Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Letter That Never Came

It's Saturday. The letters for who would be safe and who would be let go were supposed to come today. Supposed to. Mine? My letter did not come. At all.

I spent most of the day alternating crying and pacing in front of the door watching for the letter that never arrived.  Since I  am a complete Facebook addict, I was updating with my lack of letter every few hours. When I finally found that the mail had arrived and there was no letter for me, I broke down. It was not one of my finer moments. Having spent all week alternately wishing Saturday here and dreading its arrival, I broke down in ugly, frustrated sobs. My poor husband didn't know what to do and my toddler was quite distraught at Mommy's reaction.

After I'd finally calmed down and sent my husband out for comfort food, my phone rang. I didn't recognize the number. Who was it? One of the counselors from school. He logged on to Facebook and saw my frantic statuses. He took it upon himself to find out the answer for me and called one of the administrators from school to find out. As soon as he had word, he called me and reassured me that I would be continuing on at my school.

Another great flood of emotion burst forth as the realization that I was safe settled on me. Now,  a new emotion is there. Guilt. I'm safe. Fourteen other teachers are not. I don't know who they are. I don't know when or if I'll find out. I'm selfishly thrilled that I am keeping my job. I can't begin to imagine how the others must feel. The next several months will be very difficult for them.

Given the heartache and distress I felt today, I realized just how horrible these audits really were. I didn't realize it until today that I've been carrying around a gigantic stress on my shoulders since September. I buried it down and let the emotions fester. I didn't realize how much it was eating me up and how I've been taking out these emotions on my friends and family so that I can present a brave face at school. This audit has hurt our students, our teachers and our loved ones for what amounts to filled in bubbles in a biased test. Isn't this enough? Do we really need to do this again next year to ten more schools?

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