Friend keeps getting disappointed when I don't go out with her
Good evening everyone, and I hope you all are enjoying the starts to your summer. I am trying to get through the recent warmup in temperatures and getting caught up on lost sleep!
I have this friend who I used to work with at the high school I was working at up until the end of this school year. She herself went through the force transfer process herself several years back, and never really found a good fit again after that, so she decided to leave teaching to do a different career. She is probably one of my closest friends these days and has done so much for me this year in terms of not only listening to me vent and giving me advice while telling me jokes, but she has also helped me revamp my resume very recently, and even volunteered on her own to help me with some curriculum materials and lesson notes to help my students. She has been a great friend and I am so glad we stayed in touch after she transferred to a different school. We talk frequently on the phone, near daily, and we hung out twice earlier this school year, once at my house and once at a dance club I would frequent. Sadly, I just found out that club closed down for renovations! I am sad because I waited all school year looking forward to going back there again, and now it's not even available. It was a dance club I'd been going to for over 25 years, and a lot of the regulars stuck around too, so it has been mostly an older crowd (40s-50s) in recent years, which I appreciate, being a woman in my 50s. But anyway, so the club is no more. But my friend keeps wanting to take me out. She keeps telling me I can do better than my boyfriend R, and has funny little nicknames for him too, such as calling him a certain slang word for a male's genitals that also happens to be a nickname for his name haha. (I guess it is kind of funny, haha) She says "we gotta get you away from R and show you all the better guys out there". I am not so sure I'm up for that, but I do appreciate her effort?
One thing about this friend: she just had another baby a little over a year ago, is married with two kids, but doesn't seem happy in her marriage at all. In fact, she's hinted or alluded to stuff this year that has me thinking her husband might have cheated or is cheating. She seems to think it's okay to gawk and flirt with guys then. She keeps wanting to go to a male strip club within an hour away, and keeps asking me and her best friend to go with her. I mentioned the strip club to R last week. He said, "what, you're going to watch other women strip?" I said no, of course not, that would be weird to watch women, it's a club with male dancers. He immediately said "You're not going to any male strip club" and that was end of story. It turns out my friend was very disappointed I didn't go. I gave her excuses about already planning to go to the gym that night because while her jokes about R are at times funny, sometimes I get tired of hearing them.
It seems she went last week anyway, by herself, and had a great time, in fact probably too good of a time to the point I wonder if something more happened with one of the guys. She phoned me at one point while she was there, and she sounded really happy and having fun. I admitted at the time of the call I was a bit jealous of her haha. So now she keeps asking me to go with her. When I told her the gym reason again, she told me "you can go to the gym any ol time, this is SPECIAL" then teased me that I was chicken. She sent me a little chicken emoji and an emoji with its tongue hanging out. Maybe I am. I'm just not sure if it's right to go when it is clearly not okay with R. Wouldn't it be a betrayal to engage in such a situation? She says it would be a great eye widening opportunity for me, but I'm still not sure. I'm also trying to keep the peace so I can have a good summer with R and finally get to go to the shore for a week with him, a trip that I didn't get to do last year or the year before. How should I respond if this friend keeps asking?
16 comments posted: Sunday, June 26th, 2022
End of school year has ravaged and defeated me
Hello, I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend and a lovely start to your summer. Make sure you spend lots of quality time with family and friends during the warm weather. I apologize for not updating sooner. Unfortunately for me, my summer has not been off to such a great start. I need advice because I feel like I have nowhere to turn lately.
As some of you already know, I’ve had quite the bad year at my teaching job. This year has probably been the worst one yet. I’ve been employed as a teacher for a total of 30 years with the district, 23 as a full-time teacher (it took me 7 years of substitute teaching for the district before I was offered a full-time position as a permanent teacher). They did not renew my position for next year. I was told it is because they do not have enough positions for science teachers due to projected student enrollment, and they need the existing biology teacher to also teach chemistry too. I am certified in biology and math, not chemistry. Thus, I am still technically employed with the district but currently do not know where I will be sent to teach next fall, and must go through a process called site selection to find a school with a vacant position for a teacher in my certification area. I’ve been interviewing at various schools, all schools that I would not choose to work at, just to have something. So far not one school has offered me a position. This means I will now have to wait until almost the end of summer to be called down to the school district office to pick a school with remaining teacher vacancies from a list. The district calls teachers down in order of seniority, so at least that works to my advantage since I have 30 years seniority. But I fear the only vacancies left will be at less desirable schools. Already the only schools with openings are mostly faraway or undesirable schools. I liked where I worked before because it was only a 5 minute drive from my house. I’ve worked and befriended teachers who went through this nightmare process before. Usually being force transferred and going through the site selection process results in getting transferred to a worse, not better, school than before. I’ve had a hard enough year…what’s next??!
