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.
WE WANT YOUR STUFF!
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?