…And Change It Is!

Yesterday the superintendent and the director of human resources visited the middle school where I work. There were quite a few letters handed out. Some were expected. Others not so much. I received one of those dreaded letters (and then got the certified mail copy today). My letter states that I am to be placed on the transfer list for the upcoming school year. This means that I will be given a position in one of the elementary schools in the county, grade level to be determined.

I had a feeling this was coming, but nevertheless it’s still upsetting to find that it’s actually true. It’s really a shame though. I don’t feel so bad for me as I do for the teachers and students that this will affect. We’re getting more and more technology in the district, and the TIS (technology integration specialists) are being cut. In my own opinion, I feel it’s going to lead to more problems than it’s going to solve, but time will tell.

After I got home from work and the baby shower that we had thrown for a coworker, I posted a long notice on Facebook. I had coworkers as well as parents of former students who would see it, in addition to my own family and friends. I wrote the following:

It is with a heavy heart that I write this…

Today I learned that my TIS position is cut for next year. I received a transfer letter today; no actual information in it since it’s just one of those generic ones. It means I’ll be put in one of the elementary schools in some grade level. If you read my previous post, you’ll know this isn’t what I want at all.

At the end of the school year, all clubs will come to an end. I was already ending JJC Stackers, but it also means no more Jr. FIRST Lego League, no more SES Coder Kids, and no more Bobcat Coders. If I am back in the classroom, I won’t have the time to run clubs; it was hard enough to do JJC Stackers and teach. That extra time before and after school would be null and void.

My teachers and students will lose their almost daily technology support when something goes wrong. We are getting 1:1 devices in 6th grade soon; next year, there will be no one to provide the support to fix the easy issues, monitor the devices, or support teachers in learning how to utilize them. The teachers that I have worked so hard with to incorporate technology lessons into their classroom, especially at the middle school, will no longer have that support. My elementary students will no longer receive weekly computer classes either.

I may have lost my position, but it is my teachers and students who will suffer the most from this budget cut. Yes, I’m not federally funded, it’s true. However, the effects are wide-reaching. I fear what will happen without that technology support.

I have the option of having a hearing before the BOE. I don’t know if I want to do it or not. I may, just to let them know the things I’ve said here.

In the end, I just hope the path I’m currently on leads me to where I need to be.

It was hard to write, but I knew it had to be said. The comments I received were very supportive, yet heartbreaking to read. Many agreed that I should go before the board of education for a hearing. I wasn’t going to at first, but now I think I definitely will. I don’t plan to ask for my job back. Instead, I plan to talk about what I posted on Facebook, and elaborate upon that. I guess I want them to see the impact that I had on these students and their families, as well as my coworkers. I wasn’t a TIS for long, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a big impact on those I worked with daily.

So what does this mean for me? I means that I am definitely looking toward Virginia. There are many counties hiring, and I have a lot of potential. My goal is to find a similar job there, and that looks like it’s currently going to be an Instructional Technology Coach or Instructional Technology Resource Teacher. They don’t have a certification program like WV, but I did check into the qualifications for one county and I would more than meet them for the position.

Onward I go. It’s time to take the first steps on a new journey.

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