Life was pretty much a mess. I was back at school, but hating it. The stress was taking a toll on my mind and body (although I have to say my butt was looking great). I had survived January for the most part, when I got a phone call from my mom.
"Hey," she said, "I talked to Mr. Boardmember at the game tonight," she said. I waited for her to continue. "He said to tell you you really need to be watching yourself. Watch your time-management. Watch your behavior," she concluded.
"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked, confused.
"He wouldn't say anything specific. I gathered that something must have been said at board meeting. He can't tell anything that goes on in closed session, but he wanted to let you know you're in trouble," she said.
I didn't know what more to do. I was already working the poor kids to death. I was dealing with whatever behavior issues I had in class, and was cracking down to the point that even the kids who liked me seemed to be getting irritated with me. It's like telling someone with brown hair she better dye it brown before she gets in trouble. What's she supposed to do?
I had contacted my MSTA representative and had been talking with her weekly at least. She basically left me on my own, saying without tenure, I could be non-renewed for any reason the principal chose, because they didn't have to have a reason. So if It didn't like my shoes or my haircut, It could recommend I not be renewed, give some bluff about performance, and never have to show any documentation proving Its point. The board would just take Its word for anything It said.
Unsure where to turn, I waited for a few weeks, then called a couple of the board members. If nothing else, I wanted them to have the truth before my name was slaughtered in front of them. That's when I took my huge documentation folder to Mr. Boardmember.
He thumbed through everything I had, and asked to keep a copy so he could read it extensively. He knew I was in danger, but until he read that file, he had no idea to what extent. He wanted to help me. I think he had some inclination that I was being targeted unfairly. I had to keep our meetings under wraps, because he didn't want anymore trouble than either of us could handle, but I felt like if nothing else SOMEONE knew my story.
This was when I found out that I supposedly "refused" to go to that W2L conference to which I rode the school van. He was baffled. He couldn't tell me very much, but I knew that he was seeing two VERY different sides to the stories he'd already heard. I imagine he only knew her version of the Will and Suzie story. To see it in front of him, with signed statements from all other parties probably threw him for a loop. He led me to believe my situation was much deeper than either of us had known before coming together.
Soon after that I phoned another board member and begged him to listen to my side of the story. He was also all ears, and was not surprised at what I had to tell him. He was one of very few who knew better than to buy into The Beast's manipulative, tangled web of lies.
Finally I reported to my MSTA rep what was going on. She wanted to meet with the suprintendent and me, and tried setting up that meeting. He refused. However, I was surprised when he called me at home. He had been alerted to the fact that I had massive documentation that raised some staunch questions in regard to The Beast's stories. He wanted what I had, but he was TOO AFRAID to have it at school. HE FEARED THE BEAST. He was The Beast's superior.
He arranged a time for me to deliver the folder. I was still skeptical. I feared he was working WITH The Beast and wanted to see my hand so-to-speak. But at that point, I had nothing more to lose. All that was in my folder was the truth, which The Beast already knew, even if It had made up Its own version.
"Call me from the library," the Superintendent told me, "on your free hour. I will unlock my vehicle from my office window, and you can take the documents out and place them in my front seat. I'll watch for you. When you're done, shut the door and walk back into the building. Don't look to my window. It needs to look like you're just putting a file in my vehicle," he told me.
I felt like we were orchestrating a drug deal or a bomb threat. Here I was, planning a covert operation with my highest powered boss, both cowering in fear over The Beast. It didn't make sense, but I knew by that time I was working in The Twilight Zone, and there was nothing else to do but take what came and deal with it, however weird it may be.
The hiring board meeting was coming up in a few weeks, and I wanted all my guns loaded. I wasn't going to lay down and let It mow me over. At the very least I wanted my side of the story out there, and I felt I'd done what I could to expose the truth. Now all I could do was wait.