In a whirlwind of administrative upheaval, the original poster (OP), an Assistant Principal, is faced with an abrupt, inexplicable career upheaval that threatens their role at a school they’ve devoted years to. Just when it seems that their professional life is spiraling out of control, an unexpected opportunity emerges that shifts their career trajectory, but not before they take aggressive revenge against the new school administration.
A Spark of Uncertainty
OP, an Assistant Principal at an elementary school, approaches the end of the school year, and they realize the administrators have not received their contracts for the next year. There are rumors of a pay scale shift being the cause, but the uncertainty begins to create tension.
The Unexpected Meeting
OP is called into a meeting with the Acting Superintendent and the head of HR. They confirm that OP’s current position is being eliminated, but no clear reason is given. A new role, “Learning Coordinator,” is proposed with significantly less pay, and OP is given three options for the future, introducing new decisions and choices to be made.
The Shaking Up of the Ranks
OP is told they can apply and interview for this new Learning Coordinator position. This feels like a slap in the face, as they are being asked to interview for a role equivalent to their current job but with less pay.
Within a week, the school district goes through a broad internal shake-up: the Superintendent has been “released from his contract,” OP’s Principal is stepping down due to health reasons, and a favored friend of the new principal has already filled the new Learning Coordinator position. This reveals an internal politics plot that adds a layer of complexity to OP’s decision-making.
The Bold Stand
OP takes a stand against the administrative changes, confronting the Acting Superintendent directly about the unfairness and potential harm to the school. They voice their criticisms with vigor and demand an excellent letter of recommendation as an acknowledgment of their past work. This shows OP’s assertiveness and courage, marking a turning point in their journey.
A New Beginning
OP reaches out to an old friend, the principal of a STEAM charter school, and secures a teaching position there as a 6th-grade teacher. They’re given the chance to design their own curriculum, marking a fresh start and change of pace. This is an unexpected twist, as they’re returning to a teaching role they once loved.
OP expresses concern for their current staff, who will be affected by the administrative changes. They wish they could help but recognize that they would be miserable if they stayed at their current school.
A Family Decision
OP involves their 5th-grade-bound daughter in the decision, asking if she would like to move with them to the new school. She excitedly agrees, further validating OP’s choice and adding a personal, familial element to the narrative.
OP starts looking forward to the freedom of teaching full-time again. They anticipate a more empowering environment where they can focus on doing their job without interference. This presents a hopeful perspective on the future and a return to OP’s teaching roots.
A Heartfelt Goodbye
OP decides to write personalized farewell notes to each staff member and includes scratcher tickets as a token of appreciation. This symbolizes their concern for their colleagues’ future and their gratitude for the shared work experience. OP feels sentimental and has a fleeting warm-hearted moment amidst the turmoil.
An Unresolved Concern
Despite the new opportunities, OP still harbors worries about the potential negative impact of the new administration on their current school. They feel a sense of powerlessness to help their colleagues. This lingering concern adds a tinge of melancholy to the story.
OP acknowledges their need for a break from school leadership and expresses excitement about returning to teaching. This twist reveals a shift in OP’s professional focus and the anticipation of reclaiming their passion for teaching.
A Parting Gift
OP is preparing goodbye gifts for their staff, revealing a thoughtful gesture that also comes with a little defiance towards the district office. They intend to help their teachers out in a significant way. This initial act sets the stage for the cunning scheme that is about to unfold.
The district requires each teacher to attend 24 hours of additional training throughout the year, a mandate that many teachers dislike. These are run by various personnel, including OP, and must usually be completed during the summer or school year. This bureaucratic requirement is a source of stress for teachers and becomes the primary conflict in OP’s story.
In a masterful twist, OP starts making copies of the certificates for all the courses they have run over the years. They plan to fill them out with each teacher’s name and the number of hours spent on each topic.
OP calculates the total hours for each topic discussed, coming to the exact requirement of 24 hours per teacher. They meticulously record the dates of the training for the upcoming school year and mark all teachers as present. This twist shows OP cleverly manipulating the system in favor of the teachers.
The Office Rebellion
After being treated as expendable, OP springs into action. They remove every single personal belonging from their school premises office, from furniture and office appliances to file cabinets filled with paperwork.
To ensure the new administration doesn’t have access to their hard work, OP decided to delete every single file they had created on their work Google Drive, effectively erasing a significant portion of their professional contribution to the school. Simultaneously, OP secures a copy of all their digital files and emails onto a personal flash drive, leaving the school administration high and dry in terms of digital resources.
A Rush of Improvisation
OP embarks on a strategic spree of approvals, finalizing staff leave requests and supply list items, and even fast-tracking a refurbishment order for classrooms.
OP, who had nurtured valuable partnerships with local businesses and individuals over the years, decided to wipe clean the evidence of these relationships from the school. A comprehensive list on a whiteboard in their office showcasing these connections is erased, and the whiteboard itself is taken away, further complicating the new administration’s job.
Ignoring the Pleas
OP embarks on a well-deserved vacation, ignoring multiple calls and emails from the school’s HR department. Upon their return, they find desperate messages asking for a meeting to discuss the return of items that OP had taken upon their departure, clearly indicating the chaos that ensued in their absence.
The Refusal and Threat of Legal Action
OP arrives at the HR office, casually dressed and nonchalant, and refuses to return any of the items, claiming it all as personal property. They reiterate the poor treatment they received, stating their willingness to take the matter to court if needed.
By providing the HR team with their lawyer’s contact info, OP effectively puts an end to the school’s desperate attempts to regain the much-needed resources and connections OP had built over the years.
Was The Assistant Principal’s Behavior Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “Best of luck on your new job! Your students are lucky to have you, and I know you will make a difference in so many lives (your students, colleagues, and loved ones) for years to come. Maybe offer to do consultations? Your wisdom of dealing with terrible situations would easily be worth $75 an hour.”
Another Commenter Thinks:
Another responder wrote: “I want every policy maker for education across the planet to read this and understand how much teachers put their heart, soul, and money into their jobs and are quite frankly taken advantage of by administrations.”
A Third View On The Story:
A different person states, “Ah, to be a fly on those walls when this went down would have been glorious. I think this might also fit malicious compliance as you did exactly as they said; you took your things out of the office.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a Reddit thread.
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