Are you going to stay in third grade? People keep asking me this question. Friends, I should say, are asking me this question. I just can't seem to answer it.
Teachers without three years experience had mid-year check-in meetings with the principal today. The other novice teacher on the third grade team told the principal that she and my other teammates don't want him to let me move (don't worry it was in a jovial manner). She told him that she didn't know what I wanted, but they wanted me there. I didn't realize that she and my other new teammates have really been wondering what I would do until she started talking to me about it today.
BFF team was asking me all about this after school today. So, I told them the truth. I am just confused. No one asked me this question in May. I had no ownership in the decision to move. Principal Sadie made it abundantly clear to me that this was meant as a punishment. Yes, I now know a lot of information that was left out then, but the psychological effects on me are lasting.
So, what do I want to happen? I'd like to keep working with BFFs Team. I'd like to have another year or so in third grade. I'd like to prove Principal Sadie wrong and move to Middle School. I'd like to prove to myself that the things I was accused of aren't true. I'd like to work with Mrs. Bear again. Most of all, I'd like to have my own thoughts on what happens to me validated.
I think it is probably best for the school that I stay where I am at. It is best for me to have someone ask me what I think. The thing that hurt worst (I think) last year was Principal Sadie's refusal to hear what I had to say.
I got a lot of validation today. My team thinks I bring a lot to third grade. The principal told me I am doing a good job. Professional validation is nice (Lord knows that didn't happen from administration last year). I need some validation that I matter as a person even when I'm at work. I still struggle every day when I am in that same building with how badly I was treated as a person by the former principal. Trust is coming back, but for me to really be better I need to feel respected.
I think it is especially hard (and especially common) to be new to teaching and to go through the sort of thing with a principal I did last year. Mr. Bull (who is still in contact with Principal Sadie) told me a couple of weeks ago at dinner that he thinks Principal Sadie regrets some of what she did to me and that the whole thing was a personality conflict. If it really was a personality conflict, I just had no experience to compare it to. Now, being treated nicely by a principal is continually surprising to me. I formed a lot of my view of myself as a teacher and my view of teaching during a really bad experience. The whole thing has thrown so much confusion into the picture for me.
I want to have a positive outlook and grow from all of this. I wonder, though, am I and will I ever be the same teacher I would have been if my second year of teaching had been different and if she had treated me differently? This stuff has impacted me. Time and space are making me better, but they haven't changed the negative impact completely.