I am hoping to get transferred to this one school, we’ll call it XYZ High School, which is further away than this last school but still a relatively short drive, 15-20 minutes. It is still in the same part of the city where I live. It is the least bad of the places remaining with science teacher vacancies. I keep checking the updated vacancy list on the school district’s site selection portal. A lot of positions keep disappearing, which means they’ve already filled spots with teachers. Only the less desirable schools are left, and then there’s XYZ High School.
When staff and students caught word that I was not coming back next year, they became very disrespectful and dismissive to me. Students started telling me they were refusing to do my work or the projects I assigned because "whatever, what can you do about it, you’re not going to be here much longer anyway" or they’d say "we don’t have to listen to you, you’re already getting fired I heard". Even though I was not actually fired (although at times it sure felt like it). The dean started ignoring my detention slips that I would submit to him for students to serve after school detention. The principal started being more curt with me. It was almost like people figured they didn’t have to pretend to be nice to me anymore because it didn’t matter since I was leaving anyway. And then there’s my workplace bully, Mr. Trout, who I suspect might be behind me getting force transferred out, if in fact there was any ulterior reason for my forced transfer. He spends at least 2 HOURS after school each day hanging around the building, chit chatting and hanging out in the (female) principal’s office, playing principal’s pet. For a while he stopped doing that after the principal called him on his BS in front of the entire school staff at a full staff meeting last year, but then in recent months he started hanging out in her office again. He would also hang around the copy room and ridicule me, falsely accuse me of helping my students "cheat" on the citywide test, etc. He said the only reason my students didn’t score well on the citywide test was because I put wrong answers on the cheat sheet I made for them because he thinks I don’t know the subject I teach. He has said so many defaming, hurtful things to me. He got ruder than ever after word got out that I was transferred out.
Even the janitor got rude with me. She started yelling at me in the last year for staying late. She claimed I was a burden to her because she would have to wait to lock up the building because I was still there. As if she knows the stress I go through with this job or the mountain of paperwork I’d have each day. In the last few weeks, she started scolding me and talking really nasty to me in general, and told me I was responsible for cleaning out my classroom and the large walk-in lab closet. She said she had already reported me to the principal for not cleaning out my room. I had plenty of paperwork deadlines to work on that prevented me from fully cleaning it out. Even my friend/former colleague questioned the irony of the janitor telling me I have to clean, said cleaning is the janitor’s job. Then the principal approached me and confirmed that I have to clean my entire classroom because it was my classroom all these years. The janitor was very rude to me. It’s like she didn’t even remember all the times I was super nice to her when she had her cancer scare a few years back, how I’d spend some of my after school time listening to her vent and I’d comfort her amidst her scare. Now she acts like we never had that bonding experience.
I stayed until at least 8pm each day for the last week after all the grades and everything were finalized, organizing and cleaning out my room and getting other administrative tasks in order. I had a ton of extra work caused by this forced transfer. Usually the posting of final grades marked the end of teacher tasks for the year aside from the usual basic cleanup. Instead, I had more work than ever. Other teachers got to party and celebrate end of year while I was stuck staying behind each night later than ever. They also put extra tasks on me. For example, the district’s psychologist – who does the psych exams, IQ testing, and special ed reevaluations on students – sent me 6 student input forms, multiple pages each, the day after grades were finalized. I had to dig through everything to supply data on each of these students to her. Then the principal told me that I had to put together ESY (summer school) science packets for students in the school’s ESY program. Basically I’m doing half the work involved with ESY, even though I’m not teaching ESY or getting the extra pay that comes with it. My work felt like it never ended.
