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Delicate situation
Old 07-25-2020, 03:55 PM
 
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I teach in a parochial school. The public schools in my area are not returning to the buildings and will be 100% remote learning until further notice. However, many of the parochial and private schools in my area are giving parents the choice to keep them home and live stream classes or to send them in with masks, desk shields, social distancing, etc. in place (we got a 6 page reopening plan with a long list of precautions being taken). I realize that many think this is not a smart plan, but with the private sector, enrollment, tuition, and salaries have to be considered. I don't know if this is right or wrong, but I will be going back as I really need the money and benefits for my family.

Anyway, I have/had a coworker who was extremely unhappy with the decision to reopen and just a couple of days ago, decided to resign. She emailed her letter of resignation to admin and waited to hear all day and nothing. The next day, her school email was disabled. No one called/reached out to her. She is VERY upset and feels administration was absolutely in the wrong. Now, granted, our principal is not the warmest person and leaves much to be desired as an administrator (although I have never had any issues myself). We are a fairly small school, and in MY opinion, if I were this teacher, I'd have called the principal or her assistant to talk things over and let them know my concerns and choice to resign. I am not sure emailing two weeks before school starts was necessarily the right way to handle it. She and I are friendly and she has been texting me how angry she is that she hasn't been called or emailed in response to her resignation. I can understand that, but at the same time, I'm not sure she is blameless here, either. For a few years, I have heard her talk about resigning because she was so unhappy. She did not have to work as her family is very well off financially and she has often stated that she wanted to be a full time mom to her school age children. (I think her husband wanted her to work.)
Anyway, I feel in a tough spot because I have my own position but at the same time, I feel like my friend is disappointed in me for not being totally devastated about her resignation.

Everything is such a mess right now.

Thanks for listening!


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Old 07-25-2020, 04:11 PM
 
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I understand her waiting in the hopes that the virus situation would change . She should not be surprised however at the admin response. Teachers really are considered a non unique cog in the wheel and they can be easily replaced with a "warm body." This is how some admin think. Your friend is the typical naive teacher thinking they are highly valued. I am sorry for your friend as I think her decision caused much angst. I wish her well.
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Staff?
Old 07-25-2020, 05:59 PM
 
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Is there a way for you to e-mail the staff and have them send her a message to her personal e-mail? Or have them make some sort of goodbye video and you can compile them and send it to her personal e-mail? Could you or Sunshine organize some sort of gift? I'm guessing a good bye party would be too much with COVID, but that could be another option based on comfort level. I think it's sad admin didn't say anything, but I guess staff really can't if her staff e-mail was disabled. They may not have a way to reach her. Maybe if you organize some goodbye and give admin a chance to be part of it, it could make her feel better and you wouldn't have to be in the middle.
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tough decisions
Old 07-25-2020, 06:02 PM
 
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Like most of us, I think she wanted some sort of validation, but she didn't get it. She didn't get anything but silence.

She probably was hoping someone would, at least, thank her for her service to the school and tell her she would be missed, which might normally be the case. On the other hand, as you stated, she didn't make any phone calls to let her administration know of her concerns or even to give them a heads up that she was considering resignation so close to the start of school. They probably received her letter and immediately started scrambling to find a teacher to replace her.

All of this activity was none of your doing, so you shouldn't feel like it's your mess to resolve. You've been her sounding board, but don't get caught up in this. She made her choice and you've made yours. If you feel that you still want to do something, and if you have the time while preparing for your return, maybe you can come up with a way to safely circulate a 'farewell card' that others sign once school has started.
-----
I am beginning to think this basic scenario will play out quite a few times across the country as teachers keep their fingers crossed that the option they prefer will be chosen. When it's not, they will have to make some hard choices for themselves and for their families about whether or not to continue. Each person's decisions will be based on his or her life situation. It's frustrating that it has come to this, but it's yet another casualty of 'living in the time of Covid' as I've heard it phrased.
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Old 07-25-2020, 06:03 PM
 
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Frankly, she didn't choose to communicate her decision to resign in a personal way, so why would she expect a personal response?

However, it would probably not be helpful for you to say that.

Maybe just reflective listening. "This is an upsetting time for you." "You really wanted a phone call, didn't you?" "I'm sorry about how this has happened. "

And similar. It's hard when a friend has unrealistic expectations of us.


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Old 07-25-2020, 09:33 PM
 
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What in the world did she expect! I would let her know that you will miss her and wish things were different. I would watch what I did, I would be too afraid the P would retaliate and you have to worry about your position.

Something to think about. Are you sure she is as well off as she says? Did she tell her DH she was regigning? You don't know that she is taking this badly in part because she thought she would be talked out of resigning by the P and what she thought would happen didn't.
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friend
Old 07-26-2020, 05:52 AM
 
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It sounds like your friend is just frustrated all around. She didn't like the way they were opening the schools and she didn't like the way admin responded to her resignation. With the way the world is right now, frustrations are at a high level, so I feel like many people have a short fuse who normally wouldn't.

That being said, she just needs a listening ear. You can listen to her vent and sympathize with her not getting the response the way she expected, but do NOT feed into her negative comments about the school. When people get angry, friends or not, they can sometimes drag someone else down in the mud with them (happened to my friend). If she gets irate enough, she could march up to the office and tell them how you agreed with her, etc... I'm not saying she would, but I'm just saying to be careful what you say in response to her. Basically, don't say anything you wouldn't want admin to hear you say.

In their defense, they have bigger fish to fry right now. On top of making sure they're keeping children and staff safe and following the new guidelines mandated, now they have to find a new teacher a few weeks before school starts. She should've typed out the resignation, made an appointment to meet with them, and told them in person - handing them the letter. If you have an employee handbook, it probably has the protocol for resigning.

I'm sorry you're going through all that. You're being a good friend to listen to her. That's all she really needs right now.
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Old 07-26-2020, 07:55 PM
 
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Klarabelle, I really believe she thought they'd reach out and try to accommodate her and perhaps allow her to work from home. However, if an exception is made for her and there isn't really a legitimate reason, other than her own worry, then admin would need to do the same for everyone. I think when she wrote that email she almost wanted them to "call her bluff" so to speak. It's just an all around unfortunate situation.
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