Last Ins, First Outs


Well, the inevitable thing has happened. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I hoped that it might not happen to me, that I was good enough to be overlooked or that maybe, just maybe, I’m high enough on the seniority list. But I wasn’t. High on the seniority list, I mean.

I’ve been RIFed. The three-letter acronym every teacher fears. Reduction In Force. I have so many feelings about it. Not one of which is a good one. I know that it’s common for teachers to be recalled through the summer, I know that there will inevitably be some jobs out there later on. I know that there are other things out there, and that I am meant to do some wonderful ones. But I have to confess that I am heartbroken.

My place in the teaching world isn’t perfect. There are personal conflicts sometimes, students aren’t always perfect, things don’t always go the way I want them to. But it’s my place. It’s where I have nestled myself into, and I have come to love my niche there. I know the people, I learn them more every day. I know my kids. They are happy to see me and they talk to me, and they come visit me in my classroom all of the time. I like that. I like them.

And now, I find myself thinking that I had better savor the moments I have left. I’m counting moments and weeks and days. I look around my classroom and think to myself, “Where will I find space for all of this stuff in my house?”

Most of all, I am so sad that Patti and I will be splitting up. I have never worked with anyone so symbiotic to me. We think so much the same, we work the same, and more than that, she has been my mentor when I have most needed one. I would not have survived this year without her. I know we will always stay friends, and I think we always will, but I also hope we have the opportunity to work together again in the future. Maybe if we’re lucky, they will find a way to keep us together where we are. I really hope so, because I just don’t see myself feeling at home anywhere else.

This is such a new, strange feeling for me. I feel like I’m on a precipice, like everything is coming apart at the seams, and like nothing is permanent. I really hope I stop feeling like this soon. I need something to feel concrete underneath my feet again.


4 responses »

  1. Hang in there. Schools often over-RIF to cover the unknown. But many RIF’d teachers get hired back. Try to stay positive. I know that’s easier said than done.

    • I’m trying. It’s not really helping that it’s compacted with some other things going on, too. Toby’s grandfather is gravely ill, and we don’t expect him to last much longer. Everything seems to be going awry right now. I hope things level off soon!

  2. I’m sorry. Some schools will be very conservative in their enrollment estimates and hire back when more kids show up than they estimated. I hope that will be the case with you. Good luck. And if you have to sub for a while, it’s not bad. Different kids each day. No lesson planning.

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