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#434188 - 05/09/13 11:42 PM my last day
traveler Online   confused
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3517
Loc: somewhere in Africa
i broke down in the shower today and started sobbing.

this is the last day i'll be at this school - with these kids at the job i used to love. it was like a death - hitting me for the first time. i have known for a week or so that i had to do this for my physical, mental and emotional health. but the reality of it just hit me today. i am grieving. this was not the way i wanted to end.

yesterday was the AP English exam that i had been teaching toward. tonight is the big drama production i am directing(another show tomorrow, but no school.) at the same time as the performances is the combined art classes' (that i teach - 3 levels) art show. in 2 weeks they have final exams.
then graduation and goodbyes.

it all got to be too much for me - i was in full-on panic mode everytime i came to school. i stuck it out until after those 3 big personal goals i listed above. but i can't do it anymore. i gave them a week to find subs. i am giving minimal info to the subs - i can't do any more than that. they will use my exams and i'll complete the report cards.

for those who were following the "case" - my wife was exonerated of any form of abuse. but we are both devastated. the whole atmosphere has been poisoned here - and the admin is not to be trusted. there has been a pretty big ourcry by parents and other staff members against the existing policies and procedures. it will most likely be changed. but we are collaterral damage.

i gotta keep on keepin on until after the cast party tomorrow night...
lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#434192 - 05/10/13 12:06 AM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1147
Loc: The ATL

((((LEE))))

Hi Lee. I'm so sorry this happened man. I know this job and your work at that school was important to you and I can feel the pain in your post. It is palpable. All I can say is stay strong and hold on to the good memories of that place. They can never take those away from you. No one can. I wish you luck in moving forward and hope you find the strength to heal from this as soon and as well as it is possible for you. My thoughts are with you. Take care. Peace,

Ken

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#434193 - 05/10/13 12:13 AM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 336
Loc: Iowa, USA
I'm very proud of you Lee for putting your health and safety first. This has to be, without a doubt, a difficult and likely agonizing decision to make. Life is never clear cut or black and white. This is a job you've loved at a school you treasured. All of that changed the day you were given bad news and accused of a crime you never committed. It's been revealed what the administration values - and it's not the health, reputation, or value of the teachers. This is such a travesty. The teachers are the ones who make or break the school. They are the ones who care most about the students. They are the ones who do the work, act selflessly, and commit themselves to the mission of the school, and yet they are the ones who are thrown under the bus when the administration messes up.

What is tragic is that the bond of trust between you and the other teachers and the administration is irreconcilably broken. No longer will it be the teachers and administration working together for the benefit of the students. The teachers will always feel uneasy, wondering if that day will be the day they too will be crushed by a few inept individuals in charge of the school.

Unfortunately, innocent students will be hurt. No longer will they have the opportunity to be taught by the excellent, passionate teacher that you are Lee. They will be witnesses to a great man being brought to his knees by those abusing their power. They are being taught to be cynical, disrespectful and distrustful.

I wish you all the best Lee in your future endeavors. I hope you'll be able to find a job you love as much as this, but more importantly, I hope you'll be able to heal and become whole again. You are a wonderful man, so helpful and wise. Please don't let your light be dimmed.

Good luck. DavO

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#434194 - 05/10/13 12:18 AM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 918
Loc: New York
Oh Lee, no....

You deserved better. You and your wife made a real difference to a lot of people who needed you. So many good people end up getting whispered and screwed out of good jobs and it's never fair. In this circumstance, where you were really backstabbed and slandered and the whole environment poisoned..... you have my deepest sympathies. I so, so wish things had turned out differently.

You'll always have the good memories of all you achieved, the people you helped there. And years from now, you'll know it was actually for the best to leave behind a poisonous and abusive work environment.

But your sense of loss is undeniable, and you frankly ought to allow yourself to feel that way and feel it as much as you need.

I'm sorry, my friend. More people should have spoken up for you. But the truth is still on your side.


