Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Are you going to use that?

This is that time of year when teachers retire, resign, or fall victim to non-renewal. I might add that as an administrator the latter is the most unpleasant part of my job. It is always heart wrenching when you tell someone (who has a family) that they no longer have a job. Luckily, this year my school only has retirements and resignations. It has given me a chance to watch another interesting dynamic in schools.

I call it the Vulture Effect.

I noticed the swarm this afternoon as the remaining staff circled the classrooms of departing loved ones. I wondered what was going on, and then it became all to clear.


The first round of scavengers goes for the personal items. These are the items which the dead must choose to give away or pack up into a box and haul away to an attic never to be used again. Once the extremities have been picked clean, then comes the ravenous assault on the main flesh of a room. This is wear the buzzards come and ask semi-permission. (Some don't even ask)

"I want her desk."
"I want the SmartBoard."
"May I have her teacher's desk?"
"May I have their planning period?"
"May I have their parking spot?"
(We don't really have parking spots, but if we did they would ask)

May we at least wait til they leave the building before we devour their existence? Who cares that the 1st year college grad walks into a room devoid of all semblance of human life?


Pissedoffteacher said...

My son wrote a similar post on his blog about raiding cubicles when his co workers were laid off.

It is sad that supplies are so limited we are forced to resort to doing these things.

Anonymous said...

awwwwh the human condition. ME ME ME ME ME!!! Nice isn't it????

Anonymous said...

my first year i was shocked at how empty my new room was. except for the cabinets full of 15 years worth of graded papers that the last teacher didn't throw out. 10 years later i'm still finding stuff in other teacher's rooms with my room number on it.

Ann aka ButDoctorIHatePink said...

Ah yes, the scavenger effect. It is unique among school personnel.

At least your teachers are asking you - ours just take anything not nailed down.

We have a retiring teacher who brought me all of her valuables - a laptop, an LCD projector, several other items a few days before school. I hid them in my office and covered them with a blanket so the principal could decide who gets them (likely whoever is replacing her). By the time her last day had arrived, the desk had been taken, the chair was gone - whiteboard markers, paper - all gone. It's truly amazing.

Honestly, I think teachers should have to turn in their keys each night, like the subs do! :)