In my last post, I discussed working to the rule (working only our contracted hours). Since then I have spent a lot of energy hashing out what my stance would be. I decided that I would work no more then an hour on any given afternoon/evening so that my actual work day hoovers around eight hours. Our contract states this, so I will abide. Will I get the next set of essays back in a timely manner? No. I’ll do my best, but I will not spend a weekend grading like I have done in the past. The only exception will be for paid meetings, including AP review sessions.
On a school level, we had a meeting today that was defining. Our WASC (accreditation) visit is next week. The same days as the fact finding hearing between the union and the district. With almost half of the staff represented at a meeting, we decided to work to rule through next week (as originally planned) and not attend any meetings after 2:45 pm when our contracted day ends. While we might be forcing the visiting commitee to give us a 3 year instead of a 6 year accreditation, we thought the timing was too important. Our immediate need to settle this contract makes WASC trivial. We are a good school, there is no chance we will not be given some level of accreditation.
Throughout all of this process (going on two years!) there have been only a few powerful moments. Today was one of them. After a 25 minute discussion of the pros and cons of this action, an overwhelming majority voted to work to the rule. I love my department, they have been at the core of this movement since the beginning and are one of the primary reasons I have not moved on to a different school. However, I have mixed feelings about the school as a whole. I feel there is very little sense of community and a constant opposition to change and moving away from our “traditional” model.
But, today was different. I saw our potential. It is the teachers that make the school and we simply have not had consistent leadership (3 principals in 4 years, 4 in my 10 years) to bring us together.