Monday, June 4, 2012

Bad News

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that I posted this picture on Friday:


That's because Friday was a really, really crappy day. On Friday I got notice from my school that I won't be coming back next year.

I'm absolutely devastated. I've taught there for six years, and, obviously, I love my job. I love the school, I work with some of the best people ever (including one of my very best friends), and I absolutely adore my students. Looking at my classes right now and knowing I won't be there to see these guys graduate in two years...it kills me.

Anyway, it's not at all because of my performance. I wasn't fired, and I'm not the only one who got let go. It's just the economy and the crappy state of education in California and BS politics and nonsense like that. I guess that makes it better? (But also worse, really.) And the thing is, my job isn't just going away. Someone from another school is coming in to take over my job and teach my classes and bond with my students and UGH, YOU GUYS, I AM SO UPSET.

I can't even.

So, I have two more weeks of work right now. Then the last day of school next Thursday will be my last day, too. I had really been looking forward to the last day of school, because that means summer! Two months off! But I'm not looking forward to it anymore. At all. It's no fun when you know you aren't going back.

I'm generally pretty positive when it comes to this kind of news. I give myself one day to wallow and be sad, because sometimes you really just need to indulge that side of you. But then I get myself together and start looking for the opportunity here. Obviously the universe has some other things in store for me. Finding another job is not going to be easy, but there is something new and better out there for me. So even though part of the reason I went into teaching was so I could get a job at a school and just stay there at the same place for 30-odd years, teaching the children of my former students when I'm old and grey, I believe this is a chance for me to challenge myself, so I guess I'll see what challenge is out there for me. I have a few leads that are pretty different from what I've been doing, so we'll see how those things pan out.

I don't know, you guys. I'm really, really sad. And I'm pretty scared. And I kept myself busy all weekend so I wouldn't have time to think about it and get too upset, but now that I'm sitting down typing it all out...the tears are coming.

I don't even know how I'm going to tell my kids.

This has actually happened to me once before, but I got a last-minute reprieve when someone in the district retired at the eleventh hour. But I think I may have used up all of my last-minute luck last time. I doubt that will happen again.

So it looks like I have two weeks to finish my grading, pack up my classroom, say goodbye to my awesome friends and amazing students and then...I don't know.

I have no freaking idea.

87 comments:

  1. Aww, Jess... So sorry. I can even imagine what you're going through, but still, I'm so sad for you. I'll be thinking of you these next few weeks, and keeping my fingers crossed for bigger and better things to come your way. <3

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    1. Thanks Katy...I need all the good vibes I can get my hands on.

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  2. Oh no. :( I am so sorry. This makes me sad, too. You really have a great attitude about things, which I admire. Glad to hear you have some leads--I hope you find something wonderful!

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    1. I think a positive attitude is SO important. I really believe you get out of the universe what you put into it, so I am trying to see the opportunities here. It's hard, because I really just want to mope. But that doesn't do anyone any good.

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    2. "I really believe you get out of the universe what you put into it" --I think this is my new favorite quote. I love it and I've been trying to tell myself that all day. Great words to live by! Thank you!

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  3. I'm so sorry to hear that, Jessica.

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  4. I hate that this has happened to you yet again. Big hugs, friend. :-(

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  5. This is the worst. And then people complain about how our kids aren't doing well in school? ARGH IT MAKES ME SO MAD.

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    1. I KNOW. It's all related, you know? Gah.

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  6. Oh no, Jess. I'm so sorry! That's terrible!! I'm sure another opportunity will present itself (crossing my fingers for you!) but in the meantime, hang in there. *hugsss*

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    1. Thanks Ghenet. I KNOW something awesome is out there waiting for me. I just hope it pops up soon. :-)

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  7. That's awful, Jessica. I'm so sorry to hear that. Where we prioritize and put the budget dollars of our state doesn't always make sense, especially when kids lose out on committed, caring, intelligent teachers. Just look at it, if you can, as the universe creating an opening for something potentially new and exciting to happen that was, in fact, always meant to happen, and now you will be able to give it whatever focus it needs without hesitation. Hugs to you in the meantime!!!

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    1. Thanks Robin. I'm such a creature of habit, so I'm really hoping that you are right, that the universe is making something happen for me that I would never go get on my own. We'll see!

