Here's the story: The powers that be didn't see fit to provide a substitute aide (they are supposedly hiring someone for this position) for a one-on-one student today. So, the current staff has to fill in. It's like the ancient Egyptians telling the children of Israel to make the same quota of bricks as before, but they aren't going to provide the straw anymore. If we manage to cover this student, then why hire anyone, right?
So, the class goes on their Thursday outing. I usually stay behind with my deaf student, so he can go to ASL class. This other student is also in ASL. That went okay, but then I had to eat my lunch with both students. I usually don't mind doing that with the deaf student. He watches a movie and leaves me in peace. The other kid...
Therefore, I DID NOT have a duty-free lunch. The folks who usually cover the students were on the outing. I ate, but I couldn't even leave to use the restroom, not with both kids in there. So fine, I figured I just take at least 15 minutes back at the end of the day, after the students were gone, plus my usual 15 minute break.
After the students had gone for the day, I spent the first 20 minutes tidying the room. Just as I was about to take my break, the vice principal walked in and said they needed help in the front office with grade cards. I instantly could visualize the frantic activity and bustle of many people working in the front office, plus donating my lunch and break to an ungrateful district, who, as I said, would only be too glad to let me cover for the employee they don't seem to be able to get around to hiring. Plus, plus, plus I wan't planning to do that, and I really needed some down time.
So, I basically said, "No. Can't do it." I even explained the reason (i.e. I didn't get a duty-free lunch). I don't read faces, so I don't know what he might have been thinking. He didn't say anything. And now I'm wondering whether I have jeopardized my job, or at least an important person's good will.
Part of me says, "You stood up for yourself. You know what you need," while the other part says, "Nice work! You could have sacrificed a little time to stay on the good side of the vice principal." I don't know though. Had I gone to the front office, I know I would have been seething with resentment...and I'm not good at hiding how I'm feeling.