I’m about to retire in 9 days, so I’m going to take the chance to go public here with something I’ve kept quiet about at work until now. I’m retiring from a job I’ve had for 10 years teaching Spanish & psychology. You’d think being a Community Leader of a PTSD support group would earn me respect from fellow psychology instructors, but human nature is such that ambition can tempt the right person to do the wrong thing.
So it was with my boss who, when he found out 5 years ago that I was here at DS PTSD, responded with stigma despite being a psych professor. He was after a promotion to vice president at my college, so he made a public display of power by calling a committee hearing into whether my PTSD hurt my students. He went over my teaching evaluations publicly there but could find no evidence of trouble; there was praise there instead.
The stunt worked and he got his promotion to vp, but he remained embarrassed that he hadn’t really found anything to find fault with in my students’ evaluations. That’s when a steady campaign of gossiping with my students behind my back began with the purpose of trying to manufacture a false incident. He has my Department Chair doing that, and with 9 days left until I retire, time’s running out.
That’s why today I got an email from my Chair claiming I had messed up the date I was giving my final exams next week. It’s not so, all that happened was that student who lost her syllabus asked me when it was and I told her, along with giving her another syllabus. She thanked me, it wasn’t the crisis my Chair claimed it was.
But what was even more rich was that at the same time I got my Chair’s email making me out to be less competent, I got a rave review as teacher from a student of mine that said:
“You have been nothing but an awesome teacher and I thank you for always encouraging us to see the world! I hope you enjoy yourself, as you deserve. You have inspired. I appreciate how exciting this class was and looked forward to it every Tuesday. My learning is far from over and will continue to push myself to learn more.”
Oh, the coincidence of getting another of many of my Chair’s put downs with getting such a nice student email was too much. I forwarded it to my Chair without comment and let it speak for itself. I don’t expect my Chair to answer, I never get an “attaboy,” but it was great to show how false the PTSD stigma campaign about my teaching has been right before I retire.
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