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  8. So sorry to hear this. I was in this boat about three years ago, and I can relate to just how devastating it is. I hope (and believe) that there is something awesome out there for you. Something that will maybe challenge and inspire you in completely different ways.

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  9. Jess, I am so, so, sooooo sorry. I feel for you. I lost a job for very similar reasons a few years ago (economy, money, etc) and it just plain sucks. It hurts being so powerless to fix/right things. I'm sure you'll bounce back and I'm sure you'll end up someplace even better. It's always hard to see the light immediately following events like this, but I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Hang in there, girl, (((hugs)))

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    1. Yeah, the powerless feeling is the WORST. Thanks, Erin. xoxo

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  10. That news really sucks--I feel terrible for you and for your students/school, because you sound like an incredible and devoted teacher. Hang in there!

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    1. Aww, thanks Rebecca. I absolutely adore my students, so this is really rough for me. I'm going to miss them so much. :-(

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  11. Oh man, I'm so sorry to hear this! You are such an enthusiastic teacher! I really don't get how the state can justify educational cuts like that. UGH! :(

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    1. Thanks Kat. Our state is sucking right now. Pack me in your bag and take me to Canada, please? ;-)

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  12. OH NO! I remember your post about the close call with last second retirement. If that's still a possibility, I hope it happens---from what I can tell you're one of the teachers schools NEED and students LOVE. What a terrible state CA is in to have to let teachers like you go :(

    We <3 you and I so hope you get opportunities that get you excited for a new phase. You definitely deserve it. <3 <3 <3

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    1. Thanks Sarah. I'm holding a little bit of hope that something crazy happens again, but since it happened once already I think I may be out of luck. But yay for new opportunities once I get over being terrified.

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  13. Oh no, Jess! I'm so sorry to hear this (and feel slightly foolish now for the comment I just left on your last post). :(

    I HATE hearing things like this happen to teachers such as yourself who try, day in and day out, to engage students and make a difference.

    I wish I could do or say something to help ease your sadness. I know it's easy to say from this end "This is an opportunity in disguise!" But sometimes, you just need the stability and not the unknown. I hope you find new stability soon.

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    1. Don't feel bad about that comment! I have a lot of exciting things going on this summer, so it's not a total bummer.

      Thanks...yeah, I don't do well with the unknown at all, so I'm hoping some stability will pop up soon.

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  14. This makes me so upset. Our school system does the same stupid thing, and I just can't fathom their justifications. Your awesomeness just oozes from every post you write here on the blog, and I know that a bigger and better adventure is waiting for you.

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  15. Ugh! Yuck. I'm sorry, Jess. I'm confident about your assessment of the universe: things will work out because you are AMAZING, and you'll find a fantastic opportunity that just falls at your feet, begging you to take it.

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  16. Jessica! I'm so sorry. :( I work in education, too, so I know how you must be feeling. One year, I was told over the summer that I was being transferred to a new school clear across town. I never had a chance to have any closure with my students. You should use these next 2 weeks to let your students know how AWESOME you think they are. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you--but I know there are bright things in your future. :)

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    1. I thought about this comment today, Pam, and made sure to laugh and have fun with my students. I'm going to cry when I have to say goodbye to them, but I can't imagine not having a chance to say anything! How terrible!

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  17. Oh no, Jess, I'm so sorry. There are great things in store for you, but this still sucks.

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  18. Jessica I'm so sorry. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

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  19. Hugs, Jessica. CA is such a mess and our children are suffering due to adult incompetence and mismanagement. I am so sorry you are caught in the web. Hoping a miracle strikes again for you.

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    1. Thanks Jill! I know there is something good out there for me...just gotta go find it!

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  20. Oh no! I'm so sorry! This must be horrible! They're bringing someone else in? What the hell?!

    I hope things get better for you!

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  21. Jessica, I am so very sorry. I received a pink slip back in 2006 when I was teaching due to cutbacks in AZ. I really am so sad for you. I don't understand why they're allowing someone else to take over your students. That doesn't make sense. (((Hugs))). Keep up the positive attitude. It will take you far.

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    1. That person has tenure and I don't. :-(

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  22. I'm so sad for you :(

    It probably won't really help at all, but you have full rights to over-indulge on some Ben and Jerry's. