Ruining My Spring Semester

February 11, 2009 at 10:27 pm 4 comments

I am doing a better job at teaching than I am at blogging about it. (Although to be fair, I’ve got some notes and drafts stowed away. Probably ought to finish them and get them posted, huh.)

I love what I’m doing. Some days are hard, and some weeks – like this one – exhaust me with the sheer emotional load of caring about and for these children. I’m told that I’m doing well. I feel like I’m doing a good job. I’m feeling more comfortable, more at home, here at LMS. I’m settling in.

Too bad it seems to all be falling apart around me.

I’m what they call a Category 1 teacher, which means that I was hired at the very last minute. Technically, I suppose, I was a desperation hire. The enrollment numbers turned out higher than was anticipated just before school started, and I lucked into a position. I would have put my whole heart into my teaching anyway – why do something less than 110%? – but this was extra incentive. I had to do a good job if I wanted to keep my job next fall. See, Category 1 teachers are on a non-renewing one-year contract. I knew from the outset that I was going to be gently terminated at the end of the school year and, if all had gone well, rehired for the following year. This, of course, was also contingent on there being appropriate enrollment numbers. Unfortunately, it could take until the last minute (again) to find out about those numbers. That creates a very real possibility that I’d be Category 1 again: no tuition reimbursement, and no job security.

None of this seemed too worrisome in the fall. I reckoned it would all work out in the end.

But now the economy has fallen apart. They’re talking about laying off teachers, among many other things.

Apparently, and according to a friend and a contract expert, this is the scenario I’m facing:

At the end of the school year, I’m done. I will pack up and empty out my classroom. I am going to be paid through August, because it was a one-year contract, but I am in the same place I was before I ever got the job. I am not an employee of the school district. I’ve gained one important thing, in that the school knows me and (allegedly) wants me back. That’s a very important foot in the door.

The schools have to wait for the state, and the state has to wait for the feds. Once everyone gets their ducks in a row, they’ll know how many teachers they need for next year. If last year is any indication, this will be late in the summer.

Soooo… all summer, again, I’m going to be worrying about whether or not I’m going to have a job. I’m going to have to print out resumes again, get my application into the aggravating HR pool again, interview again. I could be back at LMS in my same classroom, or I could be in a high school on the other side of the district, or I could be sitting on my couch at home. If they are even hiring at all, it’ll probably be late, and I’ll probably end up Cat 1 again – which means we’ll do this again.

It isn’t supposed to be like this. Once you get hired, you’re supposed to be able to teach if you want to and if you aren’t awful. You’re supposed to get a job, work hard, get tenure three years later, and be able to breathe. You’re not supposed to fall in love with a school and the people in it just in time to get kicked back to the curb.

I’ve been assured by several coworkers that our admins are going to fight to keep me, but I know as well as anyone that these things are rarely within anyone’s control.

Worse, I know how miserable Mr. Bees is. He has graduated. His diploma (three emphases, a minor, and certification to teach two different subjects) is sitting on the mantle. He wants to be in a classroom so much, but if it was going to be hard for him to get a job as a social studies teacher before, it’s going to be nigh unto impossible now. When they’re cutting loose existing teachers, they aren’t hiring untested ones.

I figured I’d teach a year, get tenure within reach, and then consider that whole “baby” thing I’ve heard so much about. (Don’t get me started – I want to start a family so bad that my teeth hurt when I think about it.) Now I don’t know what to do.

I don’t want to lose this job. But I guess, in a manner of speaking, I already have.


Entry filed under: BAD DAY, JOB HUNT, MR. BEES.

Bad Idea of the Day Inspired by Fiction?

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Clix  |  February 12, 2009 at 6:55 am

    Is relocation a possibility?

  • 2. madhousewife  |  February 17, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Wow, that’s really unfortunate. 😦 I hope things work out better than you expect. But I’m sure you do, too.

  • 3. Stixen  |  February 18, 2009 at 11:35 am


    Things will work out. The stimulus package has been signed, and Obama is all about teachers. Yes, you’ll have to go through the job hunt – but that may mean multiple offers next year. Have faith that your efforts have been worth it for the future, as well as for your students.

  • 4. online stock trading guru  |  January 10, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    I usually don’t post on Blogs but ya forced me to, great info.. excellent! … I’ll add a backlink and bookmark your site.

    I’m Out! 🙂


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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

I am striving to maintain anonymity on this blog so that I may more freely interact with my fellow edubloggers. If you know who I am, please help me protect my anonymity in your comments. I use pseudonyms or initials for everyone I write about to preserve their anonymity as well.

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