Changing of the Teachers

I don’t remember if I’ve explained this before, but teachers (as far as I understand it) don’t technically work for individual schools, but are employees of the Board of Education (BoE).  This means that the BoE is responsible for assigning them to schools and can (and does) change them around on a regular basis.  The transfer announcements are made in late March and on the first day of April the teachers report to their new schools.  Typically only 5 or 6 teachers from each school leave, but this year a few schools had a unusually high number of teachers who left.  My school had 20 teachers.  A few retired, I think, but most of them were transferred elsewhere.

Two out of my three English teachers were up for transfer as well.  So when I left in March, I didn’t know if they would be there when I went back.  As Biker-sensei explained it to me, new teachers (teachers who are on their first school) are eligible to be transferred after three years.  He has been at my school for three years and Youngest-English-Teacher has been there for five.  I was almost positive she was going to be gone when I returned.  Thankfully, all of my English teachers are/have stayed.  It’s a relief because I understand how to work with them, but I was also curious what working with other teachers would be like.

Anyway, the only other teacher that I think I’ve mentioned on here that was affected by the transfer was Comic-Book-sensei.  I’m not entirely sure where he went, but his replacement is a super serious dude who has not so much as said hi to me.  My vice principal was transferred to Simone’s school and I wish her the best of luck trying to understand that woman.  As far as I can tell, she’s nice but not friendly.  My new vice principal is awesome.  He is really friendly and his English is almost conversational level.  It’s amazing.  He also seems to be really interested in even the most trivial things about me, so that’s cool.

However, I had known him for less than three hours when I kind of embarrassed myself.  So I’m eating lunch (instant noodles) and one teacher who never speaks to me commented on something about I was eating.  I was highly jet-lagged, so I just sort of smiled and nodded before trying to look at the bowl I was eating from, thinking something was written there that I didn’t know about.  In the process of trying to look at the bowl, I managed to spill quite a bit of udon soup allllll over my nice suit pants.  Thank goodness my suit jacket was on my chair.  I cleaned myself up as best as I could, rinsed out the styrofoam bowl in the sink and asked my supervisor what time I had to be somewhere.  Once I confirmed that I wasn’t needed until 2:45, I told her I was going to head home and change because I had just spilled udon all over myself.

Apparently, we needed to tell the vice principal this.  I really should have taken off without telling anyone.  It was still lunch, they wouldn’t have cared.  But I still feel kind of bad when I take off like that.  Anyway, she walked up to him with me, (me smiling and chuckling over my own clumsiness) and she explained what had happened.  He smiled, gave me a thumbs up, and told me it was ok.  I thanked him and was off.

I make the best first impressions sometimes.

But, the good news is that now he knows I don’t take myself too seriously and I can just roll with my mistakes.  I hope…  Regardless, he seems to like me.  Now I just need to convince all of the other new (and around my age) teachers that I’m awesome and they should totally want to hang out with me.  Mission make-friends-at-work-take-two, is a go!


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