"You need to decide which side of the fence you're on," he said.
He said it as tough there was no question that the fence existed, as if there would be no debate--it was a given. Now I've always had nothing but profound respect for this school district elder, and I still do (and always will). A week prior I got called on the carpet by the principal(s) for "not being a team player." Then I got called into the district office for what I believed was going to be a conversation about administrator-teacher relationships (a subject, certainly for another time). Turns out it was more fof the same conversation: I'm too chummy with the teachers, I'm too much of an advocate for them. I wasn't at all unprepared on the topic; I've had this argument--I mean, discussion--before. The Catch-22 for me here is simple: I'm the "stabilizing element" at my school, as one teacher put it this morning, being the only returning administrator from last year, and they're giving me a hard time about my loyalties. "You need to decide which side of the fence you're on: are you on the teachers' side, or the administrators' side?" he asked. I like being an administrator. Yes, the teachers are very intelligent, witty, have jobs that better fit my altruistic nature, and their parties are infinitely more fun (again, a subject for later); but when it comes to administrative duties I like to think that my rapport with the staff works in my favor rather than against me. So when he asked which side of the fence I was on, all I could think of (although I didn't say it) was, "Where the hell did this fence come from?"
He may as well have been telling me how much he likes cake.