This afternoon, at one o’clock, I’m going to the University to meet with Chief Mucky-Muck to determine my immediate professional future.
I have no confirmation, at this point, about what the hell happened over the semester break. I haven’t even been in the school for three weeks, but I got a phone call from my supervisor on Friday telling me that the CT had completely flipped out about something she decided I’d done and was refusing to accept me back for next semester (I was supposed to start back up today).
I have a lot of suspicions about what happened. I’m hesitant to put them down here, though, because speculating very often gets me in trouble. I know for sure that my CT had run hot and cold all semester with me, that she’s got more stress in her personal life than anyone should have, that she has some pretty significant communication issues, and that I caught her in a lie.
MY fault in all this is pretty straightforward:
*I lacked the savvy to deal with the internal politics of the workplace.
I’ve been a SAHM for eight years and have been (blissfully, it turns out) shielded from the abject stupidity that is the everyday working environment that most people are forced to endure. I didn’t yet know how to function in that kind of, well, disfunction. Believe me, though, I learned a lot about THAT this past semester!
*I trusted too many people too quickly.
I tend to have very strong, open, trusting relationships. I’ve been told, by MeadMaker, that I’m kind of a freak of nature that way – I attract, and tend to maintain, very deep, strong friendships and I have a hard time getting my head around the fact that most people just don’t do that. I wanted to be friends with the people I worked with. THAT was a HUGE mistake. One that, I assure you, I will NOT be repeating.
*I assumed that I would be taught, supported and encouraged.
Yeah, well, almost none of those things happened. I figured that I was going to be put in a situation where I would be treated like a student (isn’t that kind of the definition of an intern?). I thought I’d get assigned lessons – that someone would teach me about all the things that I needed to know to function in a classroom. I thought that someone would be there to guide me, that I’d get constructive feedback about what I was doing (or not doing) and that there would be a collaborative relationship with the people charged to watch over my development. That really only happened with one-third of my team, and from the one person who WASN’T with me day-to-day. My supervisor, God love him, did the best he could.
*I thought that the learning process would be similar to that of the college environment.
MAN! Was I wrong on THIS one! Public education, at least as I saw it, is decidedly NOT a cooperative thing. See, in college, we get together and talk about ideas. We share information, we make suggestions to make people’s ideas more comprehensive, we ask for feedback on our own thinking so that we can expand our edges and be better thinkers. I naively thought that this would be the case in high school – at least among the teachers – but it’s really, really not. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure that the straw that broke the CT’s back is the fact that I was seeking input from sources other than her. Who knew that was a bootable offense? Certainly not me.
So, the upshot? I’ve learned a LOT of profoundly valuable lessons this past semester, though almost NONE of them has to do with the reason I’m trying to get into education in the first place – THE KIDS. This is something I plan to point out to Chief Mucky-Muck when I see him this afternoon.
Please wish me luck.