First, I apologize to those three of you who frequent this rambling mess. My current reality is that my district is in trouble financially and that my job is on the line. Unfortantly, I’ve dwelled on this all ready, and will probably do more so in the future. While I’d love to be “rainbows are awesome and unicorns are real”, I see dark clouds massing on the horizon. I love a positive message, and will continue to aim that direction, I just may miss the mark. 🙂
I knew in June there was a high likelihood that my job was in jepority. When you need to cut $500,000 out of a budget, and we have two sections with groups of 17, something will have to give. I’ve had my moments of “ick” throughout the summer, wondering how my daughters can continue doing some of the things they do. Sure swimming isn’t that expensive, but it’s daily driving to and from practice. Heifers, that’s a different story. They eat a lot, and with a share program, there’s very little return on the money we put in. My garden will have to be expanded, and local farmer’s markets scouted out for how to make a little extra during the summer. All this has been though about, played out, and some decisions made as I refuse to be that teacher caught off guard.
In talking with several other teachers, many of whom I respect greatly, the word “wake up call” was used, quite seriously. We need to look at where we are, how our work load is ever increasing while our time to work shrinks. We need to look at how our stress increases, yet, those avenues to release that stress decrease because of additional expectations to give our times during the summer. We need to look at how our voices are continually marginalized, how we are viewed as the problem when we are doing as much as we possibly can during school time for the benefit of children. As we talked about this, our heads all nodded knowingly, understanding this while this will be a life changing event, our professional careers altered, if not ended, not because of fault of our own, that we now control out own destiny.
Like I said, I’ve had months to think about this, talk about it, and to process through how I want to respond when the time comes. Honestly, it still stinks. Knowing this may be my last year with a group of people I’ve come not only to call teachers, but friends, it turns my stomach. And until my own children graduate from high school, I will be a teacher. I love what I do, and while this year may be an exception, I love my job. Where else can I come and have a completely different day every day of the week? Where else can I come and play a part in the development of a life, a respectable citizen (hopefully)? Where else can I make a difference?
This has been a wake up call. I have planned for a few “what ifs” and we as a family have talked about what will be best for our daughters, and for us as a whole. It’s scares the heck out of me. I prefer routine, crave it to the point where it drives my wife crazy (ask her about my driving habits). Yet, this has been good for me, to look at my life five years, ten years from now and see where I want to be. Yes, I’d love to be teaching, yet, if I’m not, I have that chance to do something that will make me happy, and make a mark.
Hopefully, I don’t hit the snooze too often and miss it! 🙂