The last day of school a few days ago was the absolute worst for me. Everyone got to leave early at 12pm except me. I stayed the latest I ever did, until almost 8:30pm. The principal said people who had their end-of-year to-do checklist completed and signed for approval from her could leave. But everyone else had to stay until it was done. More than half the teachers left immediately. She refused to sign mine because the janitor had complained that it was too much work to clean out my classroom, said I had to be the one to clean it out. Finally after 4pm, the principal said she was leaving but to drop off my to-do list under her office door and that she would have the janitors confirm that my room was cleaned out. I stayed until I got everything done because the last thing I want is a write-up for noncompliance at a time that I’m desperately trying to get accepted into another school placement. During site selection, new schools definitely check references with former placement’s principal.
On that last day (a staff-only day) we had our usual last day of the school year staff meeting. The principal gave her usual round of shout-outs. She gave shout-outs to every other teacher who was retiring, leaving the profession, or leaving the school. Except me. She forgot to acknowledge me. I guess leaving the school involuntarily doesn’t count for a shout-out. She gave two teachers shout-outs and award certificates for perfect attendance. Yet when I had perfect attendance last year, I never got such a thing.
After school on that last day when I was in the middle of cleaning my classroom lugging some of the classroom items to my car, I encountered my bully Mr. Trout. He was in his car driving out. He pulled his car up aside me in the parking lot. He started talking to me, so I did the polite thing and conversed, hoping maybe he’d help me carry my boxes. He didn’t. Instead, he told me that he heard I was trying to get into XYZ High School and that he thinks it’s a bad idea. He said I would never survive there, that I don’t have nearly the classroom management skills to handle the kids there. He said I should just give up teaching altogether. He acted concerned at first (probably fake) then quickly turned backhandedly insulting and then more insulting. He said any school I transfer to will be harder than this one was for me. I said defeatedly, "What difference does it make, it seems you got what you wanted by ridding this school of me anyway." He then told me I should just quit teaching because I’ll never make it to my retirement or get my earned pension. (I’m eligible to retire in 5 years) He told me I should just give up and get a menial job, maybe work at a nursing home because at least that job will provide health benefits. Whatever. Why the heck would I go work for minimum wage doing the very type of work I detested doing when my elderly parents were still alive and obligated me to care for them full-time? And worse, possibly work alongside some of my graduated 18-year-old allied health pathway students who had disrespected me so badly when they were in my class? Besides, I hate nursing homes and hospitals, as I find them depressing and I cannot stand bodily fluids. That’s the whole reason I switched majors away from nursing in college, even when it meant jumping through hoops to do so. How could he suggest such a thing?
I ended up staying later than ever that night. I was literally the last person to leave, except the janitors, who thankfully were there late because the district sent in an extra crew for overnight due to the deep cleaning required for end-of-year cleanup. When I got home, I was too exhausted to even go to the gym. Then the next day I had to finish the special ed input forms the psychologist said were so urgent, and the day after that I had another site selection interview for a school I didn’t really want to work in that did not lead to an offer anyway. So my summer never really started until two days after my last day. I have spent the last couple of days sleeping in and trying to make up for the sleep debt I had from the last few weeks. I haven’t felt well. Meanwhile, my former colleague friend seems annoyed with me because I didn’t meet up with her after school the week before to celebrate her end of her unhappy teaching career (she’s changing job fields after her own bad experience working for the school district). She tells me I’m "chicken" and I need to stand up better to my boyfriend R and to my job. Maybe I do. But even though she can probably relate better to me on work stress than most, even she hasn’t had the extent of stress and extra burdens that I’ve dealt with this year.
That is the end of my long vent. How can I enjoy my summer when I don’t even know if my employment is guaranteed in the fall? How can I really have a summer when I have to schedule all these seemingly go-nowhere interviews? What can I do for stress relief? Also, am I really all that wrong to turn down my friend’s requests to go out and "meet people"?
26 comments posted: Tuesday, June 21st, 2022
Hello, I hope you all are doing well and have had a lovely Memorial Day weekend with your families or friends. I hope you do not mind but I need advice on something so this is kind of a vent but I am also open to ideas. Recently I wrote about the growing problems I've been having at my public high school teaching job, mainly that after more than 20 years working at this particular high school, they have decided not to retain me for the following school year, which has left me scrambling to find another teaching position at a different school in the district through what our district calls a site selection process. I am extremely overwhelmed and intimidated by this, because I have not had to jobsearch in well over 20 years. I know a lot has changed since then! I went ahead and located one of my old resumes from the 1990s so I could use it as a starting point to modify and update, but that is just overwhelming because it's been so long and I have heard that resumes change formats over the years.
