**Disclaimer: This post is about my time as a teacher. If you know this story, I don’t mean to slander anyone. I’ve used fake names to describe any one and any place. This is intended for my personal blog. You can choose to read it or not. **
This post is quite long, I understand if you don’t read it all, but it would mean a lot if you did.
One day, a new Floater was hired. A Floater is someone who floats between rooms to assist where needed. (50% of the new Leads that came into my room were Floaters, they didn’t need a certification to teach, and they could be as young as high schoolers). Let’s call this particular Floater Wild Thang. Wild Thang liked to party, and I mean the kind of partying that requires lying on a resume. Wild Thang was a very loud person and would occasionally raise their voice to my children. It was effective because it got them to listen but it was hard to watch because it usually resulted in tears. I’m not a very loud person; I was the quiet voice that made children think about their actions once they had done something wrong. By no means am I calling myself perfect, but Wild Thang liked to use their volume to get their point across. Wild Thang was sent to my room a few times when they were first hired, spaced out with other Floaters and Lead Teachers from other classrooms. But eventually I got the call from my Assistant Director telling me they were going to be sending Wild Thang to my room every day. In the beginning, Wild Thang and I were friendly. We would talk about how much we loved the kids and how we only wanted the best for them. Wild Thang would help me make lesson plans and give the kids everything they needed. Not to mention, Wild Thang was extroverted so they were really great when it came to talking to parents. They would BS this and BS that. I, on the other hand chose to be honest. Mistake numero uno.
Wild Thang and I talked more as the months progressed about what was to be done about this classroom. There was a certification program that any teacher could go through to become pseudo-certified at our school, and Wild Thang started to insert the topic into our conversations. I knew about the program, but my long term goals did not include being a teacher, so I mentioned that I didn’t want to commit to teaching because I didn’t know how long I would be at this particular school. So, by process of elimination, Wild Thang chose to go through the program so we could be the dynamic duo to save our classroom.
To make a long, terrible score of months stay in the secluded part of my memory that I avoid thinking about for my own mental health; I won’t go into the ins and outs of what happened once this decision was made. For the sake of your curiosity, it involved a lot of horrible happenings from Wild Thang and being subsequently fired for it. I was instrumental in Wild Thang’s firing. I pretended to be their friend to avoid drama and sold them out to my Director by writing down the things Wild Thang would say. The final straw for me to sell Wild Thang out was when one of my favorite students left because of them. Wild Thang was the reason I and all of that child’s friends had to suffer so from then on I was done.
Once Wild Thang was gone, I was yet again put in the position of “Lead” but still labeled as an Assistant Teacher. I was given another teacher from an infant classroom for the duration of the month following Wild Thang’s firing. I was waiting for another teacher to come back from maternity leave so that I would have yet another teacher come into my classroom and try out being the Lead.
The next teacher was so sweet; they were such a breath of fresh air after Wild Thang’s reign of terror. At this point I was already back in “Lead Teacher” mode. I had bought my own books, coloring pages, and art supplies so I could branch out with better lesson plans now that my 3 year old’s were turning 4. I had gotten them used to not asking Wild Thang for help and not relying on their harsh personality as a threat (something I was not proud of doing).
Just as I became comfortable again, we got our new teacher. I didn’t know them long enough to give them a nickname. This new teacher reorganized my closet, re-arranged my classroom, and told me all of the artwork I had made for our upcoming art show (each child had to make the same 5 pieces of art based on a famous artist which was tricky because some only came certain days of the week) was wrong and they “couldn’t use it.” Now, don’t get me wrong. This new teacher was super sweet. They cared about the students and they talked to the parents with the perfect balance of frankness and kindness. My only complaint is how instantly comfortable they felt coming into my room and proceeding to teach my kids.
I never saw what happened to my room after that. I was fired for making one too many mistakes. The kids loved me, unfortunately the parents didn’t. So I was kicked out. I later found out that the last teacher had put in her 2 weeks’ notice the Friday before I was fired. So now my kids are being taught by someone else. I think about them every day and I hope they’re all well. I loved that job, but I’m so glad I don’t work there anymore.