grades and then clean out my classroom. And then … well.

Then everything else starts.

In which my timing is poor

I discovered two things on Friday: one, that not only had my job already been posted, but that my district had actually managed to announce my resignation before I got around to telling anyone about it. The school board has to approve all hires, which makes sense, but they also have to approve resignations and terminations, which makes a little less sense, and it turns out that the agenda for the next meeting got posted on Friday, and … oops. I got a couple of “What the hell is this?” type of emails and had to hurriedly compose a group email to everyone who I might have told in person. I didn’t tell the whole staff, just the teams I work with, but schools being what they are I’m sure everyone in the building knows by now. I have to tell the kids on Monday, and I’m not looking forward to that at all. The next few days are going to suck pretty much no matter what I do.

The second thing? I’ve talked about what a nightmare class coverage has been around here, and I believe I’ve discussed the fact that I ended up picking up two extra sections of math classes, meaning that I am responsible for roughly 2/3 more students than I am supposed to be. Now, I’m getting paid for both the class coverage and the extra math classes, mind you. I have receipts and everything because I made absolutely sure to get shit in writing before I agreed to do it.

And, well, I took a few spare minutes of my time and added up exactly how much class coverage I’ve done since school started.

With two days of school left before I leave forever, I am owed five thousand six hundred and seventy dollars for all the class coverage I’ve been doing. And I get paid on the 20th, and I should have at least one more paycheck after that if not two, but I can smell fuckery afoot, and I decided to get ahead of the issue by emailing my boss and asking her to confirm for me that that money would be on my last couple of paychecks, because I hope no one is foolish enough to think I’m just going to leave five and a half grand on the table. You owe me a hundred bucks? I might not make a stink. $5600 is more than I currently make in a month, and I will be getting my money.

Come to think of it, I need to check and find out how my summer money works too. I don’t remember what happened the last time I quit these guys back in 2016, but they ought to owe me another couple grand for the funds they usually hold back for summertime too.

Also, it’s been definitively established that I can’t start at the other place until November 10th, so I’m going to have a nice little between-jobs vacation. I should come up with a project. Other than yelling FUCK YOU PAY ME at HR flacks, mind you.

Pros & Cons

It’s gonna be a raise. Possibly as much as $10K.

I actually make plenty of money right now, and I’m getting so much extra on class coverage
that “you’ll get a big raise!” isn’t the motivator you might think it is.

It’ll be a less chaotic environment.

Maybe. And the building is old, and the classroom has no exterior windows, and there’s
not enough whiteboard space, and you had that technology in your room in 2007.

You get to teach honors classes.

I have to leave my current kids, who I really like.
The commute’s gonna suck.

It’s literally a ten minute difference each way.

… right, at 7:30 in the morning.

You’ll get home earlier, and you really only have to get up an hour earlier.

Dude you can barely drag your ass out of bed in the winter now.
You get to keep taking your kid to school every day. You love that and you know it.

…okay, you have a point there, but it’s a small one.

That’s what she said.

Shut up. Are you really willing to be the last teacher standing?

Are you willing to be the reason four or five other teachers leave?
Because if you jump a whole bunch of people are going to jump.

That is not my fault. They’re grown-ups and make their own decisions.

Look me in the eye and say that like you mean it.

Shut up.

There’s also the St. Mary’s kid to worry about. You gonna fuck up her semester?

Again, I’m not convinced that’s my fault, and I’m sure St. Mary’s has encountered this before.

Two weeks of conversations about how you’re leaving.
Because you know it’s gonna get out. You can’t do this in secret.

How many summers in a row have you tried to get out of this district and failed?
You can’t count on switching this summer. Everybody will be looking to go.
What happens if some parent decides to get litigious about the fact that their kids’ IEPs
aren’t being followed? You psyched about getting sued?

New District is probably laced with Republicans.

I note that you’ve changed the subject.
You’re teaching Math. Dude, you taught at a Catholic school for three years and got along.
You can handle this. Just teach Math. What if they actually do close the school mid-year?
They’re gonna reassign you someplace. You up to that?

I don’t have an answer for that one either.

