Saturday, February 20, 2010

It's that time of year again where we start preparing for lay-offs, pink slips, relocation, and what not. This year in particular is a tough one for my school because we're going traditional and face losing up to 15 teachers. I'm fairly certain I'm being thrown in the pool for next year since I was already relocated last year. Add to the mix that the new school being built down the street (which was supposed to be for us teachers to relocate to) is being given away, there's a good possibility that I won't be able to stay in my area.

I have a few scenarios here:

- Getting laid-off. I'm not sure what the odds are on this one; the district hasn't made any public notice about this, but our union sure is advertising it strong and loud.

- Being relocated to an undesirable location. Undesirable meaning the scary schools where there is ZERO support, ZERO passion, ZERO structure/organization for success. Or far. Like Woodland Hills far.

- Getting stuck in limbo while waiting for the district to place me. When my friend was a pool teacher she drove to random schools every day putting up bulletin boards and setting up refreshments in the teacher's lounge. I'd still get paid, but this is absolutely NOT what I want to be doing for the district and certainly not why I've worked so hard to get my degrees.

- Finding my own placement before the district can put me at a school or in the pool. This is probably the best possible solution, but I'm leary of what my odds are to find a placement -- after all, with so many teachers leaving, there's a lot of competition for the few open jobs that are around. I'm definitely going to have to be productive over my vacation and get a move on this.

- Leaving the district all-together, possibly for the new charter school that will undoubtedly be opening up down the street. Not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, going to a charter school might be wonderful -- it means not having to deal with crappy senior teachers who don't give a damn, having a better funded school (charters receive money from private companies), and working with people who really care and work hard (charter schools have thin contracts, meaning there is no protection for teachers -- you have to WORK to keep your job). However, charters have a bad rep and, as a whole, do not stand for what I believe is important in public education. Here I am, a teacher being hurt by the charter schools -- it's like working for the enemy. There's a lot of issues with charter schools that I never believed in on a personal level.

There have been lots of tears at school lately. I'm drained and stressed from the testing, I'm having an extremely hard time teaching my students and dealing with that guilt, and my wussy nature cannot take working with these high seniority teachers and their attitudes. I really thought that I could take the reins this year and do something great, but I'm feeling like an utter failure all around. Plus, dealing with all this bureaucratic drama year after year makes me wonder if I can cut it as a teacher. The question is, if I don't teach, what do I do?