Thursday, January 15, 2009

Layoffs in my school district...

Well, the thing that they told us not to worry about has begun.

Today after school I was asked to go into the office. Never a good thing. But when I saw the other people there--all of whom have similar seniority to mine, I knew what this was about.

The district has to layoff some teachers. The number has yet to be determined. They are alerting everyone who was hired in 2003 up until recently. A meeting with one of the union people was going to be in an hour and we were being advised to go.

How much should we panic? We don't know.

Should we start looking for another job? We don't know.

I walked back to my classroom shaking, thinking about my house, my co-workers, the uncertainty of the next several weeks and months, went in and shut the door and started crying.

Then I did what I always do in times of crisis. I called my mom.

She encouraged me and tried to look on the bright side, that they always alert more people than will eventually be laid off, that she would do everything possible to help me not lose my house if I were laid off, etc.

I went to the meeting. The lady who ran it was very knowledgeable. I took 5 pages of notes. It is about 50% bad news and 50% good news. I'm trying to focus on the positive, but it sure it hard. And the hard thing is that we won't know for sure until May. That's a lot of waiting around and stewing over what could happen.

There will be several rounds of letters, starting with the first one to verify everyone's information, like credential status, hiring dates, degrees, etc.

The next round of letters will be around March 15th, which will inform people that there is a possibility that they could be laid off. If you don't receive that letter, then your job is safe. If you do, then you have some options to take with the union regarding a hearing to make sure that everything is being done correctly. Still, it does not guarantee anything.

In May the final notices go out.

I'm numb, worn out with the shock and worry of the news, and having a hard time holding the tears back. "Single woman with a mortgage" are the words that keep coming to mind.

Naturally, this upcoming 3-day weekend will be affected. My mom and I are still going to San Juan Capistrano--it's too late to cancel our reservations--but we'll be vacationing a lot more frugally than we would have before this awful news.

And yes, I keep telling myself that there are plenty of others that were hired after me, that I may be doing all this worrying for nothing, but without a 100% guarantee, I can't help but worry.

The uncertainty is the hardest part.

I never, not in a million years, would've thought that the economy could be so bad that my job as an elementary school teacher would be in jeopardy. It's a horrible feeling...


Gail said...

We'll be praying for you in your job. I'm sure that all you say is true about there being a 50% positive and 50% negative. It's stressful, though, to hear of layoffs in the school especially when our schools can't afford to lose the amazing talent they've fostered so long and hard. Not to mention the kids still need teachers and cutting back on staff will adversely affect the student population most. Layoffs in school districts should be focused at the top-- middle level management, etc. Not in the trenches.

emmsifoppicus said...

Well, I for one will be praying you keep your job Kristie - it sounds a harsh ordeal, you and your co-workers having to wait so long... it's the not knowing that's horrible, isn't it? I'd have thought the newbies are most likely to go surely? With less experience? I'm sure the "last in, first out" thing is commonplace?

Anyway, keep positive!

Bryan G. said...

Kristie, I am so sorry that this is happening to you. In times like this for our country the thought of losing a great teacher who is so dedicated is just not right. I have faith and hope that things will work out and they will get to keep you. I hope you have a great weekend and know that you are in my thoughts.


Kristie said...

I really appreciate everyone's support and encouragement. I need it more than ever right now...

Karen said...

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this right now, Kristie! I can't believe they are going to drag it out for that long, too. It just doesn't seem fair. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers!