Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Still surplus.

Yesterday (Tuesday) was the next step in the staffing process: all those who were verbally informed last week that they were tentatively surplus to their schools, and who are still surplussed even after the various staffing changes that have occurred over the past week, got a letter today officially informing them of the situation. I got my letter, so even though the person two spots ahead of me in the seniority line at my school has been called back and the person one spot ahead of me has been half-called-back, I still have to wait (until the half-called-back person is fully called back and then another spot opens up for me). Postings for vacancies at other schools start April 30.

By the way, a little tip for those of you who occasionally have to write official business correspondence: please watch what font you use. Giving potentially bad news like telling someone they are surplus to their school in a font like Comic Sans is just plain unprofessional. I was not overly bothered by the news (I still think something will work out either at my school or hopefully one that is better for me location-wise), but the font thing didn't help.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Update on the surplus situation (yes, already)

I mentioned in my last post that I was third in line for any calling-back of surplussed teachers to a position at my current school, after my officemate (who was half-surplussed) and a teacher in the special education department. Today I found out my officemate has now been called back to a full timetable for next year, and the special education teacher has been half-called-back. I could still end up surplussed to my school, but it looks like things could still work out for me to remain at Central Tech rather than having to wait on a placement in another school.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

News on the job front...not sure if it's good or bad.

The Toronto District School Board has a very specific process that is used for staffing. All of us teachers have received (or have access to) a list of dates detailing what happens when. Since I share an office with another first-year teacher, and because our lack of seniority makes that process very important for us to know about, we have this list of dates posted prominently in our office. This morning, he pointed out to me that today is the day we would find out if we were tentatively surplus to the school (but not the school board)...something that has been hinted now and then might be the case for us, as much as the department head likes us and so on. When I went down to check my mailbox and do some photocopying during my prep period, the principal's secretary asked me to come down and see the principal at 3:20 p.m. At first I was worried about whether I'd done something wrong that was going to require my being reprimanded or whatnot, until I remembered my officemate pointing out today's date on the staffing dates list this morning. I let him know about my upcoming meeting just before I headed off to my class in period 4 (when my officemate has prep), and before I knew it, he was poking his head into my classroom, mouthing, "Me too."

Long story short, yes, my officemate and I--as well as a third teacher, in the special ed department--have been told by the principal and local union president that we are tentatively surplus to the school. This has nothing to do with our merit as teachers, as surplus decisions are made solely on the basis of seniority. My officemate has the most seniority of the three of us, and so he has actually only been half-surplussed...the school has half a timetable put together for him. I am last in seniority, after the special ed teacher.

Where do things go from here? Well, if things haven't changed by next week, the three of us will get letters confirming that we are surplus to the school. Postings for vacancies at other schools begin April 30; we can then apply and be interviewed for those postings. As situations change at our school, vacancies may come up, which may result in one or more of us being called back to the school (in order of seniority). Otherwise, we'll have to wait to see where the board can place us. Thankfully, the principal and local union president both said that all indications seem to be that no one will be surplussed from the board, so the three of us should still have jobs...they just might not be in geographic areas we'd prefer. If we do get surplussed from the board, we will find out sometime in June (again, there is a specific date, but I don't have that on me at the moment).

How do I feel about this? Well, part of me is very much hoping that a dream position will open up teaching at a good school somewhere in Scarborough, which would cut down on both my commute and my classroom management headaches. Part of me is disappointed that I may have to start all over in terms of building relationships with colleagues at a new school, finding out where to find lab supplies there, finding out how the school works, and so on. It's never easy being uncertain about the future, of course, but the fact that Martin and I don't rely upon my paycheque certainly makes it easier to bear (though I am using it to help us build up a down payment on a home of our own, so it does make me wonder it we'll have to put off that dream even longer). Overall, this could work out well for me...I just wish I could see right now what the end result will be.