Fired! =D

Amman, Jordan

The personnel manager called me into his office this afternoon. No one knew why he was calling me into his office. When I came in, he got up and closed the door behind me, and I knew what he would say.

He sat down and explained that the 3 month “trial period” in my contract was almost up, during which time the school could terminate the contract if it didn’t look like I was really suited to the job. Then he explained that the director had told him to fire me, but hadn’t said why. The poor personnel manager (new to his job) was clearly very worried about having to give me this news, but I was thinking, “Yes! That means I don’t have to pay the 2,000 dinar penalty in my contract for quitting!” so I said that I thought I knew what the reasons were, and it was probably the best thing for everyone, yadda yadda.

I’m relieved. And when I went to tell my supervisor (who had no idea that firing me was even in consideration), the first thing she said was, “It’s probably the best thing for your health. You’ll be much happier.” (It’s fortunate she’s taken it so well, as she’s also my landlady! Then again, her husband was laid off on Wednesday, too, and she’s hardly gonna kick me out of the apartment now!)

I never found out why I was fired, and frankly, I don’t care. It was probably because too many parents complained about their students’ grades or my lack of classroom discipline. Really, it was the classroom discipline that was doing me in the worst, and I’ve been saying this to my supervisor and my boss since the beginning of the year, but they either tell me that my classroom management is great, or that I’m a good teacher and I’ll figure it out. But then every time I tried something new in classroom management, the principal would come into my classroom and tell me that I was too harsh and expected too much of my students.

(I knew I needed to leave when I found myself walking home from school saying to myself, “Mom expected a much higher level of respect and responsibility from all of us in the second grade, and she wasn’t a bad parent, was she?”)

It could also, as my roomate Ryan suggested, be concern about liability after a mother walked into my Math class Tuesday, demanded that I rearrange my classroom seating to give preference to her child, and I walked out of the classroom and had an anxiety attack on the floor of the teachers’ room….

Anyway, it’s all for the best. There are lots of jobs I can do in Amman that would pay lots more money and be much less stressful. And it is time to do what I’ve been wanting to do for a decade now, which is to get into the humanitarian field for real.

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