Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Time to move on

I've felt like the writing's been on the wall for some time in regards to working in the Kent City Schools, but it's now official.  As of June 6th, I am no longer an employee of the district as I will not be returning the substitute teacher form and thus not renewing my contract.  I knew coming into this school year that it would be my last subbing in Kent because I would either get a full-time job here and thus not need to sub, or I wouldn't get the job and would take my services elsewhere.  The latter has proven true, so off I go.  If I do continue subbing (which means I have been unsuccessful in obtaining a full-time job), it will be in neighboring districts (including Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna where I have also been the last three years), but not Kent.

Most that know me know that I had hoped to get the choral director job at Roosevelt High School.  Not only was I a product of this program, but as a sub, I interacted with the choirs on a pretty regular basis.  At one point during this past school year, I subbed in choir 9 days in 3 weeks.  So yeah, I knew the program from both a historical perspective and from a present perspective.  Even then, though, I knew it would be an uphill battle for me to get the job based on what I was hearing in terms of what the district was looking for in a candidate.  It sounded like the intangibles I brought to the table in terms of continuity and rapport with the students weren't really traits the district considered that important.  Other events later in the year pretty much sealed the deal as far as I could tell, though I don't think those later events were game changers (in other words, I don't think those events made me go from someone they were thinking about hiring to someone they definitely weren't).  

In any case, I obviously didn't get the position I was hoping.  Again, not at all a surprise, but still disappointing nonetheless.  This is the district I live in and graduated from, so that in itself is disappointing, but even more so because I wasn't even interviewed.  On top of that, I found out pretty much by accident that someone had already been hired.  No one could even send me an email or mention that they were no longer looking, thanks for applying, etc.  Nothing.  And I was at Roosevelt the last week of school subbing on Tuesday (May 29) and Friday (June 1) too (Friday, ironically, was *in choir*).  The way I found out was by looking at the Feedjit app on the lower right side of this page.  It monitors web traffic to this address and tells me when someone visits.  When you click on the "real-time view", It also tells me what browser the person used, what operating system they're on, and even where they are logging in from.  If the person came to my page from a websearch like Google or Yahoo, then it will often show the what word or phrase was being searched for that led them to my page.  I occasionally check the full page of this and did so the other day.  I noticed a visitor from Ravenna, Ohio, had gone to my Resume page via a Google search for "mr. fowler choir director kent roosevelt". I decided to do that Google search myself and noticed the Roosevelt Choirs web page had a mention of this new person. Not a formal announcement by any means, just a passing mention, in a way that suggests the audience already knows about it.  And don't get me started on how many recommendation letters I asked for and never got from various people I know professionally.  I am, however, thankful for those who did take the time to write them for me!  You know who you are!

And in case any of you are wondering why I won't continue subbing in the Kent Schools, it's basically a matter of principle.  Would anyone reading this continue to work for an employer that only values you as a temp worker, especially an employer full of people that have known you for several years?  As a sub I get paid a fraction of what a full-time teacher does with no benefits and no guarantees I'll even be working most days.  Heck, subs don't even get employee parking passes at the high school (we get a "Visitor Pass").  I'm not going to keep doing it in a district that clearly has no respect for nor interest in me as a teacher.  That's not to say I didn't enjoy my time as a sub in Kent.  In terms of the teachers and students I worked with, I had a great time overall, and hope to continue the many positive associations I built in the last three years.  I especially enjoyed subbing in Intervention and Physical Education classes at the elementary schools, plus it was always nice to do something in my field of music at any level.  It's disappointing that it has come to this, but time to move on.

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