naodrith: (Default)
([personal profile] naodrith Jun. 28th, 2010 11:22 am)
I had a few teachers in high school who changed my life, but one of them who I'd consider a friend now was more or less forced out under the new administration.

She was an amazing teacher. I never had her for Spanish, but I TA'd for her for a semester. She never took any bullshit from the idiots who were only in the class for the credits; she made jokes in Spanish, to freshmen, and she taught enough of them well enough that they laughed. I had her for American Government and Child Development and Economics, but I mostly don't remember the classes. I remember how she was as a person, strong and brilliant and uncompromising in her beliefs. She coached the debate team despite the fact that the school would not give her a budget for it. She ran the Service Committee for Student Council; she ran National Honor Society; she did a great deal of work setting up the blood drive twice a year, and always donated herself.

This year we had a new principal, and the new administration is driving the school into the ground. Basically, they came to her to say that they wanted to put her on less than part-time, with no benefits. She explained that as her husband is currently unemployed and she has two kids to support, she would be leaving instead. After fifteen years.

They did this so that she would quit. So that they would be able to say nobody was fired.

Oh, and they did this without apparently realising that she did more for the school than just teaching.

There will probably be no debate team next year. I wouldn't be surprised if there was no Service Committee or if it became a mere joke. Who knows what will happen to NHS.

And no more kids are going to have their lives changed, because she was among the last of the teachers who could actually relate to teenagers. And guess what? Another of those teachers just moved away because her husband got a better job in another state.

I didn't love high school when I was in it, but, you know, there's a reason that I go back every summer to do a play for free even though it has the worst stage in history. It was a good school. I loved the people there - the kids I worked with, and the teachers I would go and visit when I had the chance.

There is one of those teachers left now. And he will probably retire soon. Or maybe they'll find a way to get rid of him, too.

Summer drama felt different this year. I didn't have as much fun, and I've been blaming the script, the actors, the lack of a crew - anything I could. But I'm starting to wonder if maybe I got infected with the attitude the kids have had this whole year. That school is changing, and not for the better.

Next year might be the last year I do this. I've got one more good script in me. Hell, this might have been the last year - maybe I'll be pushed out, too.

We'll see.
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