equalizer added a topic in Winton Woods School TalkEqualizer's Retirement
On July 6, 2005, I returned a call from Mrs. Anita J. Williams asking me if I wanted to work at Winton Woods High School. I spent the previous year working at a school in Butler County and jumped at the chance to work at WW. As I got more comfortable working, I found junedale. I created an account based on reports surrounding Homecoming Policies. I joined on September 23, 2007.
Since that time, I wanted to be an active advocate for WWHS. You have read my reams of long winded responses. Over the years, the discussions went on to a wide variety of topics.. including the 2008-2009 levy campaign and the 2014-2015 bond issue campaigns. I have weighed in on a number of topics and have often clashed with some of junedale's best. Although the discussion also got sort of heated on here.. I always realized that the people making the arguments were honorable people. Even when I clashed with Cicero.. I knew who he was and what he did. In fact, among the teachers, Cicero had our begrudging respect. Bond issue aside, he was pointing out a lot of the problems that we wished more parents would speak loudly about.
As a teacher, I believe that it is important to advocate for the profession. If won't stand up for what I do, how can I possible (with credibility) say that I am out there fighting for kids? It doesn't work.
I resigned from the district on July 6, 2015 (exactly 10 years later) to accept a teaching position at another major HS in Butler County. Officially, I had "no reason" other than I wanted to leave. I had no axes to grind. Leaving a job is very stressful and I spent months considering it.
Since my resignation, I debated whether or not to stay on junedale. Obviously, I didn't have a dog in the fights.. but I also know that no other teacher was rising to the challenge of addressing and "equalizing" some of what is going on. I will be surprised if any other teacher ever weighs in. I knew (obviously) that the dynamic had change in that I no longer had the obligation to consider my employer's interests before posting. I don't need a homily on the evils of accountability on social media. What you say can and does have consequences (look at Trump and Clinton).. but we don't live in North Korea either. There should be respect for give and take.
Like it or not, I know more of what is going on inside the walls of WW than anybody else over the last 10 years... including WWW or Paula. While I was in the trench.. they are/were writing the checks to the ditch digger. As my time in WW becomes more faint in the rear view mirror, I am less and less the expert about what goes on there. Still, a number of community members appreciate what I have been saying about education in general (and WW in particular).. so I stuck around. I never intended to be malicious even as I realized that I was under to obligation to be "loyal" to the brass at WW.
While it is basic common sense that you never trash your employer (or even your former ones), just relying on the administration to inform the community about what the challenges are in schools is not best practice either. It really does take a team approach.. and is something that I am promoting at my current school in my role.
After working somewhere else, I gained a lot of perspective on the mission and what I saw as the problems at WW. I didn't post to "get even' with anybody or to "sabotage the bond issue". I never called for anybody's head on a platter.. but I did suggest that some structural changes might work. Folks know full well on how much work I did on the bond issue.. whom better than I to suggest what the problems were in getting them passed.. even as we reach out to the critics.
Now, apparently, my comments here (and on facebook) are upsetting certain administrators and at least one "positive" school board member. In one comment (probably the most controversial) I defend the comments of a recent alumnus who called for the firing of an administrator over the whole Felipe fiasco. What was really ironic about all of this is that.. on junedale.. I called Felipe's "resignation" unprofessional as it came in the middle of a school year and that he trashed his employer so publicly. What I "liked" was that a former student was taking a bold stand.. the way we encouraged our students to do when they were in AGS. I guess I should have been more specific about who you were allowed to challenge . WW is out of bounds. Gosh I know that now LOL.
This administrator contacted MY BOSS about my comments on social media and that I may be violating the Ohio Code of Professional Conduct for Educators. Why would someone call MY BOSS? Does this make sense? Do we call Christine's boss? Do we seek out the Mad B's boss?
This person didn't contact me personally. This person CALLED MY BOSS. Let that one sink in for a minute.
I wrote a letter on September 26 to EACH INDIVIDUAL BOARD MEMBER to address this situation (Five emails) with a few requests. To contact one's employer directly is.. at a minimum, very unusual for a school district to do... unless the former employee is spreading lies or untruths or slander. Even then, I don't know that this is standard practice... even for those of us in a licenced occupation like Teachers. Spare me the talk about ethics. I know the code. This was about intimidating me to shut my mouth. I guess you could say it worked.
I heard nothing back from the board. Fair enough. One of the board members is on this board everyday complaining that people are being nasty and divisive and yet.. appears to turn a blind eye when her employees engage in similar tactics. If there are "two sides of the story".. what is the other side? Sigh. I don't even care anymore. I'm so done. If this behavior continues, I will deal with it.
I want to say a few things for the record to make them clear.
1) I loved my 10 years at Winton Woods. I made a lot of friends there. I have been to weddings, funerals, graduations, you name it. I think that WW has a lot of good and honorable people that really do deserve a lot more.
2) I honestly could care less about the bond issue. I don't make money if the bond issue fails nor do I get any sense of satisfaction that some kind of "message was sent".
3) There are no former teachers regretting leaving WW. None. In fact, we credit WW for making us the great professionals that we are in our new districts. I will always consider myself a Warrior and was proud of the work that I did.. and the graduates that we helped to mold. We learned in the "harshest of weight rooms". We were tested by fire. I also know that certain administrators now refer to as "dead weight" and "oh wow.. we are glad we cleaned house".. but in reality.. that's all they can say. They didn't say that about us in 2011 and 2012 and 2013.
4) There are a LOT of people in WW that want to make the place better. Many of the critics on here are actually some of the people that are part of the solution. However, they (as they have reported) have been shoved aside because they didn't march lockstep behind the "management team". Okay, how is that working out for you? Instead of building partnerships, you have one of your administrators whining about former employees to their current bosses.
5) I don't win if someone else loses. I have obviously moved on and am very happy.
As I said, as I get further removed from the place.. the harder it is (or will be) for me to really inform anybody about what is going on. I could (at this point) only tell you what OTHER places are doing and how parents and taxpayers can advocate. I realize that NO school can operate on the "committee of 30,000" plan.. the bosses ultimately have to make the decisions... but I also know that there are so many things going on in education.. that we really do need to look at all of options, we have to seek out different viewpoints, we have to ask others for help, we have to spend less time pointing fingers and more time holding hands (metaphorically of course . I love PBL.. but respect the views of others. In fact, one of the major tenants of PBL is to respect alternative viewpoints.
We also need to look at tearing down walls and building bridges. What bridges are built when people are told to stifle, and bosses are called.. even if they feel threatened? Perhaps the board will figure out an answer to that one. Maybe when the new buildings are built, the construction crew will hang around to reach out and build bridges to the many people that feel shut out of WW. If they don't, they will never get better. Never. It is a truth that is fairly universal in any school district in the world.
The truth is, I am actually a pretty busy Equalizer. I have four kids. I am a full time teacher. I am a business owner. I even have a cool side job. While I have always enjoyed filling people in on how I saw things (as a teacher who loves their craft), I am not interested in causing problems for my new bosses who are simply amazing. I am not interested in getting into debates and battles with people that I don't even work for. I love working for my current bosses .. much as I loved working for Anita J all those years ago. We are building something very special at my new HS, that I really want to focus on that. I love what I do and where our programs are headed.. no need to post things that can help others if it is going to cause me personal pain.
I wlll always be grateful for the 10 years I spent there, but the time has come for me to bring to a close my contributions on this board.
I wish all of you the very best as you sort out what is best for the children of Greenhills, Forest Park, and Springfield Township going forward. The people of WW will always have a soft spot with me. I hope that.. down the road.. you get the educational system that you all deserve.
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