Matt
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#434195 - 05/10/13 12:22 AM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
Dave PNW Offline


Registered: 04/03/13
Posts: 121
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Lee, I am so sorry this happened to you and your wife. It is so wrong. Your students are so fortunate to have had you as their teacher. I have followed your story and I am really sad for what you lost and for what the students at your school will lose with you leaving. Having raised two kids, I know the impact a great teacher can have. Your kind and caring words to me in my first week here at MS were so soothing and validating to me, an anonymous and confused guy trying to figure out and make peace with his past. It is not hard for me to imagine the compassion, generosity and wisdom you have passed on to the lucky kids who were in your classes and productions. I know they will miss you. Whatever you do next, even if it is continuing to teach, you will touch others. Thank you. Wish you peace.

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#434199 - 05/10/13 02:28 AM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
Life's A Dream Offline


Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 886
Loc: Bouvet Island
It isn't safe for you there anymore. They have become dangerous employers. Besides, you're a traveler. Do what you do best. It's their loss.

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#434201 - 05/10/13 02:59 AM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1600
Loc: New England
Lee buddy,

You have survived so much, you will survive this also. Just take it easy with yourself, deal with it all one day at a time, and remember that through it all you stood with integrity and honor. Thats more valuable than any job.

Jude
_________________________
Seems I've got to have a change of scene
Every night I have the strangest dreams
Imprisoned by the way it could have been
Left here on my own or so it seems
I've got to leave before I start to scream
Joe Cocker

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#434207 - 05/10/13 05:08 AM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3621
Loc: South-East Europe
(((Lee))),
be proud on your accomplishments.Kids in that school would always remember you. I'm more than sure you expanded their views and changed their worlds!
I know that is very difficult for you but take what is offered and enjoy with kids trough those shows as mush as you can.


_________________________
My story

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#434210 - 05/10/13 05:27 AM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2024
Loc: durham, north england
@lee, I've followed your struggles with this unfair decision and I'm really sorry that your having to give up a job which has brought so much both to others and to yourself, those kids were lucky to have you as a teacher, and the administration are frankly idiots for not recognizing as much.

however what everyone else says is true, there are doubtless kids who've been through your class who will remember it for the rest of their lives.

Heck, you know about my own school experiences, yet when I saw my music teacher again recently (who is my singing teachers' husband), it was amazing to meet him again since in that pit of hell he was one teacher who actually did! care about what happened, indeed he was kicked out of the school at the same year I left and has apparently had his own scars.

He's a man I still admire now, and indeed what he has taught me are things I remember, ---- indeed when i took my recent grade 8 voice exam, I was remembering the musical theory from his lessons, which I've since never forgot.

So teachers do! make a difference, as you have.

I hope not only that you can enjoy your productions, but also that you'll remember to take care of yourself, particularly in the next few weeks.

Luke.

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#434254 - 05/10/13 08:38 AM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
Life's A Dream Offline


Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 886
Loc: Bouvet Island
Lee, I hope this turn out of responses somewhat lifts your spirits and reminds you how many admirers and friends you have out here, who may not know you face to face, but we all know what a tremendously awesome, kind, warm, generous, resilient man of integrity we all know you to be. I hope you can find work again soon. Maybe this will give some of us a chance to meet you in person back in the states at a Weekend of Recovery, or some such thing? Though your heart is low, I hope your head is high. You've never strayed from your integrity and deserve to leave with it held high. And I guarantee you will be missed. Not by the imbeciles who have wrongly mistreated you. But there will be many kids and others over there who will miss you. I just know it.

