Not Quite What I was Expecting

I spent part of this morning at CPS.  I was invited to today’s all-day meeting earlier in the week, but I wrote to Dr. Wong and told her that a) I wouldn’t be able to stay the whole day and b) I wasn’t sure, given the ambiguity of our relationship, whether it would be appropriate for me to be a part of those meetings in the first place.  We decided to split the difference by having me come in for an hour or so this morning, and Dr. Wong and I got a chance to sit down and talk specifics.

It turns out that they have no money to pay me, or, Dr. Wong said, they’d have formally hired me by now.  She seems genuinely interested in having me as part of her team; she told me that the dean who sat in on the workshop I ran last week had nothing but “glowing” things to say about me, and she recognizes that my particular discipline concentrations are decidedly lacking in her current staff.  She really wants me to get a feel for the school and the kids and the community – despite the fact that she can’t formally offer me a job – so she invited me to come and teach a writing workshop two days a week on a volunteer basis.  That would give me a time to see whether and how I would fit in with the place, and would give them a sense of what I can do with students.  I agreed to a six-week trial; we’ll reassess the relationship after that time.

Dr. Wong seemed really confident that there would be a position available for me in September, but a lot depends, of course, on the money situation.  The school will be more than doubling its enrollment in the fall, they’ve decided not to expand into the building in which they currently reside (they were thinking of breaking through a wall and taking over more square footage, but they’ve put that plan on ice for now), and the expectation is that there will be money in the budget for me.  I won’t know that for a while, though, so for now, I’m going to do the volunteer gig and see what happens.

It’s not an ideal situation.  I would really like to be paid for my time (especially given that I get to tack two travel hours to every trip I make out there).  This gets me in front of a classroom, though, working with kids, doing what I love, and making an impression that may well secure me employment for the next school year.  It’s not perfect, but it’s something I can live with… at least for six weeks.

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3 Comments

Filed under about writing, colleagues, frustrations, Grammar, job hunting, Teaching, winging it

3 responses to “Not Quite What I was Expecting

  1. Bob Jr

    Just a few flags from experience. 12 classes unpaid with travel time is a large volunteer commitment. “We don’t have money but anticipate larger enrollment in the fall” should be familiar words you have heard before. Just be careful to what you commit to in this situation.

  2. Donna

    Mrs. Chili, When I read your post, my first thought was how much you must love teaching to volunteer for 6 weeks with no compensation whatsoever! Dr. Wong has been asking for how many “workshops” from you at this point? The best of luck with your job search!!

  3. Terry

    If I were a really paranoid person *looks around nervously* I would say it seems an awful lot like they are trying to get a LOT of information out of you…for free (including your previous post where you mentioned you were gathering TWO WEEKS of lesson plans…to give to the English teacher already there. Hmmmm.). They should at LEAST pay for your gas or SOME kind of small “honorarium” or consulting fee or SOMEthing. If they don’t even have the money to even give you some kind of token compensation, then what are the odds they’ll be able to fund a full-time teacher in six months?

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