So far a few friends, mostly former colleagues I still talk to, have somewhat agreed to help me here and there. Sometimes when I try to approach them, such as my one really friendly colleague Ms. W, one of our colleagues will sideline her into a conversation and then when she is done talking to them, she has to rush out the door to pick up her kids after school, with no time left to help me. Another colleague--well, former colleague--Ms. L has been so helpful to me this school year (she's the one who typed up my cursive notes earlier this year, so I wouldn't have to use my overhead slides handwritten in cursive in class again), even despite her own jobsearch issues right now. She's gone through quite a heck of school transfers in the past, and she's younger than me, so she's been offering resume help to me. However, my vent is about my boyfriend R. R has been trying to help, and I should probably be more appreciative of him doing this, but every time he tries to help, I am so frustrated and more confused than ever! For example, yesterday. He came over to visit and use the Wifi since he has no home Internet at his condo, while I was working on updating my resume. He kept giving me all this criticism about how my resume is written, and it led to this big back and forth argument for nearly 3 hours about how to write a resume. I was really looking forward to having the free time to work on grading papers that are piling up, but instead, over 3 hours got spent arguing and fighting. I wanted to use resume ideas I found on the Internet, but R kept telling me that I'm not writing my resume the right way. I feel like to R, I can never do anything right.
I told my friend Ms. L about this and she kind of, somewhat but nicely, blasted me about ever listening to anything R says about resumes. She was a bit snarky and funny, saying "what does R know about resumes when he's a bum who hasn't worked since 2010". Lol maybe she is right. But I feel like I can't just shut R out when he's willing to help. I know he's just trying to help me improve my resume since the one I've used so far to apply for teacher vacancies on the school district's online site selection portal has gotten snubbed (I've received no callbacks yet to schedule interviews). But does it always have to lead to three hours of us fighting? Am I being harsh, or is Ms. L right that I should not want R's help?
21 comments posted: Saturday, June 4th, 2022
Do I need to go to the funeral?
Hello and I hope all of you are having a wonderful day and really getting a chance to soak up the warmer weather. I hope each of you are doing well with your relationships and hoping things get better for those of you who haven't had things going well.
I have been very busy with the whole process of site selection, in which I have to re-interview for a teaching position at another school or schools in the district, plus students have been misbehaving worse than ever, which has created extra work for me and of itself. I haven't had much time to do much of anything except work! I definitely haven't had time to have much of any social life, that's for sure. I feel like it's nearly impossible to stay on top of all of the work that keeps coming in, and now this whole job interview process too. I don't know how other people do it!
On the other hand, a recent sad event occurred in one side of my brother's family. My brother's father-in-law, who was elderly and sick for a while following a stroke, passed away. I found out about it from a group email that my brother's daughter sent out. I have already responded to her to express my sorrows and condolences. I am in the process of having flowers sent to through a flower delivery service. My question is, should I be attending the funeral too?
Truthfully, I feel extremely awkward about attending. I did not know my brother's wife's father, aside from seeing him attend a few extended family events such as my brother's wedding. Recently my brother got really angry at me because he felt that I did not buy enough retirement products from his financial advisor friend a few weekends ago. To be polite I bought an annuity, but according to my brother, it wasn't nearly enough. He said I was cheap and had wasted his friends time, and that someone without kids like me should have extra money to invest. Nevermind the fact that my brother was the one who pushed me to have this friend come over to give his finance sales presentation in the first place. Since that time, he has continued to avoid contact with me except this past weekend, when he called to tell me yet again that I am so selfish. He also rehashed a few petty things from the past. To be honest, I feel really anxious facing him at any event soon, and I also worry that I will be unwelcome.
To add to it, I feel very very behind with work. That nearly day long visit from his Finance friend really did screw me over in terms of getting me be home with my work. I am still playing catch up, and the work keeps compounding and building up, especially now that I have to revise my resume and attend all of these After School interviews for another position in the district. I am wondering if maybe I should just skip the funeral. Would it be wrong if I did? Or would it be proper etiquette to attend, since I am the sister of the deceased son-in-law? What is the normal protocol and etiquette for who should attend funerals?