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#434256 - 05/10/13 10:16 AM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
TMan1394 Offline


Registered: 04/15/13
Posts: 11
Loc: USA
Hey Lee,
I'm fairly new here but I can relate to your story. I taught Special Ed in a school for children with Autism and it was the best job of my life. Met some amazing students and their families and got to be a part of some incredible moments of my students accomplishments which still make me smile and get teary eyed. I also made a lot of life long friends when I was there and their support helped me a lot. I think character shows more than anything and from what I read about you and your story, your genuine desire to help and make a better life for your students is what you'll be remembered for.
My circumstances where a little different but it was the administration and the fact that this place I had loved became toxic. I had to put my health and healing first. I remember my last days and day very clearly now and you put your feelings and honesty into words better then I was able to even think to myself when I had to leave and was devastated, which shows your strength even in such a difficult period.
All I can say is the other brothers on here are right. Remember all the good you did for your students, remember it takes a lot of heart, work and compassion to be a great teacher and from what I've read I can tell you made a huge, positive impact in a lot of your students lives. Be proud of that. I don't know your life story but from the support you've received it sounds to me like your a true survivor and great caring guy. Take care of yourself one day at a time brother. T

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#434258 - 05/10/13 11:11 AM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
bodyguard8367 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""
""


Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/27/14 03:02 PM)

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#434259 - 05/10/13 11:15 AM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 608
I'm so sorry it had to end this way...I can imagine it's such a painful way to leave, but I hope in time as you heal (as you've always done, from what I can tell), you'll be able to look back at the good, even awesome memories that you've made with your time there and being with your students, and that will one day overcome the hurt you've experienced from all this injustice.
_________________________
Husky

My Story

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#434261 - 05/10/13 11:40 AM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Lee, I can't even begin to imagine the mix of emotions you and your wife must be feeling right now. I had some hope about the administration when they "apologized" on another matter a few months ago. But this situation with your wife really showed their true colors.

I'll just echo what many others have said about what the kids will have gained from both of you. And, in the midst of the pain you're feeling, it's something about which you can both be proud. fwiw, this administration will continue to reap it's own karma - about which they're likely clueless - probably in ways none of us can foresee.

Please keep us updated {{{{{{{{{{{{{{Lee & wife}}}}}}}}}}}}}

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#434267 - 05/10/13 12:49 PM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
Lee,

I am so sorry you have had to deal with the pain and emotion this situation has caused for both you and your wife. It is hard to turn away from something or the someones (your students) that you so dearly love. I find it inspiring to know that you are the quality of teacher that you are, and the quality of spirit that you encompass and let flow forth for us to witness. It touches all of us.

That comes through so clearly in the postings dealing with what they have done to you. How you thought of the students and continued through to take them to the production and the art shows. It shows the character of man that you are. And you were correct, the students needed you to complete that with them. They are the reason teachers teach. It truly brought a tear to my eyes when I read your private moment of the breakdown. I can relate to losing that trust in the school setting.

And I comment you for having your stopping point. Good on you for requesting the subs and letting them know that they have grievously injured both you and your wife. And by no longer being there each day, the children will also learn that people must be accountable for the damage they do by rumor to others. It is hard for you. And I am thinking of you. And I return the many hugs you have bestowed upon me. The best of the best.
((((Lee)))).

b
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



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#434270 - 05/10/13 01:55 PM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1046
((((( Lee )))))

You have been such a good responder to my pain here at MS, that I hate to see you in pain without any real means to help.

Other than, as our brothers have expressed above, to communicate my love for you to you and to let you know that there is rebirth in death sometimes.

Like Bruce Springsteen says on the Nebraska album:

"Everything dies, baby. That's a fact / But of everything that dies, some things come back."

We love you, brother.

Cant
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#434427 - 05/12/13 12:15 AM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 374
Loc: NY
Lee:

Sorry to hear that all this has happened. It seems that you are nonetheless clear that it is not a good place to be anymore.

When I started teaching last year, there were days when it was all I could do to not fly out of my skin. There were so many feelings as I gazed into the faces in front of me, that I would lose track.

A good teacher gives all. In those moments when you really want to guide your students, you can be the most vulnerable. You (and your wife) need to be in a place that supports you. I hope you will find the strength and bravery to take the next steps to finding a place deserving of your courage.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#434522 - 05/12/13 08:23 PM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
traveler Online   confused
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3517
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Thank you, men, for all the kind words. I wish I had time to reply to you each of you individually - but we are getting ready to move internationally - by the end of this month. I was truly overwhelmed by the number of responses and the affirming, validating and encouraging messages. It made me cry all over again but in a good way. You are all amazing. I really needed that kind of support. It was very healing.

