March 15, 2011

A Pink Slip and the Future
Yesterday my principal had the privilege/punishment of having to hand me my pink slip.  I could tell that she felt honestly sorry and sad about it, but I reassured her that it wasn't her fault.  Of course it isn't.  Dwelling on fault at this point is not very therapeutic.  Instead I am trying to focus on the future.  I could be looking back at the ridiculous over spending that has happened at our district, the short falls of budgetary processes that ignore the advice of their hired experts, or the mere fact that I am much more useful/marketable than many of my "superior" in seniority counterparts.

Yesterday I read a post by Heather Wolpert-Gawron, better known to her Twitter followers as @tweenteacher.  She too, a devoted teacher, one with far more seniority than myself, and far more awards, has been handed a pink slip.  But, she advises to focus on the positive and to look forward.

The most important piece of advice from her 10 commandments for a pink slipped teacher that stuck in my mind was to not take my pink slip out on my students.  It's not their fault, and I know that they want me to stay just as much as I want to stay.  So, we push onward, through the fray.

Currently in class my students are working independently on projects.  They will get help from me, of course, that's my job, but they are basically taking the skills we learned in our unit on our class novella and applying them to a new genre.  They will watch a movie, play a video game, look at a piece of artwork, etc., and then analyze a theme.  Then they are taking that theme and presenting it in a creative manner to the class.
So far the results have been intriguing.  When you give students a lot of choices and flexibility they really don't seem to know what to do with it.  It's hard to break them free of the mental restraints they have been tied to in their educations thus far.

1 comment:

EyeStrainSuz said...

Didn't know you got a pink slip, too. Crap. Of course, chances are you'll get hired back on by August. I would imagine so.

Will be leaving more comments.