Four beloved teachers were fired two months ago. It happened after graduation and the last day of school. Kids didn’t say goodbye, they said… see you next year.
The following week when the teachers got to school, they were locked out of their email, given two hours to pack up 5-6 years of worth of work and leave the building.We are a very small school. The decision sent ripples of horror among our close-knit community. It didn’t make any sense. Apparently it did to the school board.
No apologies, No we should have handled it better – although one or two had mentioned it to a parent. A callous dismissal. A request to leave. No recognition of their tremendous contribution to the school nor references given, no care for the struggles these women face today – paying a mortgage, issues with medical, finding employment and claiming unemployment. The teachers with the exception of one, were in their late fifties and early sixties. The school board – I know many on the board – maintains they had their reasons. Of course they do. I listened with the utmost patience to what they said. The reasoning made no sense. I also heard what the teachers said. They know a lot. It does not add up. I have no more patience.
When blog friend Colleen – Chatter Blog wrote a post sometime ago about showing your ugly, I realized how much of that “ugly” I (finally) saw in the small school community I firmly believe fostered in my children a real love of learning. They understood the need for service, it was a place that recognized their individuality and who they will become as they take their place in the world. At this school they learn respect for the environment, for their teachers, each other and become confident, graceful believers in their ability to navigate a somewhat challenging future. Each teacher had a hand in that development, along with the values I work to instill in my children. Teachers are everything to our community. Do they make mistakes? are they sometimes unpopular with parents? Yes. If we refuse to acknowledge their dedication and genuine love for the children, how do we nurture that love of learning?
Change is difficult, but the expectation that this change was for the better wasn’t the justification most of us were looking for. The ugliness of human nature was what confounded me the most. I know we all have that potential. However, when a school is founded based on the beliefs of compassion, kindness and generosity and it’s core values no longer play an important role, there is nowhere to go, but away.
I wanted to go away.
There is but a tiny sliver of hope that lies in the faith we have placed in some greatly loved teachers.
I choose to believe in my child and her need to go back in spite of losing her teacher, she has shown some marvelous resilience. Well, it also helps that she adores her new teacher. With fingers crossed, we watch, day by day, month by month. Hope is all we have.