I feel honored to be a part of this community.
Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#434523 - 05/12/13 08:55 PM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1790
I am happy that your wife was exonerated but feel pain that you have suffered and lost trust in the school. Anything to do with CSA only creates distrust and hurt. It has to be painful for you. Try to stay strong and this may be an opportunity for you to begin anew, leaving behind painful and hurtful memories. You deserve to be in a safe place.

Stay well

Kevin

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#467446 - 07/10/14 03:20 PM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
traveler Online   confused
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3517
Loc: somewhere in Africa
time for an update:

after the false accusations of physical and emotional abuse of a student against my wife were proven unfounded, we resigned and left the school, our home, and the country in Asia where we had been teaching. we also resigned from the organization we had been working for. the school has since broken away from the larger network that was controlling and mistreating the staff at the branch where we taught. they have instituted new , more fair and balanced policies. so some good has come of it.

we came back to the US a year ago and have been resting, recuperating, and healing. we have spent some good time with family and friends.

we had some counseling and career assessment. turns out we should be doing just exactly what we have been doing. so in March we listed with a placement service for international schools and started looking for new positions to fill. we were invited to come to about a dozen places - on every continent except Antarctica.

we have accepted offers in Africa that sound just right for both of us and have been preparing to start in August. If all goes well, we will leave at the end of this month. we are hopeful and excited and trying not to be overly defensive, but open to new friendships.

i have no idea how much access we'll have to internet - i hear it is spotty and power outages are frequent. so my involvement may be more limited in the future. but i will check in as often as i can.

a year ago i had no idea what the future held. the past year has been one of reassessment, growth, healing, clarification, changes, ends and new beginnings.

i am ready to move on.
LEE
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#467448 - 07/10/14 03:35 PM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6602
Loc: FEMA Region 1
((((Lee))))
_________________________
I'm "that guy."

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#467450 - 07/10/14 04:30 PM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Lee

I hope to stay in touch with you.

I also taught in Africa for 2 years. We had electrical power from 6am to 12pm.

Puffer

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#467456 - 07/10/14 10:04 PM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 827
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Lee,

This is my own projection, but it is also my wish for you that you are much stronger and wiser having moved through that abusive experience, leaving on your own terms, and taking the time and space you have needed to heal and re-evaluate.

Sending you and your wife love, support, and best wishes in your new adventure.

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#467458 - 07/10/14 11:07 PM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1790
Lee

I am happy for you and your wife. You have been through much. Despite this you have been there for me and so many here at MS. It is time you seek your dreams and happiness. You have earned it--you have worked hard and overcame many challenges many will never understand--but here we do.

You have given me support throughout, kind words and it lifted me to continue on my journey to heal.

Thank you and I can only wish you happiness you deserve and continued health and joy with your wife--who has been there for you through you journey.

Take care and please stay in touch.

Kevin

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#467534 - 07/12/14 05:39 PM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
traveler Online   confused
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3517
Loc: somewhere in Africa
thanks so much, Still, Puffer, Don, & Kevin!

i have a couple more weeks before venturing out but hope to take you all with me. that is one way that this community is even better than the people i can see and touch - you are always accessible - whenever the internet is. i don't intend to distance myself any more than i have to.

"see you" around!
LEE
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#467539 - 07/12/14 09:33 PM Re: my last day [Re: traveler]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1600
Loc: New England
Dear Lee,

Thank you for all your wisdom, and your willingness to share openly and honestly here. You will always be a friend at MS, and I hope that you will find access in your new home.

Be well,

Jude
_________________________
Seems I've got to have a change of scene
Every night I have the strangest dreams
Imprisoned by the way it could have been
Left here on my own or so it seems
I've got to leave before I start to scream
Joe Cocker

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