Tying Up Loose Ends

24 June 2005

It is the nature of Education to leave a lot of unfinished business. Kids move on to other schools, initiatives come and go, and so on. As for me---I hate unfinished business. I like to know how the stories end. I've been thinking that I've left a few in such a state here. So in that spirit...

  • I ended up Reading 2126 books last week in Lincoln. As predicted, we finished my question by break time on Sunday morning---with all questions finishing less than an hour later. I didn't win the pool we had going at our table, although I should have. However, I was provided with enough blind foolish luck earlier in the week at the racetrack...so I can't complain.
  • Things did seem to end somewhat pleasantly at school for the year. I have learned that our PE chair and Math Chair have both left for other opportunities. It makes me sad, in some ways to see so much change at our school. Out of the 60 or so staff members on board when I arrived, I think maybe 18 are still there. And as much as Suzanne was willing to dismiss me with a "You can go home now." after 9 years of working together, I wasn't quite ready to do that. I did leave a nice gift in her box, wish her well. I hope she finds her smile again.
  • And DC? It looked like he would stay on...until I read my e-mail this morning. This is his lovely parting gift, which he sent to the entire staff of our school:

Howdy All:

I sincerely hope that your summer is going well and that you are relaxing and enjoying the things in life that matter most, in my case family. With that thought in mind, I am writing you to let you know that I have decided to leave for greener pastures. Unfortunately, I am not leaving with the best of feelings.
I have had my opinions of the school's leadership, direction, and spirit, which admittedly, are not the highest. I just wanted you to know that I have greatly enjoyed working with the staff, it is the leadership (or lack there of) that has caused me to finally part ways, not my colleagues. I hold most of the staff in high regards and hope that I have positively contributed in my own way.
The final straw that broke the camel's back for me was the leadership's decision to not hire my highly qualified, very experienced, and well recommended wife as a science teacher to fill one of our two vacancies. We were hoping that this school was a more progressive and family oriented school with a closer "feel." What I encountered was not what I had anticipated. The only way to effect change is to realize that you need to change first.
Ironically, most of the people involved in making decisions are very uninvolved and uncommitted to the school. So, yes, I feel unwanted, unappreciated, and uninspired to stay as my wife and I had hoped for a considerable time. My family and I were very stressed and upset over this, but no one seemed to care. I am sure that someone in the Science Department will take up where I left off with the Science Club and they will all stay there for twenty plus years of dedicated service. (Please excuse the sarcasm.)
As I said before change only happens when people stand up and acknowledge that change need to happen first. I need a change and the school needs a change of leadership Where was the vision, the family atmosphere, the forward thinking? Oh well, as I also said, it is not you but the leadership that I have serious issue with. I just wanted to let the staff know why I am leaving, please do not listen to rumors or think poorly of me, and realize that I truly do like working with you. I just could not stay now knowing the circumstances and dealing with the leadership. I apologize if this causes discomfort for some of you (Controversy happens.)
God had always taken very good care of us and I think that there is a purpose in everything. Basically, I think that this school was not the right place for us. Oh well. Just as things were looking bleak a ray of hope appeared. As my best friend always reminds me "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans for the future." Also, as the old adage goes, as one door closes another opens. I have accepted a position for an integrated math/science teacher in another district. It is more me (I guess I'm a small town country guy at heart and we already live on the "other side" of the bridge anyhow.). This school has come through where OHS did not.
Unfortunately, do the untimeliness of the hiring process; I was robbed of the chance to say goodbye in person to you or my students. As we say in the Navy, "Fair wind and following seas." Take care and God bless. I will miss you all.

Sincerely, DC

Oh, boy! What a way to start the day. I can't say that I'm surprised by his leaving. I can say that his wife wasn't offered a job because she wasn't qualified for the position. I can also say that most of his comments in the e-mail are very unprofessional, in my opinion. But at least he is out of our hair.

If there are any other tales from the year where you need "the rest of the story," send along a reminder and I'll do what I can to fill in the details.

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