Since the news of my transfer at the end of this year broke to the parent body, there's been a lot of communication from the parents. That communication has been directed to me, to the principals of my site, to the district leadership, and to the Board member from our school's area. All of this communication has been very positive about me, and some of it has been mildly hostile toward the decision-makers. (How this has stayed out of the local paper, when so very much of what happens at this school ends up there, I have no idea.) When I say mildly hostile, I mean two things: people are questioning the district leadership on their decisions, and people are not satisfied with the answers--or non-answers--they're getting. Although one of my principals has asked that I make some sort of response to these e-mails and phone calls, she doesn't seem to realize what I grasped very early on: this matter is no longer about me.
My school has endured quite a lot of administrative change in the last several years, as has the district. No principal at this school has lasted more than three years in the last ten or so, and I'm the administrator who has been there the longest. I've been the only constant, and now they're losing me (and neither the parents or teachers is particularly wild about the people who will be sticking around, so that adds to it). The communication has been extremely flattering about me, my abilities, my honesty, and my speed in getting things done. If nothing else, this entire ordeal has done wonders for my ego. The parents even put together a petition--four pages long--asking that I be left in my current assignment. There seemed to be little said at the Board meeting last month, but quite a lot has been said behind the scenes. At our next PTA meetng next week, the guest speakers will be the Superintendent, the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Instruction, and the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. Gee, I wonder what they'll be asked to speak about?
While all of this flattery makes me feel good, there's still an undercurrent of dread. This has become something of a headache for the district higher-ups, and although I have had no part in creating the controversy, it's got my name and face all over it. These district administrators can't really do much to the parents who are complaining, but they can keep me down, or in assignments I don't like or want, or eliminate my position and leave me twisting in the wind (more on that another time). My hope is that the conversation at the PTA meeting will be focused not on me, but on the decision. I didn't ask for the transfer, I wasn't involved in the decision to transfer me, I haven't complained or fought the transfer, and I haven't spoken out against the transfer . . . so I'm hoping that everyone will realize that this is about the decision, and those who made it, and why, and how they're justifying it (it turns out that the guy I'm swapping places with is well-liked at his school as well, and THOSE parents are complaining, too). A couple of people have told me that they're dissatisfied with the "party line" they're getting in response, and that's not going to be easy to deal with . . . in the end, I know that an easy way out would be for them to ask me to calm everyone down. I've kinda tried that through back channels, and it hasn't done any good. I don't want anyone to ask me to do it openly, though . . .
. . . I mean, if a restaurant decides to take a dish off the menu, and the patrons don't like that decision, you don't ask the rack of lamb to make a statement.