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.