Thank you in advance for any input you can provide. I have not talked to my brother yet. To be honest, I feel nervous reaching out to him after everything that has happened between us in recent weeks. I've texted his wife as I mentioned before, to express my condolences, but not yet my brother. Should I reach out? Or should I wait for him to contact me first? If I contact him, should I make a phone call or just send an e-card again expressing my condolences? Thank you again to all of you for all of your kind help.
21 comments posted: Thursday, May 19th, 2022
I found out I'm losing my job :(
I'm devastated right now. Then again, I probably shouldn't feel devastated since I saw it coming for a while now. But my biggest worry all school year about my job has come true: they're eliminating my position, and I'm forced to find another school to work at next year.
I wrote previously about the mean male teacher colleague who has been belittling me and disrespecting me for years now. He really amped up the rudeness to me this year. He also spends nearly everyday in the principal's office after school, schmoozing and playing Teacher's Pet while probably gossiping about others. I've worried that he is trying to lose me my job here. I heard rumors that the reason he wants me gone is so he can get my classroom. My classroom is bigger than his, has a large walk-in closet for lab supplies, and an attached semi-outdoor greenhouse. He keeps insulting me for not using the greenhouse (as if it's so easy to control such large out of control classes of students with activities like that!! easier said than done). He has somewhat bragged about all the things he'd do and do differently if he had the greenhouse. I have always worried he's been out to get me.
Another person who seems out to get me has been one of my students. She was very rude and rowdy, probably my absolute worst behaved student. When the principal came impromptu to do that observation earlier this year, this girl kept acting up while literally shouting from her seat in the back of the room that she didn't get it, that I can't teach, that my class sucks, and other very negative things. Then when the principal was walking out of my room, the same girl yelled, "Nice knowing ya, Miss [my name]. I know you won't be coming back next year!" I've never felt more humiliated at this job by a student. She purposely made me look bad in front of my boss at a time that I was already having a terrific day beyond my control. Yes, the principal cited her comments and misbehavior for reasons she issued me low ratings on my evaluation. I was so angry at that girl and still angry about it.
That girl ruined my career. As a result, I vowed to never give her anything better than an unsatisfactory behavior rating on her report cards. In our district, we issue two numbers on report cards for each student: a percentage grade, and a number from 1-3 for behavior. 1 is the best, 2 is ok/satisfactory, 3 is bad/unsatisfactory. The behavior rating has no effect on GPA or retention but obviously 3s don't look good. I have given her only 3s on each report card and will never give her any better than a 3 because of what she did. Her behavior has actually improved slightly since then, but screw it, I'm still giving her a 3 this report card.
A few months ago I was using the copy machine after school in the roster office because the usual copy machine was down. I happened to notice a paper left in the copy machine from hours earlier, which indicated that they were looking to cut a few more positions at our school for next year. It indicated that next year they're looking for a biology teacher that's dual certified in biology and Chem, instead of just biology. Since then I worried I would get cut.
In my large urban district, getting cut doesn't necessarily mean fired or laid off (although mass layoffs have definitely happened before). But it does mean having to shop around for teacher vacancies at other schools in the district, and interview at each of those schools as if you're restarting a jobsearch process with a whole new employer. They call this the forced transfer process. I've witnessed people going through it before and it's never fun. It's a lot of extra work and stress. For example, the one former colleague friend I wrote about went through it three or so years ago. She complained a lot about it afterwards. She was a really good teacher here and the principal seemed to like her too, and even my mean male colleague was nicer to her than he is to most. But she ended up force transferred with 3 others when they cut positions here due to lower-than-expected student enrollment. She ended up screwed over, transferred from a school she loved 15mins from home, to a nightmare work situation at a much harder school an hour away. She got a really raw deal. I worry now I will end up like that too. Also, I haven't written a resume or attended an interview in years, decades in fact! Usually it's the newer teachers who get force transferred. I've been here over 20 years. It's mortifying.
I worried for months now that they would look to get rid of me, force transfer me. All year my mean male colleague has taunted me about it, claiming no one likes me and to expect to be force transferred. Today I received confirmation from the principal that yes, I'm being force transferred. She said it really was nothing personal but due to the need to have the biology teacher also teach chemistry. I'm certified in biology and math but not Chem. In fact, I haven't done any Chem since college, and that was over 30 years ago by now.
