I had an interesting exchange with a wonderful friend and former co-worker. They expressed the hope that I would take care of another teacher with an upcoming concern in the district that will go to committee this fall for brainstorming and recommendation. And as much as I wanted to say, "Of course I will," I knew that I could not make a promise that it would go down as they wished.
Mostly, that's because it's not my decision to make. It's just my job to help facilitate the committee and make sure that everyone's viewpoints and proposed solutions are heard and fairly considered.
I think I said something like, "I'll do my job with the committee and listen to everyone fairly" or something equally PC sounding. And you know what? They weren't happy with me. In fact, they actually turned around and walked away. Ouch!
I don't think they get it. Frankly, I don't think I even got it until late into this last school year. So, I don't blame them. I'd hope, as a friend, they'd trust my intentions. Appearing to play favorites is the kiss of death because then I would lose the respect of everyone in the group and it would probably doom the group's chances of coming to a fair recommendation.
It's different working at the district office and I see things from a whole new perspective. And, frankly, sometime's it's hard. Rationally I know that, but emotionally the whole exchange just hurt and we both walked away unhappy. I wonder what I'd say if I had the chance to have that conversation over again. As usual, I'm sure that I'll be replaying that conversation a few (more) times over before I finally fall asleep.