The Waiting Game - Sports or No Sports?
So, the end of a school year is just days away, and I figure things are rather quiet these days at high schools around the city.
Apparently, not so. School administrators and teachers are packing up - and on the move.
This is the time of year when they play the shuffle game and move off to other schools. Every Board of Education likes to move some of those six-figure salary senior administrators either for a shake-up or for promotions or to get some strong leadership in certain schools.
It can also be because they, just like teachers, want a change in scenery. Some teachers tell me they have had enough with colleagues and administrations in certain schools and, yes there are personality clashes, and they have to make a move for professional and emotional reasons.
Sadly, many of the younger teachers also won't have full time work in the fall. They've been declared surplus while some, who could retire, are still hanging around - but often don't coach.
I have been getting an unusually large number of calls and e-mail from parents and students -- and even teachers -- concerned about whether schools will offer inter-school sports in the fall. The way it works, if teachers don't coach, the likelihood of sports is not good. For liability and behavioural reasons, a teacher needs to coach or stand around for supervision at a game, even if a non-teacher is doing the coaching.Remember, coaches are not paid. It can be time consuming and also very challenging - especially when some students pick and choose what practices they show up for and what games they play. Some students still believe that it's a right, not a priviledge, to play for their school. I'll leave that topic for another time.
I know one school in Toronto where two teachers are surplus and a head of physical education, after 10 years, had to re-apply for his job and didn't get it. Hmm. Could there be a problem? He's off to a better job and school - but, unless those coaches are replaced, four teams are no more.
This leaves students, especially those in their graduating years wanting to play sports and impress colleges and universities in Canada and the United States, with a problem. As they pack up in June after exams, students have no idea on whether the same school will have a team in the fall.
It's also tough switching schools now with transfer rules and politics to contend with at various levels.
So, it's now a waiting game.