I am devastated because the job I've been at for most of my career will be no more. All the hard effort, all nighters, and holiday breaks spent working nonstop from home on this job's paperwork has been unappreciated I feel. Even worse, when I told my former colleague friend about it today (the one who got force transferred from this school 3 years ago to a school she hated), she had an I told you so tone while telling me "you should have taken my advice to apply for sabbatical." I don't know if that would have worked either. She claims I would have been untouchable from my position and placement for the duration of time until a year after returning from sabbatical. She claims it's a way I could have avoided the news of a force transfer if I anticipated a possible force transfer. She claims that that's why she extended her maternity leave last year, to avoid possibility of becoming force transferred if she returned to work before the end of the school year. I don't know if that would have worked for me or not. The whole idea of a sabbatical just seemed lazy anyway. I was always raised to work, and work hard, or else I'm doing wrong.
I feel humiliated because I'm worried that word about my impending forced transfer will spread like wildfire and then kids will respect me even less. I've seen and heard of that happening to other teachers who were getting force transferred. Kids stop listening to them or even doing their assignments because they know the teacher will be gone soon. Kids have done this even when it's obvious the teacher is still going to be here for the rest of the school year and isn't leaving until next fall, when these kids will no longer have that teacher's course anymore anyway. It's all about respect and rapport. I dread work tomorrow for fear they'll taunt me about leaving. I fear that same girl will say "I told you so" like my mean colleague and even my former colleague friend.
How can I get through the next month and a half, knowing I won't be back? I'm so hurt by this. On top of all the other stress and work tasks I've had to deal with, now I have to polish up a resume and attend interviews at other schools during my limited after school hours too. Why does it seem like when it rains, it pours? When will it ever get easier?
11 comments posted: Thursday, May 5th, 2022
My brother is angry and no longer speaking to me because he feels I didn't buy enough from his financial planner friend
Hello everyone, I hope you are having a terrific weekend and hopefully have some time to spend with family and loved ones. I need feedback on a situation that has come up for me. It is not related to dating relationships but one with my brother. My brother is two years younger than me. We're not super close but we usually try to communicate with each other fairly regularly. He's the only kinship I have left, as our parents are deceased and I haven't been in much contact with other family/relatives. He used to live only a few minutes away from me, where I live in our childhood home that used to belong to our parents, but about ten years ago moved an hour away to the semi-rural/suburbs because his wife wanted to move there.
Last week he told me about his friend who recently became licensed as a financial planner. He strongly urged me to listen to his friend's presentation on different life insurance and annuity products. He obliged me to host his friend at my house last weekend so his friend could give me his presentation and sales pitch. I had so much work and looming deadlines (for example, interim reports at a time that I'm falling more and more behind with grading, from having more than the maximum capacity of students in each class but one). But he insisted and told me he'd already set up something with his friend to give me the presentation last Sunday afternoon, so I obliged and even cooked lunch for my brother and this friend. His friend was there so long, almost 6 hours! In the last few hours I kept secretly internally panicking about how I was going to have time to get my grades done and other work tasks. I ended up staying up past 1am just to get the most immediate work tasks completed for the next day. Although I already have a state employee pension plan waiting for me at retirement in about 5 years, along with an IRA, I purchased an annuity from this friend mostly to be nice and show gratitude for his time. I thought I'd done my part and that everyone was happy.
Then on Monday evening, my brother phoned me and immediately started reaming me out, telling me how rude and selfish of a person I was. I was stunned. He then said I was in the wrong to buy only a small annuity after all the time his friend had spent at my house, telling me about so many other financial products. He also said I should have bought more stuff because I have less expenses than him due to having no kids and much lower house expenses. I am confused because I thought financial planners give their presentation with no obligation for people to buy anything? Also, didn't I already buy an annuity? He then told me how irresponsible I was for myself. He said I should be spending way more on my retirement because I need more in retirement since I have nobody to take care of me someday due to having no kids, no husband, and no living parents left. I feel very hurt by all the things he said. It still pains me, almost a week later, thinking about the things he said.
