The Delicate Experience of School Politics

This year has been an eye-opening, and sobering experience for me. I suppose every year is.  But especially this year, it’s been interesting. I have go-to systems, and I feel confident in how I respond to kids.  I don’t work *as much* as I used to.

However, this year, I learned that school is not so cut and dry. It’s not about my being a good teacher and making sure students learn.  It’s about learning to communicate with different kinds of communicators and learning what sort of persona comes across.  It’s about the structures I’m in and the expectations put upon me.  It’s this HUGE intricate SCHOOL web, and my class and I are not isolated beings.

I guess I’ve been sitting on this thought for a while since November, when essentially, I got in a sticky situation at my school.  It was interesting because things that I naturally do in and out of school settings with coworkers (cry, express frustration, emotionally collapse, humorously share anecdotes) were brought up essentially as evidence of my “emotionalism” and “tendency to lash out.”

So now, I’m dialing back, but I think that my superiors have noticed a rift, and for me, it’s really awkward because I can’t just turn on the “buddy-buddy” if I know that if ever we reach a disagreement, those private moments will be used as evidence of my “lack of professionalism.”

Also, I think I’m just more aware of how I present myself because this past semester, a teacher was fired.  It’s so obvious when a teacher is on his/her way out.  There’s all this fake “support” and essentially, a paper trail… and man, at the end of the day, politics just get ugly.  Anyway, I’m not afraid of being fired or anything.  I guess all I’m trying to say is… man, once you’re at a point where you start to notice systemic issues and want to try to change things, it’s a whole new ballgame of tact, language, and watching your back.

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