Don’t Cut Me!

by Sarah on January 29, 2011 · 12 comments

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.
Me: OK…
SS: And I’d be like, “No.” And she’d be all, “Girrrrrllll, go get me some water.”
Me: Interesting…
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. :)

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria @ Oh Healthy Day January 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm

This makes me so sad. It's really hard to find great teachers these days and with budget cuts, all the new, enthused ones are getting the short end of the deal. But I know you, (really, I think I do) and I know whatever happens, you will take it with stride and make something great out of it.

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Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean January 29, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Sorry to hear about this :( I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, but I agree with Maria….and remember, "you've got enough sass to knock whatever comes your way on its ….!"

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Kristi January 29, 2011 at 5:03 pm

I hope everything works out for you. Fingers crossed you don't get cut! It's scary times with this economy sometimes.

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Erin January 29, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I know how you feel about the job situation!
I also teach in Texas (deep South- bordertown) and I'm an elementary music teacher. I'm keeping fingers crossed as well- it would be so sad if they cut out the arts in elementaries!
Hoping you get to keep your job, as you sound like an awesome teacher!

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Tricia @ Saving room for dessert January 29, 2011 at 6:39 pm

I am so very sorry. I know they would miss you terribly if you left. Best wishes on finding the job of your dreams.

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Missy January 29, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Oh my…never a cool place. I HATE that this is happening to dedicated teachers who still have the fire in them (because the bearocracy can be a bee-och. yes BEAR-ocracy)

Anyways…you will survive like you know…and heck…you are an AMAZING writer and culinary gal and restaurant reviewer and you know you love it so….FREELANCE…start writing, girl.

Amazing writer is an understatement.
Ever consider a novel? Do you read Jen Lancaster? I REALLY think you'd get a kick out of her books…

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Missy January 29, 2011 at 8:41 pm

PS- I mean it.
WRITE.

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tehstotehara January 29, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Oh man. That is tough. And I totally get it. Since moving to Georgia in September I have been unemployed. I can say though, when I was living in Austin there was always *something*. I have a friend who can't get a job teaching in the economy right now so he subs in Round Rock and gets called every day. One option.

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ChristieLynn January 29, 2011 at 9:18 pm

"why ms. Pember why"
That made me laugh so hard!

Very sorry to hear of your job woes :( I graduated from UT relatively recently so i have a few friends in a similar position with the Texas school districts' budget cuts… Keeping my fingers crossed for all of you!!

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Leila @ Spinach and Skittles January 29, 2011 at 9:56 pm

We're having the same budget issues (well I'm sure everyone is). Arrgh. I hope you aren't laid off!
Love the notes. Why Miss Pember, why?

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Lele January 30, 2011 at 10:25 pm

You and I really have to somehow be in the same city at the same time… this has been such an epic fail, but I would love to sit down and talk to you about everything! I feel like we have so many overlapping life experiences.
Though my kids are older, so instead of writing "Why, why?", they threaten to sue me. For what, I'm not entirely sure.

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hannahviolin February 3, 2011 at 12:24 am

Just discovered your blog! I teach music lessons, and one day I was making a student play through a pretty challenging part of a piece, to get a sense of what she needed help with. She stopped halfway through and said "why are you doing this to me?" It was hilarious! (She laughed too after she realized how ridiculous she sounded.)

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