Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Teacher transfers

I know I probably write about this every year, but today has been one of those "what were they thinking days".  It was the last day of primary school for the school year and the teacher transfers were announced at the school after all the children had gone home.  Of the 11 teachers/administrators at our school 7 will be changing.... that includes both the principal, vice principal, school nurse and the most experienced teacher in the school.  Of the 4 teachers who are remaining 2 of them have been at our school for only one year, one arrived 2 years ago and the other teacher has been there for 3 years.  So between all four of them they have a grand total of 7 years experience at our school.  I'm not saying that they are inexperienced teachers, but due to the small size of our school there is a lot of input from the community and it is very hard to maintain that when there are no familiar faces around.  
I don't understand the necessity for changing teachers so often and in such large numbers at one time.  I don't understand how a school is supposed to build any real strengths in any area if the teachers are changing so often.  I don't understand why the announcements of the changes can't be made earlier.... although the students officially finished school for the year today they now have to go back on Thursday for an official farewell.  I just don't understand why that couldn't have been done today !
I have already had 6 phone calls tonight from various parents trying to work out who is staying, who is going and what we need to do in order to farewell them properly.  Should we buy gifts as a class, or as a whole school?  Who will do what and when?  And of course there are the phone calls from those who have false information and are thinking certain teachers who are actually staying are leaving... I think I'll just switch off the phone and go to bed!

The next school year starts on April 8th... between now and then the 7 leaving teachers need to clean out their desks and move to their new schools.  The new teachers need to come to our school and all have meetings about which grade they want to teach next year and then prepare themselves for it.  No specialist teachers mean that the 6th grade teacher often becomes the 1st grade teacher the following year.  They have approximately a week to prepare for this.  Crazy, crazy, crazy!  I hate this time of year!!!!!!


  1. I did a rural home stay years and years ago in Kagoshima and my host father was an elementary school VP (no principal). He told me the moving schools every three years was a method to ensure small schools didn't get saddled with crappy teachers for too long (spread it around?!) and to ensure strong personality conflicts wouldn't be a problem (for too long, anyways). He said it was particularly important with little schools and for schools with local involvement.

    But I was never convinced.

    And it was pure hell on his wife and kids, who would get rooted up every three years and dragged off somewhere new with only a few days notice...

  2. I completely agree with you, but I am going to try really hard not to complain about school while visiting. :)

  3. Megan2:54 AM

    Ridiculous! My guess is there is no-one there now who was around when I was??

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  7. Wow...yet another reason why I'm glad we moved to Japan after retirement!! My head was spinning just reading this!! Good luck with all you have to do!!!