Am I the jerk here? Or is he? Should I have bought more products from his friend, considering his friend did spend 6 hours of his weekend talking with me? Then again, I admit a small side of me also kind of resents the fact that I was stuck tying up so much of my weekend work time listening to a presentation when I was already tight on time for getting work tasks completed for my high school teaching job. Who is in the wrong here? My brother still hasn't started talking to me again. Usually he checks in with a phone call at least once a week but this weekend he hasn't. I'm worried that I've lost the one last person from my family who is still alive and talking to me. How can I eventually mend things with him, or should I wait it out? My friend who used to be a colleague told me "f him" and that my brother is not a good person. She has thought bad about him ever since I told her about my brother's affair (it was both PA and EA) he had some years ago. Then again she's never met him or been in my shoes. I still know him and love him as he's my brother. Is she being unduly harsh or is she right, that I shouldn't talk to him?
25 comments posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2022
How should I respond to formerly wayward boyfriend's grunpiness and lack of Easter plans with me?
Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a lovely Easter holiday and enjoying the sunny weather. I haven't had any free time at all in recent months it seems, and this is the first day all week I've been able to not work on my schoolwork. I've been on spring break all week from my teaching job but it's been very stressful for me because I've been spending it trying to catch up with all of the work I have and all the new requirements they've had us do recently. These paperwork tasks never seem to end! The students have also been more disruptive and disrespectful than ever it seems. There's been a rumor going around that they're trying to get rid of me, and I can't stop thinking about the possibility of losing my position here. I also don't know where the rumor is originating, but I do worry it might be from a male colleague I'll call Mr. Perch. He's the same colleague who has been really mean to me, and seemingly more meaner than ever to me this year. He literally spends hours each afternoon hanging out in the principal's office after school every day, gossiping and talking to her. I worry about what stuff he might be telling her about me, such as lies and the same false accusations he's hurled at me when I see him in the copy room after school. I really hope he's not trying to sabotage my position here. I've seen what happens when people lose their positions before. They don't necessarily get fired/laid off, but they do have to go through this whole interview process all over again for a different school in the same district that has a vacancy for a teacher with their certs. I really don't want to have to go through that. I've been at this school for 24 years now, and I haven't had to write a resume or attend an interview since! A lot has changed in 24 years! So that has been compounding my stress, hence putting my nose to work all week and really trying to catch up with all of this paperwork. I really, really cannot afford to lose my position here, financially or emotionally.
Then there's R., my sort of boyfriend. He hasn't been much of a boyfriend lately. He's been grumpy and usually we make Easter plans but this year he's been trudging his feet on it. I asked him this morning and he grumbled something about how his mom isn't feeling good so she probably won't have people over for dinner. I asked if we were still getting together but he said "I'll let you know" then never did! Why is he doing this? Do you think he's seeing another woman? I worry this because in the past when he broke up with me for a summer, I found out a year or so later that the reason he broke up with me (or more like, he just stopped calling me and making plans with me) was to chase after a new woman in his neighborhood who he was giving motorcycle rides to all summer long. I worry, and with summer approaching, I am so relieved to have a break from work but it's also a trigger for me because of how he met someone else 8 summers earlier.
At this point I've already reached out to my brother about maybe meeting up at his house for dessert following the Easter dinner he's hosting for his in-laws along with his wife and kids. How should I respond to R.? Am I wrong to feel like I'm being taken for granted? Or should I have more consideration for his report that his mother not feeling well? Should I be sending flowers and a card to his mother to show my sympathy?
42 comments posted: Tuesday, April 19th, 2022
How can you really tell they're being honest and not cheating?
Hello ladies and gentlemen, and I hope you all have had a safe and lovely winter holiday. I hope you all stay warm and bundled up through these chilly winter months. I haven't written a post on here in quite a while. It's been a long time. I still browse on occasion when I have a free minute, which isn't often, but here I am.
I have been so busy with work lately, I feel like I'm going crazy sometimes. A few years ago I thought work's workload couldn't get any bigger, but surprise, it did. I had a little bit of a break with the school shutdown and virtual learning but that didn't last long at all. Soon we were doing all of our instruction online, which meant learning how to navigate a whole new series of programs that I was just not used to. I really do not consider myself a sciency techy kind of person at all. I try to keep up with computer stuff but it's just not something I'm really good at. The good thing about virtual learning was that at least there were less ways for kids to disrupt class (although learning how to mute unruly students without them having the ability to quickly unmute themselves again was quite a challenge for me). Also, over time it seemed that a lot of the disruptive students stopped showing up, or they would show up but stay disengaged with their cameras off and on mute the whole time. It made it much more peaceful and I was finally able to teach a lesson without the constant interruptions and talking over me. Unfortunately, the paperwork increased tremendously with virtual learning. There were all these new forms and documents we had to submit, to prove that we were supporting each and every student, including the non-attenders and non-participants.
