****** Sorry NO pictures for this Post ******
This past Friday was the 13th. Its funny how there are so many superstitions going on that day. My homepage on Facebook was filled with people making comments about the date.
I already knew that this day was going to be a "little" bit stressful. I am a teacher, if I haven't mentioned that before OR if you didn't know. I am an Elementary Specialist that teaches Physical Education (that is probably why I have such a hard time knowing what's in style...I wear sweats to work everyday) and I had an observation scheduled. An observation is when your Principal comes into your classroom, watches you teach a lesson to your kids, evaluates you and then gives you a grade/progress report and things that you need to work on to become a more effective teacher. This is my 4th year teaching and let me tell you its been a rough go. NOT the teaching part I must say and not really because of the Observations, but because of the budget cuts and keeping a job.
I knew that becoming a PE teacher was going to be difficult on the job front...anyone who knows anything about teaching and PE knows that once you land that coveted job you DO NOT LEAVE until you are DONE teaching. Despite these warnings I still wanted to be a PE teacher, I get to inspire kids to be active, learn new ways to play games (I get to play some of the games) and I get to be active all day.
Anyways back to the title of my post. As you may be aware, the legislature has not been doing their duty over the past decade or so. They are required to FULLY FUND public education but the have NOT been doing that. Each year they make more and more cuts on funding for Education. This results in larger class sizes, teachers being laid off and more stress to those teachers who remain. In our contracts we have a section dedicated to 'RIF' (reduction in force) prior to about 5 years ago no one paid attention to this because it never applied. NOW IT DOES. School districts have been forced to 'RIF' teachers each year and according to our contract they need to inform us prior to May 15 of the current school year. It MUST be noted that these lay-offs or reductions in force have NOTHING to do with a teachers productivity or performance but with their SENIORITY. Teachers are put onto a list and given a number. The number relates to your degree and how many credits you have taken since College graduation combined with the number of years you have been teaching, the lower your number the less seniority you have. Basically saying that the last hired is the first fired.
As I have been a part time employee since 2009, I have a low number on the list. Which means that each year that I have been teaching I have been subject to most likely receive one of these RIF letters - this year makes me the recipient of FOUR of these letters. I have been fortunate to find another teaching job by the time school starts each year but this is still a huge blow to ones ego, emotions, lifestyle, or whatever word you choose. So I get to be on the lookout for teaching jobs for the 5th time this spring and summer and apply for Unemployment Benefits. I hate applying for these, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.
Since getting my 2nd RIF letter I can't help but wonder if in some way this is God telling me that I should be doing something else. But I LOVE what I do. Its very confusing.
So that is how my weekend started...an Observation (performance review) and then a RIF letter (lay-off notice). Guess we aren't going to Hawai'i in July :(
If you have any suggestions for a new career or know of any job openings somewhere local to Tacoma I would love to read them in the comments section.
I wouldn't mind being a receptionist or something like that. Wearing cute, professional, trendy clothing would be a real perk.