I had a surprisingly non-frustrating and fruitful afternoon battling the powers that be today! Non-frustrating as in everyone was very sympathetic to my situation and willing to help me. I was planning on having to make a case for myself, but today things were pretty smooth.
So for anyone looking to overturn not getting renewed, here are some steps:
Mission: find out why I wasn't on the list of assistants who are eligible for renewal in the academy. Get on the list. Get renewed.
Step One: get info from the secretary at the circonscription. She was very kind and helpful and helped me come up with some alternate ideas for staying here and working. One was to change my request to the secondary schools, since the list of renouvelees was all secondary assistants (except one!). Our other plot is to check at the private Catholic school in town about working there next year. We decided that the first step is to call Pascale, the conseillère pedagogique in charge of langues vivantes at the Inspection Academique.
Step Two: call Pascale. She was also very kind and helpful, as she always is actually. She thought the trying to change to secondaire was a good idea, so she had me write her an email stating that I prefer to stay in the primary schools but I'm willing to change to secondary schools in order to get renewed. I sent that out, and she forwarded it to the appropriate people, ie the CIEP and the rectorat. She told me that the CIEP is responsible for generating the list of assistants who they think are good candidates for renewal, and then the rectorat takes over once the list has been created. She also said that if there are any no-shows she would try to get me back here, but that there's no guarantee and I should have another solution for next year.
Step Three: call the CIEP. I spoke with Claire Jacquey, who is in charge of all the anglophones in the program. She tells me that I am nowhere to be found on her list, and that they must have never recieved my renewal document! I have to say, somehow I knew it, I just had a feeling that they had never recieved it. But, she tells me it isn't a big deal and if I send her my renewal form she will re-make the list of assistants eligible for renewal in Amiens to include me! Then, she says something very interesting. She says that if I get renewed will depend on if they have any places still available. This means one of a few things: either the same old line that renewers are only renewed if new applicants drop out, or perhaps that the academie can reserve places for renewers, or perhaps that because Amiens is so unpopular the number of assistants who are placed here is a lot lower than the number of positions allocated by the CIEP so the renewers have a really good chance of getting renewed because there are usually still positions left. Anyway, I ran back to the circonscription with my renewal form (thank goodness I photocopied it! always photocopy everything!) and faxed that baby off. Claire also gets big points in my book for being helpful.
So I'm feeling good about what I accomplished today. Obviously this is not at all a guarantee that I will end up getting a position. But, the fact that the CIEP made a new list of renewable assistants because of me, plus two different attempts by Pascale to get me hired, plus my evident desire to return would seem to indicate to a logical person that I should be renewed. Then again, logic has never once entered into the French bureaucracy, so I can't really pin my hopes on that. But I do have hope! And I'm really glad it wasn't a big hassle. I honestly thought that I was going to have people telling me "c'est pas possible" all day long. I guess when it comes to exploited workers in Picardie, no one is too picky about the rules. Or that the rules don't really exist and this program really is as random and bizarre as we all think.
Stay tuned for next week when I harass the rectorat!