Thanks to all my sweet blogger friends who have sent comments and/or emails and asked about me this past month. Things have been a bit crazy around here and I have just not had my heart into my blog posts.
First of all, things at my job (preschool teacher) have been very stressful this year due to the fact that we got a new Director. Words cannot begin to describe this woman. I have never met anyone like her before. She is the coldest person I have ever met. As a Christian, I know we are to love everyone, but this woman is hard to love.
The director started working a year ago during the summer and our precious secretary put up with her for one month and then quit. She couldn't stand the director and was so belittled by her that she decided life was too short to put up with that.
When the teachers started working there in the fall, we knew right away that the school was in trouble. The director began changing things right and left and the teachers were very unhappy with the changes. The director is very power hungry and wants things done her way or no way at all. The ones of us who have been there forever tried to make suggestions and let her know that parents don't like that much change at the preschool, but she wouldn't listen to us.
Needless to say, the school has begun to suffer as a result of the director's poor leadership and lack of "people skills". The director has no people skills in dealing with her teachers or the parents. Parents don't like her and have begun to take their children out of the preschool. The director blames the problems at the preschool on the economy. That is a joke, because our school teaches the children of some of the most affluent families in our town. The families are just moving the children elsewhere.
We normally have around 180 children at our preschool and next year there are only around 80 children enrolled. Because of that, my job was eliminated for next year, but the director did not even tell my associate or myself. We found out from one of our parents. The director had sent a list of classes for next year out to the school parents and our class was not listed. The parent saw that and came in to school and asked us if we were teaching next year. That was news to us. We were shocked. We went to the director that day and she just said that she thought she had told us.
She also told us that no ones job was secure for the fall and that this year she was going to control the contracts and would decide who was coming back and who was staying. I told her that I had been at the school for 16 years and my associate had been there for 14 years. She said that tenure did not matter to her. She was going to pick who she wanted to stay and she was even going to change teaching teams as she saw fit.
This was around March. She told us that the contracts would come out the first of May. We anxiously awaited the contracts coming out in May. She did not give them out on May 1st, but finally told us on May 5th that she would call each teacher into her office that day and give out the individual contracts.
I was never called into her office before the children left that day at 1pm. I went down to help with carpool and it looked like a funeral had just taken place among the teachers. I have never seen so many sad faces and lots of ladies looked like they had been crying. I still did not know anything. After helping with carpool, I went back up to my classroom and I was just getting ready to leave and she came down to get me to come to her office.
She immediately handed me an envelope with a bonus check in it and then proceeded to say that since my class was being eliminated for next year, she was not renewing my teaching contract. I asked her how she could justify keeping teachers on staff who she had just hired last fall and let me go when I had faithfully served that church preschool for the past 16 years. Her excuse was that since my degree is not specifically "early childhood education" and is Home Economics Education, she was letting me go. She stated that she is working towards having all her staff have early childhood degrees. That is just her excuse to get rid of me.
Since I have been there for so long, I feel like she thinks that I am a threat to her. I am loved by the parents and the students and she is jealous of that, because she does not have that same rapport.
In December she fired another one of our teachers who had been there a long time. I think she was intimidated by Ann too, because Ann was a wonderful teacher. The director barked up the wrong tree with Ann, because Ann's husband is a lawyer. Her husband's senior partner is representing Ann in a lawsuit against the director. Ann doesn't want her job back, but it is just the principal of the situation that Ann wants to prove her point to the director. I don't have the money to sue the director over my job loss, but Ann is hoping that my situation will help fuel her case and maybe in the long run, the director will end up losing her job.
I have had so many of my parents write letters to the minister and the Day school board on my behalf, which really makes me feel good. I have gotten so many wonderful notes, letters and emails from my past parents thanking me for shaping their children's lives and what a great teacher and role model I have been to their children. I have taught so many families and many families I have taught all their children. My gastroenterologist has 4 children and I have taught all of them. My own 2 girls went to my school, so I have a long history there.
