This week has been a particularly difficult one at school. After having been told a few weeks ago that the budget cuts were quite substantial, but every effort would be made through reassignment to maintain jobs in the district for next year, we were hit with the news that job losses were unavoidable at this point, due to the total budget deficit being even higher (like, three times higher) than originally anticipated.
Considering my job is a resource position (not a classroom teacher), and that I am a newbie (at least here in Texas), the chances of me being able to keep my job are not looking good.
That being said, I’m not losing sleep over it. I’ve been unemployed before, and I survived. Hell, y’all, I MORE than survived. I scraped together temporary employment, spent some time traveling, visited and then subsequently moved to Austin, and am probably happier now than I was in my pre-’fun’employment-employment.
Oh yeah, and if I’d never been unemployed, I doubt I’d have ever started this blog. So I guess, in effect, we should all be happy about the state of the economy. Had jobs for teachers been prevalent, well…who (or what) would you now laugh at every day?
Yes, I’m making light of what is a VERY serious situation, but I am choosing to be realistic while staying slightly optimistic. Besides, there’s not much else I can do, except keep on teaching and loving my kids until they tell me not to come back…or you know, walking around like Cass van Rye confronted with Britney Spears-playing-fallen-Mouseketeer-Dawn-on-SNL-circa-1999, saying “Don’t cut me!” [If you've never seen this sketch, I highly recommend you click here and watch it on YouTube. I was in high school when it came out and at one point I knew the entire thing, verbatim, and would regularly have quote-a-longs with one of my best friends.]
Until we know anything for sure, I will rely on what has always been my cure for stress in this job: the hugs and hilarity of the small children I teach.
Today’s story features a petite young girl with enough sass to knock you on your…well, you can fill in the the rhyme. It is important for effect to know that…imagine a 4-foot-tall, spindly little version of Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce/”Single Ladies” alter ego.
Small Sasha: Miss Smart?
Me: Yes, Small Sasha?
SS: You remind me of my mom.
Me: [One eyebrow raised*] How so?
*I mean, if I could actually do that.
SS: Well, I mean, if I were with my mom at home, and she were thirsty, she’d be all like “I’m thirsty” and ask me to get her some water.
SS: And I’d be like, “No.” And she’d be all, “Girrrrrllll, go get me some water.”
SS: Yeah, ’cause you’re just like—[insert imitation of my now-perfected "teacher look" and hand-on-hip stance]–and then we do what you asked us to do even when we don’t want to do it.
I’m not really sure what she was trying to say, but I think it has something to do with my evocation of Jenny-from-the-block, “are y’all crazy thinking you can get away with that?” attitude. [Reason #1,234 I love the population of kids I work with? They don't have the sense of entitlement you find elsewhere, and they appreciate it when you hold them accountable and don't let them get away with anything...]
Of course, she did bring me a present the next day, so I know she meant well.This ceramic moon she had made and painted immediately took up residence on my computer with one of the many frogs in my collection.
Bonus smile-inducing photo? I found this in one of my students notebooks:…and a quote I wrote down and stuck on my computer screen at school to always remind me of the goal of every day with my kids:
OK, I think I’ll get back to blogging about food now. Just thought I’d let you know where I’m at….and if you have any ideas about my future employment prospects, let me know.