Monday, August 31, 2009

Separation Anxiety?

A friend of mine has decided to resign from the LAUSD.  In addition to being an excellent science teacher, she is a licensed personal trainer and fitness expert who recently realized that working part-time in her field would pay more than what she would earn as a teacher. She had initially aimed to go part time, but when she looked at her incoming student rosters and realized that in the current budget situation she would have more students than she did when she taught full time--for much less pay--she decided to call it quits.  Wellness Spa, soothing fountains, and soft voices, here she comes.

My friend mentioned that she thinks of the job the way one thinks about relationships. Would she stay with a man who exploited her? Uh, no. So why stay in a job that demands she work hard and suffer certain indignities for pay that would barely cover living expenses. Teachers work for those we serve and ignore what’s best for us, but the District often creates policies that make our ability to serve impossible. After all, it is almost a sin to suggest that what is good for the teacher would probably be good for students.

The funniest and saddest part of my friend’s resignation is her having to fill out the Confidential Separation Questionnaire, where one is asked to check the reasons for the decision to “separate.”  Here are some of the best:

paperwork/record keeping
too many duties in general
take home work
too many non-teaching related duties
many meetings
unmotivated students
unsupportive parents
student discipline policy
personal safety concerns at school site
lack of support from administrator in general. . .
communication flow at school. . .
salary. . . .
District’s policies and/or goals
Lack of input into school policies
Lack of input into curriculum. . .

And my favorite. . .SIMPLY TIRED OF WORKING!

Why are these common District working conditions examined only when one is ready to quit? Does it seem strange that the LAUSD, test purveyors extraordinaire, cannot seem to get this one essential last test right, given that the BEST answer is not CIRCLE THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON but ALL OF THE ABOVE! Perhaps if the concern about these conditions, so obvious and pervasive that they are printed on this form, came way before someone was actually moved to fill out this form, the District would not lose many of their good young teachers.

AMEN and best wishes to my friend, I say!

1 comment: