Pregnancy and temporary contracts

After having ranted on my German blog Vertretungsblog about the unfair and unlawful treatment of myself at my current school, I still feel like summing it up here.

I currently have a temporary contract my the primary school I’m working at. The initial contract was for the maternity leave of a colleague, and the extension of the contract was for the second part of maternity/parental leave she is taking. The first contract ends mid-January, and the extension was explicitly promise to me several times.

After telling my principal about my pregnancy though, the following happened:

  • I told him in confidence, but when I came into school to sign the papers for a medical examination (needed to continue employment where children are involved), a lot of my colleagues congratulated me. He broke the confidentiality agreement he is legally bound to.
  • While waiting for the results from my blood test, I called the principal to ask when I would be able to sign the new contract. He told me he wasn’t sure anymore, considering my pregnancy. He broke he law, using pregnancy as a reason not to employ me. 
  • When I returned to school this week, a lot of students knew about the pregnancy. Someone, without my consent, spoke to students about my pregnancy.
  • When telling my principal that I had decided not to stay, for various reasons, including a new position elsewhere, he told me he was glad, because he didn’t have to feel guilty. He, and I quote, stated that he didn’t want a third pregnant woman on the team and that it would be hard to find a replacement when I leave for maternity leave. See above.
  • He also stated that he wished he would have kept me on for a week though, as the school is scheduled for inspection. Slap in the face!
  • Later that day I was told my some colleagues that my pregnancy and the principal’s decision was also discussed in a team meeting, that I was a) not invited to and b) not informed about. My pregnancy was discussed without me being present and without my consent. Privacy laws…..!!!!

Sad, frustrated and disappointed. Shocked. But also looking forward to my new challenges. I am not sure how to proceed with this, but I think everyone should know what kind of thinking is going on in the heads of some people these days!

Creative educators!

We always talk about creativity in regards to the learners in our schools. But what about educators? Of course most educators are creative in many ways, but what about fostering and nurturing that creativity? 

And what happens to educators that find their creativity is not thriving in their current environment? I recently discussed this with some friends and this is what they said:

  • look for a new post/school
  • move into a more creative job
  • aim for change from within
  • start your own school/place of learning

And the latter, yes, that has been on my mind for so many years. And even more so since I moved back from international schools to the state system. 

Create your own…. that’s just such a wonderful thought. But where to start?

Where do we learn?

The classroom is traditionally the place where learning takes place. This is, of course, not true anymore. But where does learning take place in this days and age, for the children at my school, ….

  • at home?
  • outside?
  • everywhere?
  • worldwide?

The answer would have been easier for me when I was still a PYP teacher. And even as a class teacher in Germany this wouldn’t have bothered me so much. But I’m wondering where my students really think their learning takes place. I often hear them say something along these lines:

  • learning is stupid
  • i don’t want to learn
  • I hate school

Which is not what I want to hear. For them, learning means school, and school means many challenges. But what about their learning outside these four walls they call the classroom? What about the experiences that we don’t officially count as learning? Why don’t we make them more aware of this?

Learning is everywhere and can be anything: Something to take back to school and beyond next week!