There’s “Thank You…”

And then there’s overkill!

The past two weeks have been almost completely overtaken by prom. As the sole prom sponsor, I’ve been running around like crazy to make sure everything was done and looked amazing. Or rather, I suppose, I was running around making sure the kids finished everything and it looked amazing!

It’s an odd sensation to know that this will be my last prom at the school where I currently teach. On one hand it’s been very liberating, because I was in complete control, and had a very open-minded, not money-minded, principal telling me just to get what we need and not worry about the expense. And believe me, we didn’t worry about the cost. I believe we’ve spent more on this prom than any prom in the past, and thus, we will make absolutely no profit from it! Between the DJ, who was, as I expected, amazing but not to the kids’ liking, and the photographer, who wasn’t included in the budget since one of the faculty members offered to do it, only to back out 2 days before prom, and the after prom party at Celebration Station, and the decorations, and, and, and… We spent…well we spent a lot.

But, the principal was very pleased, and even more so because every time he asked me what did I need from him, I could honestly say nothing.

About three weeks ago (maybe four), he let me know that he thought it would be in my best interest to find another job. I handed in my resignation, like a good little lemming, because he asked, and because, well, he was right. The place where I work has become unpleasant at best. The students are completely in charge, or, as the old saying goes, “the inmates are running the asylum!” There are no consequences for their actions. One teacher has been bullied by the students, with no repercussions for the offending kids. The math teachers, who are very old school and have been more than successful in keeping the students focused every year I’ve been there, have had to resort to bribery to keep the students in line. More than one teacher has already decided to leave of their own free will. It’s a MAD HOUSE!

So, yes, it is definitely in my best interest to leave. But what will happen next year for prom?

I know I shouldn’t worry about it. I know the kids will adjust to new teachers (at least four so far, but the year is not out yet, and several other teachers are looking), and that I will adjust to new kids (assuming I can find a new job in the current teacher job shortage), but during our discussion about me not coming back, the principal showed some concern about what would happen next year.

Not only did I do all the planning and the work, including shopping, ordering, hauling students around to pick up supplies, getting food, calling and organizing events, and more, but I was the only chaperone for over half the dance, without even an officer for backup (the principal decided it was an unnecessary expense since there would be so few kids).

As a result, the principal has been singing my praises all day. He showed up half an hour before the dance began and saw how beautiful it was, how organized, how well put together, and thanked me for getting it all done. He thanked me as he left, more than an hour before the dance portion was over, and again when he saw me this morning, and again in an email that he cc-ed to the superintendent, and again over the announcements this morning, and again during the afternoon announcements, and again when he saw me as he was rushing out the door this afternoon.

I appreciate the acknowledgement, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about not having a job next year. Especially because each thank you seems a little more like a plea to come back next year… I think he’s realized that no one will do this next year.

It also hurts that the sophomores, who are the reason why the principal thinks it would be in my best interest to leave, keep asking me if they can do (fill in the blank) next year. I’ve had to remind them I won’t be there next year more than a dozen times.

So, again, I appreciate the thanks, and I wish the best for them next year, but it’s beginning to feel like overkill. I’m still trying to catch up on my sleep from Saturday night (after all, prom for me lasted from 6pm to 7am), and I’m glad it was a hit, but please stop reminding me that it was my last prom!

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