Ill touch on ideal position first and foremost as its the positive of the two heading topics. The ideal position refers to my successful appointment as a 0.857 FTE Physical Education Teacher at Pitt Meadows Secondary School!!! So it seems the goal has been reached in a lot of ways. Its not 1.0 FTE but its as close as I’ve been and its everyday, I just have a prep everyday. The position itself is not just PE either, its one block of Social Studies 9 but if I had my choice of an extra teaching subject, Social Studies (or SS for short) would be a top of the list. Not only is it interesting learning about this countries past as well as its geography, but it allows me to stay engaged as I have to know the content before the kids and when its interesting, it sticks.
The lead up to the assignment was pretty quick. I noticed the job was posted on the district portal like all other internal postings, at least the ones without continuing status (these jobs are posted only to teachers with previous or current continuing contracts, as they get first dibs). So in saying that, this one is non-continuing, meaning the posting has an end date, which in this case is June 27/2014, the end of the school year. Once I found the job, I immediately applied, and at the same time, pondered over who’s position it was, having met all the PE staff here at PMSS. The very next day, I was called into PMSS to cover a PE staff member and coincidentally, the teacher who’s position i had applied for the previous evening, was at school and wanted to talk to me. He was glad I had applied and, in fact, had wanted to request me for the position!!! I had been in for his classes numerous times before and enjoyed my time, so hearing it was his job, along with the endorsement was a great boost to my confidence.
I believe it was a Friday, or even a Thursday when the posting closed, and I didn’t hear back on either of those days, nor the weekend. As Nick (teacher who’s job I had applied and been endorsed to cover) told me, requests aren’t always respected by administration, so I had become a little doubtful after not hearing anything. It wasn’t until Sunday night when I got a call from Mr Mike Keenan, Principal of PMSS, inviting me to an interview on Monday – the following day. Funnily enough, it wasn’t 5 minutes beforehand when I received a call from SD42 Dispatch asking me to work at PMSS, covering the very same, Mr Nick Nedeljkovic for the Monday. During my conversation with Mr Keenan, we then established an interview time during my prep or after school Monday, which ever worked best come Monday.
It was the latter as Administration had a meeting scheduled during my prep time, so come 2:40pm, I was in Mr Keenan’s office, rather sweaty as well from the previous PE lesson I hosted outside in the sun. The interview was fairly informal, as we had had a formal sit down for a previous position earlier in the school year. I was confident, yet prepared for not getting the position, as I had no seniority at all. However, being in for him already on this Monday, and Ned, already gone under the knife for his surgery, along with the previous work in his classroom/classes, the job was mine.
Wrong timing refers to the gong show that is the ongoing labour relations between the BCTF and the BCPSEA (British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association) and the overflowing consequences. These include the striking of teachers, which are still at rotating, once a week strike days, however a pending vote will change that to potentially a full blown strike by next week. This alone is just the tip, with the timing coming along with end of year exams which include provincial exams for senior students. On the other end of the academic spectrum, extra curricular activities like field trips have also been cancelled, leaving students with extreme levels of frustration. Yes the students are frustrated, yet the teachers and the government are also sharing this annoyance, however, the ones who could do without it the most, are the ones who are affected the most, the kids. I have an interesting article to read about the history of labour relations here in BC which I was given by my girlfriends father who works in the government sector. I will be sure to reflect upon reading it here in my blog once I am done reading it, hopefully with a new perspective.
Like I have said, its looking like a full on strike starting next week, and who will be the ultimate loser? All of the above I’d say.