It breaks my heart to leave, even though things have been so stressful. I have so many wonderful friends there, who have been like family to me. We have shared in the deaths of lots of family members, shared in the joys and sorrows of each other's children, I have had cancer while being there and so have some of the other teachers, etc. I will still remain friends with these precious ladies, but it is never the same as when you are working with them.
As one friend said to me, "You can leave the school, but your spirit will always remain a part of that school." "Your heart has been in that school and with those children and your impact on their lives will play a part in the people they grow up to be."
On the last day of school, we have a chapel program and we walk into the church with our classes and the children sing for their parents. My daughter, Adelaide and some former teachers at the school who used to teach with me, came and they all sat together to support me. They were sitting on the pew by the door as I walked into the church with my children and they gave me a big smile. I cry real easily, but I had prayed and asked God to give me the strength to get through that program and leave that day without breaking down. God answered my prayers and I held my head high and made it through the program, telling the children and the parents goodbye and leaving the building. As we walked out, Adelaide said, "Mom, hold your head up high and smile, because this is a celebration". " You are moving on to bigger and better things!!!"
I do believe that God has closed this door for me, but he has something even greater in store for me, but I just don't know yet what it is. He will open another door for me when the time is right!
I am not ready to retire. I still have Adelaide in college and I help with her college expenses. Plus, I love children and feel that teaching is like a ministry for me. I have met with another preschool director here in town, but am waiting to hear back from her. She was interested in hiring me if she has enough new students to start another class. Both of my girls just feel like this was a blessing for me to lose my job, although it has been extremely painful. They knew that I would have never quit on my own. I hate conflict and would have stuck it out and made the best of it.
Because of all the stress this past year, I have lost a lot of weight and I wasn't that heavy to begin with. I guess we can all stand to lose some weight, but hopefully I won't lose any more. Needless to say I am glad all this is behind me. When I walked out of school that last day, I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. A group of my special friends from school took me and Adelaide out to lunch that day to celebrate. This Wednesday night they are having a party for me at a friend's house. They felt so bad, because the school did nothing for me when I left.
In fact, the director sent a letter out to all the parents saying that another of our teachers was leaving to take a position elsewhere (lucky lady), but did not even thank me for my years of service, or say that I was leaving. The last day of school, she did not even tell me bye. Last week, she sent me an email and said that she had forgotten to tell me bye. I think the woman is sick, but at least I don't have to put up with her. Life is just too short and I don't need that stress in my life anymore. I am ready to move on to where someone will appreciate me for the person I am and what I have to offer.
Sorry, I didn't mean to write a book, but I have just had this on my heart for so long and I have not been able to blog. Lots of you have emailed me and I have written you back, but I just wanted to let everyone know what had happened and why they had not heard from me in a while. It's really hard to explain a job loss to someone and I never dreamed I would be so bummed out, but it was like experiencing a death. I know I only work part-time, but it was still my job and I loved it and I loved the children. I am married, so I have a husband who works and supports our family, but I also helped with college expenses, etc. I guess it is like cancer, until you have it yourself, you just can't imagine what it feels like.
From the time I found out about my job on May 5th until I got out of school on May 28th, that time was like a blur. I was going through the motions, but felt like the air had been sucked out of me. Adelaide and I went to the beach and to Charleston with a dear friend of ours after I got out of school and stayed for a week, so the rest and relaxation and "girl time" was a blessing for all of us. We had the most wonderful time!!! I took lots of pictures, so I will blog about that later. I just had to get all this off my chest and move on with my blogging. I have tried to read and keep up with most of you, but have just not been online as much commenting, etc.
I plan to spend my summer getting my life (and house) back in order. I am also loving having Adelaide at home this summer. We have had the most fun being together so far.
Thanks ladies for all your love and support. You are the best!!!!
Love & blessings to you all,
Five for Friday on Saturday - One of my favorite blog/twitter friends, One Fabulous Mom, tagged me on her Five for Friday post. She shared five things that she is loving right now. Here ...
9 years ago