That sounds like “leave” is winning.
Also, you’re already nearly out of sick days because Covid. Moving hits reset on that.

That’s not a good reason. If we’re gonna use that we may as well
point out that we’re a lock for Teacher of the Year this year.

Okay. You get some meaningless resume-padding. Everybody who sticks around gets that eventually.

Three times? In three different jobs in two different buildings?
You stand a chance for district TOTY this year.

And then you’ll leave anyway. Kinda rude, bruh.

Don’t say “bruh.” You’re 46.

Right. And you’ve done your time. You don’t owe anyone anything.

There’s no guarantee this school will be better. Not really.

There’s no guarantee of ANYTHING.

Shut up, Epicurus.

You enjoyed that reference a little bit too much.

I am LITERALLY a pedant.

What’s the best reason to stay?

The kids.

There will always be more kids. You can’t leave teaching without disappointing someone.
Shit, they use that against you. “The kids!” is how they know they can fuck teachers over
endlessly and keep getting away with it. Because they know we put up with it.

Okay, what’s the best reason to leave? Money?

The sneer is unbecoming. And the best reason to leave is your sanity.

It’s not that bad.

How long is that going to last? Do you really want to see what February is like,
after three more months of being short teachers?
We had eighteen people out on Friday. Imagine that being every day.

Friday was kinda fun, actually.

Downtown is not going to start emptying out every day to fill positions
at your school and you know it. They’ll close you first, and then you end up with NO control.

I hate that you’re probably right.

Can you find a SINGLE ADULT who will tell you they think you need to stay?

I haven’t yet, no. Including other teachers. Including co-workers. Including my wife.
Fuck. Are you winning? You’re winning, aren’t you?

The only real reasons you don’t want to go are that you don’t want to disappoint
your kids and you don’t want to have to tell everyone you’re leaving.

These are not minor reasons!

Half of them are literally cowardice.

Shut up.

I’m right and you know it.

You’re right and I hate it.

If you can look me in the eye and tell me that you don’t think this is going to
get worse, you can stay.

It might not.

I said if you can look me in the eye and tell me you don’t think this is going to get worse.

You’re a computer screen. You don’t have eyes.

Ah, yes, dodge the obvious point and retreat into humor.

… I need to go take a shower. It’s 2:15. I should be dressed by now.

That’s what I thought.

Oh, great, let’s definitely do this again

I have spent my Saturday playing video games and diligently trying to avoid perusing job websites again. My one goal this week was go to work all five days, and I managed that, but Friday’s events (and forgive me, but I’m going to continue vagueblogging on this) have me even more burned out than I was. Nobody in my building– hell, no teacher I know– can believe it’s only the end of October. It feels like February already, which leaves me in trembling horror about what February is going to actually be like. And again, this isn’t just me. It’s every teacher I know.

The problem, of course, is exactly the same problem we had the last time we went through an I-want-to-quit-teaching phase, which is that I have no idea what the hell else I would do. I’m not about to go back to selling furniture, if for no better reason than I can’t freaking imagine what the supply chain fuckery for those guys must be like right now. People used to get mad when stuff got delayed a week or two; I don’t want to have the conversation where I tell someone that their sofa is delayed six months because they can’t get the wood to build the frame and then once it ships it gets delayed another month because it’s sitting on a barge outside San Francisco with no one to unload it. No thank you.

It would be cool if I managed to multiply my number of YouTube followers by, oh, a hundred thousand or so and could make a living from that, but even if that’s in my future– and it’s probably not– it’s not going to be happening quickly under any circumstances. I’ve pretty much walked away from writing fiction for the forseeable future, although probably not for forever, and even when it was going relatively well that was never making remotely enough money to live off of. Simple fact is that teaching pays the best of all my available alternatives unless I get lucky, and (falls down a rabbit hole looking for jobs again) there are things about my building that I really like. I don’t want to bail on my team, which in a lot of ways is the best group of teachers I’ve ever worked with. I don’t want to bail on my administrators, who I also like a hell of a lot.

I want to teach. I just want teaching to not suck. And the worst thing is, I really think that’s an unreasonable thing to want right now.