Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

…. I haven’t heard so many people refer to the principal as “this principal” (in a negative tone) in a long time.  Oh there were those that didn’t like her, some that had their ups and downs with her, but none had the smug “I’ve outlasted bad principals before, I’ll outlast this one too” attitude. 

…. It also shocked me when the vice-principal had to send out an apology email for the checklists he sent out, primarily for the new teachers, because some teachers automatically assumed he thought they didn’t know how to do their jobs.

…. Add to that all the negative comments and attitudes, directed towards the principal again, for every new idea she asks us to try – and every new procedure that was mandated by the district that she passes along.

…. But the first feelings of regret at being where I am were in these series of notes from the custodian responsible for my classroom:


…. This one didn’t bother me at all, it’s kind of bossy, but at least it isn’t condescending or talking to me like I was a 9th grader.







…. This one was a little less nice.  It was good that he brought to my attention that the kids were writing on the accordion wall, but the note is more than a little condescending. 








092909fixed…. This one I couldn’t just shrug off.  I wrote him a little note:

replyfixed…. I took all the notes to the principal to get a feel for how this would be reacted to.  One of the things I’ve learned is that in a school there are two people you really do not want to piss off – the main secretary and the custodian.  They can make your life a hell of a lot more miserable than even the principal.  So I wanted her input.  Got more than I wanted, she found the notes even more insulting than I did and insisted on talking to the custodian herself. 

…. If I don’t answer the phone in the next week, you may want to have someone check out those new bushes planted at the back of the soccer field.



A Paperback Writer said...

Holy crap!
I SO would've had words with that custodian! You were far nicer than I.
Now, our legendary custodian at our school has gone, but the new guy's nice and the day assistant and the night guy remain the same ones you knew. I think I'll take time to tell each of them tomorrow how much I appreciate them.

Max said...

One way or another that was going to stop. Unfortunately (or fortunately) he works evenings so I never actually see him, which is why I was going to leave the note.
It's not like I've never had a custodian point out things I've let happen, places I need to pay more attention. But luckily, until now, they have always treated me with respect and pointed them out in a much nicer, casual, "just thought you'd like to know" kind of way. It's amazing how far a little bit of tact and a polite attitued can go.

A Paperback Writer said...

Just wanted you to know that I declared today "Custodial Appreciation Day" at our school and told all the custodians your story. They were all horrified, but the head guy at our school (not the same one you recall) believes he knows the fellow who's doing this to you and says he's a bit mentally challenged and has had problems at other schools.

Max said...

yeah, when I talked to my principal today she told me that this wasn't the first time she's had to talk to him. YEAH! I'm in a loony bin, and not in a good way, like your school.

Jeff said...

Wow, I need to let my custodians know how much I appreciate them too. What an ass.

Funaki-naki-naki said...

Wow. He's sounds like a total d-bag. When I taught in Sandy, there was always a lot of grumbling about the principal and it was a crappy work environment. I'm sorry to hear that your new school is so different from GHS.