Ah, how we do love a world which revolves completely around us and our shining attributes.
Witness this little gem of a tale, again from the land of special education. Well, at least from the land of my son's educational experiences this year. At the beginning of the year, he was placed with an exceptionally clueless teacher, who exacerbated all of his anxieties, while she concurrently punished him for being anxious. (Denial of privileges, illegally preventing him from going out on recess, withholding his attendance on a field trip, manufacturing a tale of him assaulting a younger child, etc.)
Because of her behavior towards my son (and two others), and because this is a pattern of behavior over the years, the principal has made the determination that no special needs kids, whether or not they have been identified as requiring interventions, will be placed in her class. This means, of course, that the rest of the third grade teaching staff will have to take on more.
We'll call this shining example of educational ability "Mrs. P" for the purposes of this story.
The school psychologist and the president of the PTA both have girls who are presently in Mrs. P's class, where my son once was. (For the record, none of us requested her, and all three of us are pretty well horrified at her teaching skills. The two girls have each sought me out at school to say how very bored they are in class, and how is my son doing.) The psychologist told me yesterday that Mrs. P had asked the psychologist if they could go out for tea sometime, as Mrs. P needed some advice from her.
"Well, I know that Suisan, you, and the president of the PTA all requested to have your children in my class. Since you are all leaders within the school system, I think this has created some jealousy amongst my peers. I can't seem to break through it, and I'm having trouble working collaboratively with the other grade-level teachers. I'd like to know if you have any advice for me in this situation."
The psychologist said that she was fairly well speechless, and then told Mrs. P that her area of expertise wasn't in workplace dynamics, but in assessing and counseling young children. And then she wished her well.
(And then, of course, being a gossip, she had to tell me about the conversation. Oy. She shouldn't do that. But, hey, it made me laugh.)
Talk about needing a big slice of clue cake. Yeesh.
This morning the principal told me that Mrs. P has asked one of her peers out for tea to discuss whether there were strong reasons for her to stay at this elementary school. The other teacher didn't know what to do, but did tell the principal this morning that Mrs. P was possibly considering a transfer. Principal told the teacher, "Instead of tea, how about you two go out for martinis? I'll buy. But only if you convince her to go somewhere else." The teacher asked the principal for TIPS on how to convince her to leave! At that point the principal backed her off and had to counsel the teacher to leave everything alone.
Poor Mrs. P. No one seems to like her and her little squeaky voice and her big blinky eyes and her head tipped every so endearingly towards her right shoulder. And she can't figure out why.