20 April 2007

Try It On for Size

There's plenty of shake-up in the Curriculum Department this year. Three new literacy coaches, a different elementary math specialist, a new "student success" specialist to manage interventions and cultural competencies, three new secretaries (out of four), and a new Boss Lady to start the year. As we end the year, three coaches are transferring for one reason or another (as have two others on staff), the student success guy is in the midst of finding other work, the voice of reason in the office is moving on to be an admin intern, we're losing a secretarial position, and the glue who held everything together moved onto other pastures this week. In short, this has been a year where change is the norm.

We're having lots of meetings at the moment, trying to sort out what the roles of those remaining in the department next year will be. As I sit and watch, I feel like I'm seeing a sort of dress-up game as people hold up different assignments by their names. I keep expecting to hear "Does this job make me look fat?" or "Will this task match that one...should I accessorize with some other role?" I find the process rather frightening in some ways. Barely are the corpses cold of those who are leaving and vultures are there to peck apart the job. In a better world, I'd think that Boss Lady 2.0 would assign us, but the reality is that she doesn't seem to have a clue about what any of us do. You have no choice but to jockey, form alliances, and self-advocate. I don't even want to get into the whole office configuration issue---that's quite the carnival act in and of itself. I'm already starting to get the impression that some people are already starting to be sorry what they've wished for. "I can't believe I ate the whole thing!"

As for me? I've been biding my time, waiting for all of the chips to fall. As Sinbad advised, "Trust in Allah...but tie up your camel." I might not be a religious person, but I appreciate the sentiment: it's okay to have hope, but you also have to be a participant in making your own way. To that end, I've created my own emergency exit from Curriculum...just in case my job assignment doesn't quite pan out like I'd wish. I also have a "backup camel" to present to Boss Lady 2.0 on Monday afternoon. She is only thinking short-term---how to make it through the end of this year and into the next. Offering a broadened picture of things might be very useful. I've had the benefit of sitting back to watch the action. Now, we'll see what fits me to a tee.

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