Wednesday, February 14, 2007

What you don't know.

I wonder how many posts I've started with that headline. I know it's at least one other.

What you don't know about public schools is probably a lot, if you don't work for one, or if you aren't closely connected otherwise. Teaching is a hard job, but one of the best things about teaching for me is that I have made a TON of friends. Schools aren't one room on the prairie, and as such, there are lots of opportunities to meet people and make friends.

The shitty part of all of it comes about this time of year, when the staff of a school sits down and looks at the budget. Of course, the budget is never increased, only decreased. This means that, most every year, "we" have to decide the cuts.

And that's what you don't know. People who work in schools make friends in a foxhole--it's a hard job, no matter what you are doing, and if you work there, you automatically share a special connection with everyone else there. We talk about our time in schools like military folk do: long-term teachers are invariably called "veterans."

So it's that time of year, and the cuts are in. And, of course, one of my best friends has had her job cut. Rather, her job is one of three that has been "redistributed," so she has to decide whether or not to interview for the two remaining positions.

For those who don't know, let me clue you in: THIS SUCKS.

It sucks for her, because she doesn't know if she wants to interview. If not, it means she has lost her job. If she does, she would be interviewing for a different job which she doesn't like. More than likely, I'm betting she chooses not to interview, which means I will have one less friend at work next year.


We need as many allies as we can get, down here in this foxhole.


  1. You're does suck.

    I do admire teachers more and more every day for the fact that they work hard and get paid less than they should.

  2. I'm no longer in a school district where we have to make cuts in the teaching core. When I taught in Vegas, we had "redistributions" of teachers, which I always hated since I was at the bottom of the rung as a 2nd year teacher.... I could get put anyplace within the 50 mile radius of downtown Las Vegas..... without a choice in the matter.

    Countless new teachers quit because they were given different teaching positions after "Count Day". Even when my school had 35 kids in every class, we lost teachers, most of them to schools with 40 kids in every class.... and most of the teachers who were transferred.... QUIT because they didn't want to deal with the extra weight of additional students or the "trade without approval" status of the district.

    We need somebody willing to:) A: The government will need to commit more money so that more people will want to enter AND REMAIN in the profession, or B: more citizens are needed to be willing to commit their taxes to lowering class sizes and increasing the educational benefits of our students.

    But of course, option C always remains: We'll get neither, class sizes will continue to grow, American students will continue to fall behind those of other countries (while those of us in the classroom are critiqued more and more each day), and the teacher workforce will continue to have record (and costly) teacher turnover.