Wednesdays are minimum days in my school district, with professional development after school. It is usually pretty cool and fun, especially for someone who is new in the district and still learning how all the software works and so on. This week, we were told there would be a budget message from the district office at the end of the meeting. Last night after dinner, when I finally got a chance to read my email, I had one from the principal that said “Hey, Whitney, I need you to stop by my office because I want to talk to you before the budget announcement. Well, shit. (Pardon my French.)
The thing is, I was hired on a temporary contract. Not that someone is coming back to the job – in fact, I am the third Humanities teacher in three years. But because I was hired on the Friday before inservice started, district policy required that I be placed on a temporary contract, rather than a regular one. I’m one of two teachers in my building this year on a temporary contract. I won’t leave you in suspense. My temporary contract will come to an end, and principals have been told that they may not roll a temporary teacher into a permanent contract. The district will be cutting 200 teachers from next year’s staff (and that’s after they don’t fill the positions of people retiring). This means that people will be bumped and moved all over the place, generally against their will. If, after all the lay offs and staffing shifts, there is still a Humanities position in our Summa program available, then I can apply for it. The principal says that the likelihood of that happening is next to nothing. The fact that he wants to keep me in this job, my team teachers want to keep me, and the parents and the students want to keep me has nothing to do with anything. The district will move people around based on licensing and seniority – whether the person is genuinely qualified for this fairly specialized program or not.
I love this job, and I don’t want to leave it. I love the kids, and in our program we mingle all three grade levels together at all times and run a three year curriculum, which means that I would have 2/3 of the same students next year. I love the program and working with the highly gifted kids, and I love the school and the staff. The schedule even works well with my other responsibilities. There is a possibility that I may be able to get hired at one of the other schools, maybe going back to teach high school again. But I want to keep this job, and politics and bureaucracy make it impossible.
Nothing upbeat or clever from me tonight. I have to go plan for tomorrow while my laptop blurs through my tears. The kids deserve my best in the morning.