Monday, January 29, 2007

Being called to the principal's office is an odd experience for a grown man. It's even more odd for me.

He's got a nice office, my pal, the principal. Much nicer than mine (if I had one). Deep plush chairs, floor to ceiling bookshelves--it's nice to see what the referendum managed to pay for. He'd sent me an e-mail that morning, and I'd purposely shown up late so he'd be ready, but he got held up in a meeting, so I killed time rolling a pen down the side of his desk and seeing how close I could get it to the edge before swiping it off. When he finally came in, I was caught in the act of retrieving it from under his desk. If it's odd to be called into the principal's office at the age of 31, it's probably even odder to walk into the office and see one of your teachers rooting around where your smelly size-12s spend a few hours of the day.

When we got settled, I got the scoop: A group of parents showed up at the board meeting ready to register a "concern" about the "lack of writing taking place in [my] classroom." The principal and the curriculum director steered [them] away, and settled the group down. I got all hot under the collar, the principal let me settle down, then assured me they were behind me a hundred percent.

Trouble is, it wasn't a group of parents. It was one parent.

A parent I get along with just fine.

A parent concerned about the lack of supplementary grading assistance and the decreased writing assignments overall. Concerns we aired once upon a time.

I think I got played.