I'm planning a post about my new year's goals, which I'm quite excited about. Tonight, however, please, allow me to vent and maybe even feel a bit sorry for myself. Then, maybe I'll feel more at peace.
I've noticed lately that I feel somewhat discouraged. I have such high hopes for this next year, and soooo many areas in which I feel I need to improve. Yet, I feel like I'm forever one step forward, two steps back.
Recently, I lamented to E: 'my life is hard! I need a pick-me-up daily' (in reference to my starbucks habit). Now, I feel like its a little silly to call my life hard -- after all, I have a job, a home, and a husband. Three important things that many people lack. Today, though, I am in worry for my job.
I started the year with my 20 students - including 2 autistic (1 identified and challenging but 'mainstream-able,' 1 not-identified and very difficult). I spent the first portion of the year working to get help for the unidentified student. I somehow managed to get him an aide, testing, etc., and he is now in the special day class. On the heels of that issue being solved, came the next whammy. The school board voted to increase class sizes for next year. That in itself - sucks. Up to 30 kids, with no aide, and still the same high standards. In the past, we were able to do it in a staggered session, so we had chunks of time with just 15 in order to do the 'heavy lifting' academics. Now, people are talking about doing away with that and having all 30, all day. (Again, no aide, same rigorous standards). We are meeting on this Thursday afternoon.
But this isn't the bad part. This morning as I'm brushing my teeth, I realize that my position may not be safe. Currently kindergarten through third grade classes each have about 5 classes. If we go to a full 30 kids (there is a chance we might only have to rise to 25ish), that means only 3 classes per grade. Which means of course losing 2 teachers per grade, or 8 people(!). Now, while in my own grade level I have the third most seniority of the 5 (which I thought would make me safe), in first grade, for instance, 4 out of the 5 teachers have more seniority, than me. Same thing in 2nd grade. I have 9 years at our school, but our school is one where staff are generally really happy and want to stay, and the avg person has about 12 years.
This will be the most drastic layoff situation since the 1970's supposedly. It is unknown how the 'shifting' will take place. Whether anyone with more seniority than me will be able to 'bump' me from my k position, is unknown. I am guaranteed a job. I'm sure that I'd even be able to stay at my school (by bumping someone else). But should I bump one of the awesome 4th or 5th grade teachers, just because I have more seniority than they do? When I've never taught those grades before and would have to start from ground zero? It is important to me to stay in kindergarten. Complicating the situation is Miss P. She is at school with me, which is one way I've made being a working parent, work. Do I take her with me from school to school? What if I move schools again before she's graduated 5th? Our local school isn't really up to par, and even if it was, I'd have to drop her at 7:30 and probably not pick her up until at least 4:00, with no idea of what happened at her school that day. It isn't part of my value system to have that kind of set-up.
I'm going to try and chill out a bit until I know more details. Breathe in, breathe out.