Tuesday, February 15, 2011

OT = OverTime? Off-Topic? Over-Taxed? OTher?

I'm working in misrad hachinuch (the equivalent of the Department of Education in Israel). I'm working in 3 schools/ganim.

At first I was in 2 schools/ganim, wasn't so happy in one of them, so I switched to a third school/gan for 2 days/week. I was really happy in the second school/gan. Now it's reversed. I'm not so happy...ok, very not-happy...in the second place (sorry for the confusion; I'm trying to be not so specific about where I work because, after all, this is the internet).

It's reports time in one of the places. So I tried to write a report. It was a disaster. The principal actually said to me that it would be better to write it from scratch...not, "The information was good but it's not organized and doesn't really give a picture of the child as a child and who he/she is," which is what it sounded like she intended (after discussions and emails) but, "It would be better to re-write it." She told me that she spent an hour working on it and still hadn't finished. We had a meeting where she intended on helping me rewrite the report, but it turned into a meeting about me in the school...there were hurt feelings on both sides.

When my madricha (a senior therapist who gives me supervision, but not a supervisor) found out that I had to write all these reports, she offered to look over the reports and help me with them. But then the principal said that she would look them over so I didn't send them to my madricha. It took her a couple of weeks to get the first one back to me (the one she said would be better to rewrite from the beginning)...meanwhile, the teacher is asking me for the reports and I keep telling her that I'm waiting for a response from the principal.

I'm very frustrated because I feel like things need to get to a breaking point, or a point where they can't be ignored, for many things to be done there-- at least for me to get help. It's partly my nature-- I will wait and wait for things for me. But for other people-- I'm very on top of things. I was asking the principal every day that I was at the school what was going on. I also think that it's a matter of priority-- looking over my reports is not high on her priority list (until someone else makes it a priority). It's not personal, but...I'm not happy. This principal is not necessarily the easiest to work with, but I did what she said-- I looked at other reports, tried to come up with something that worked.

The principal asked my madricha to come in and that the three of us would sit down and talk and that my madricha would help me with the reports. I sent my madricha the report I did that the principal rewrote. The madricha sent it back to me-- she had some questions and edits, but...there is such a difference in the amount of comments and questions that she has vs. the response from the principal. I feel like crying. Again. Except this time it's because I feel justified. Not that my reports are amazing-- far from it. But because it doesn't seem like I sent a piece of crap report. I feel like she expects 100% perfection, in her style. I don't have that. I have maybe 40% in my style. Not that our styles are anywhere alike, which is another issue.

What the principal changed was, first of all, a lot of the language. She completely elevated the level to something that someone who has been working for years and is completely comfortable with the language wrote. Which is her experience. My experience is 6 months in the OT world here, and a grand total of 2 years in the OT world. I wonder what her first reports as a new therapist and as a new therapist in Israel looked like. Just food for thought for her...not that she's going to see this, but anyway.

On the upside (maybe kind of?), I found out a couple weeks ago that I am replacing a therapist who went on sabbatical. So I might not even be at this school next year, which would solve the problem of her telling me she doesn't want me to come back next year or me telling her I don't want to come back next year. I guess it might be good-- I wanted a dati school from the beginning, so I guess around Pesach I'll see if there are any dati schools, preferably for the deaf/hard-of-hearing, or mental retardation. There is one that I know of, but they didn't have any openings for OTs. Oh, well, maybe next year.

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