State: New York
I was a happy, recently tenured elementary teacher and quite pleased where I was teaching. My principal, once my colleague, was promoting the change into multiage education. I, and five other woman in our five grade building, worked hard to convince the public that multiage education was the way to go. I was close to this group of woman. I mean we were like family, maybe even closer at times. At the end of my tenure year, third year, a new superintendent was elected and then my nightmare began. My principal, a weak, two-faced, jealous liar, did not like the fact that I was a stronger individual than she was. For example, in one confrontation with me she told me "you handle things like a man, you need to be more emotional." She, I'll call (her) Beth, conducted our meetings with a positive attitude but, if people disagreed with her she would cry, and sometimes leave the room.
Another close colleague and I would shake our heads in disgust at Beth's inability to adhere to controversy. This close colleague of mine , Beth, I was just a different type of person than she was. I am more cut and dry and she is wishy washy. In July I received a letter from the superintendent stating I have been removed from teaching until further investigation. The whole "nightmare" soon started. No one, (neither) Beth nor any of my close colleagues contacted me or returned my phone calls. I was devastated and totally confused as to why this was happening. After the union became involved we found out that this new superintendent, whom I had only met once, was trying to file a 1420A, I can't remember exactly what it was called but I knew he wanted me gone. The charges, all 13, were ridiculous. One charge was keeping the refrigerator door open in the break room to allowing the students to dance on their tables.
I had, up to this point, a flawless personal file, with only "excellent" evaluations. Beth, the principal, had already recommended me for tenure that April. I was one of the most favorite teachers in the building. It has been three years since that day we "settled" and not one of my former colleagues have contacted me that I was close to. I found out two others had left after I did. I also found out that my former colleagues were extremely jealous of me for so many personal things that I can't even believe. I have not received a job in a public school since then. I have been refused, after a great interviews, at least five times. I know it is because the superintendent is condescending on the phone during a reference check. How do I know? Last school year I was hired in late August in a Catholic school. The principal who hired me was honest enough to tell me so, and looked into my eyes and asked me if she had anything to worry about. I am still at this Catholic school because I have been asked back. I am still trying to find employment in a public school because of the higher wage. My current principal, who I respect for finally assuring me that I was not going crazy for thinking that I have been getting (worried).