Thursday, February 26, 2009


Every other day or so we get more news about the terrible condition of the budget for the state of Kansas. Education WILL be hit and hit hard in the next two years. Teachers, in particular, are going to face layoffs. Schools will need to increase class size to make up for the laid-0ff teachers. Supplies will be limited. No travel. No extracurricular activities. The times are tough and the Kansas schools will be lean, mean machines in response.

The news this month is that, though we need to create schedules for classes for 2009/2010 we must not list any personnel teaching said classes. No school knows who will be retained. Administrators, counselors, social workers, teachers, paraprofessionals, janitors -- all are in jeopardy.

I'm a nontenured teacher as this is only my third year in the district. The first year I taught I was slated to be transferred from my wonderful high school to another district position, but the teachers surrounding me pulled off a miracle and I managed to hang on. Last year there was no rumblings about lay-0ffs or transfers. This year not even tenured teachers feel safe.

We had been warned this month that all transfers and layoffs are going to come from the central office and not the school principals. The statement made was that the district should have notifications go out by the end of the first week of March.

Thus, when I came home today and found a letter from my district's Human Resources director in my mail box my heart lurched. I like this job. I would like to retire from it. I'm really good in the classroom. I no longer have the energy or ambition to take on the extracurricular activities or assume leadership responsibilities, but in the classroom it's hard to find anyone as effective as I am.

I actually prayed over that letter before opening it. I was prepared to find a notice saying that my services would no longer be required at my high school and if the district had an opening next year at another high school, I would be considered (way down the line with all those tenured teachers placed first).

Instead, the letter was an announcement that any teacher with 25 years service in teaching was going to be honored this year by my district. My records showed I had 22 years with another state and three years in Kansas and so would be part of the ceremony.

What a relief. I hope it's not short-lived.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

Scary, isn't it? I teach in an elective area that they could easily get rid of. I would end up teaching English to kids who don't want to be there. Oh, joy. We're in no better shape in Washington.