When school started back with full-time in-person learning again, a lot of the previous new documentation efforts never went away, so now I have the extra workload of individual person-by-person daily documentation, posting and sending assignments "virtually" for all the students who can't/won't attend, in addition to all the in-person instruction challenges. I feel like I never have enough time in the day to complete anything competently enough.
Another thing that has complicated this job is a few exceptionally mean students, this one girl in particular. She has this sassy, snotty bad attitude and always seems to be looking for an argument from me. She has engaged in power struggles in my class with me over small stuff many, many times. For example, she will not do her work and just play on her cell phone throughout class, and then when I issue her zeros for assignments not completed, she will claim she did them and then falsely accuse me of losing her work. I didn't lose anything. I keep everything very organized and I stay until past 7pm at school each night grading everything. I literally stay so late that the school janitor has to kick me out when she's ready to lock up the building for the night! Before this girl accused me of losing 3 different assignments that I KNOW SHE DIDN'T DO IN CLASS, she made my teacher evaluation a living hell. The principal came in to observe me in November. This girl was exceptionally rude, purposely acted loud and disruptive and off-task in class. Kids all started yelling that they couldn't understand my handwriting on the overhead slides I used with class notes for them to copy. When the principal got up and walked out of my classroom near the end of the class period, shaking her head with concern at me when she walked out, the girl literally yelled out, "It was nice knowing you, Miss [my name]! I know we won't be seeing YOU back here next year!" I was floored and humiliated. As suspected, when I met with the principal to review my evaluation a few days later, I had received mostly 0s and 1s out of 3. It was my worst evaluation yet from this principal, who had always been nice to me in past school years and even enjoyed some of the lessons she'd observed from me in the past. I am only thankful that the evaluation was an informal, not a formal evaluation. I worry now how my formal evaluation will go. I've already heard rumors more recently from my bully colleague Mr. K that they are looking to get rid of me after this year. I can't lose my position here; as much as this school is stressful, it's less bad than a lot of the other schools in the city, and it's somewhat close to where I live compared to others.
That girl tried to sabotage my lesson on purpose (and won). After that day, it was almost like she knew she could get away with it. The principal didn't even seem to try to stop her when she was provoking in my class. I guess that showed her that nobody cares how anyone mistreats me or my lesson, not even an authority figure like the principal. She acted worse and worse to me after that. Because of that, I made sure to give her a behavior score of 1 on her report card that came out a few weeks later. In our district, we issue students three sets of scores on their report cards: a percentage score for their academic grade in our class, then a score of 1-3 for behavior, and a score of 1-3 for effort. 1 is worst, 3 is best. From now on I swear I will never give her anything higher than a 1 for what she did, ruining my career like that. I don't care if she suddenly has a magical turnaround (which will never happen), I will never give her a behavior score higher than a 1 now.
In addition, I feel like this job is sacrificing my personal life more and more. I never had a chance to really enjoy the holidays. I was able to find time to go out to a public celebration at a bar/restaurant on New Years Eve, first time in two years, with my boyfriend, who seems to still be on-again off-again. I don't even know if I should call him my boyfriend or not these days. I was ready to just stop contacting him a few years ago when I found more evidence that he was cheating, and it seemed like he had already decided to do that for me, but then the pandemic hit. That spun everything into a new reality, and had me worrying about everyone and not wanting to shut out contact with anyone I know who might be struggling through these times. So that kept us together in contact, somewhat, but these days I'm not so sure. Plus, it wasn't like I could actually meet anyone new when we were in lockdown, or when I have had so many work obligations.
However, how do I know that he is really just seeing me? He claims he only wants me, that some of his best times in his life were spent with me. But is there any other way for him to prove this to me? I worry because I have been trying to curb my attitude when he stops by, since I should be thankful that both he and his elderly mother both survived covid in recent months. But how do I know? Can anyone provide me with good trust building strategies? Thank you and I hope all of you stay safe and warm this weekend.
10 comments posted: Saturday, January 22nd, 2022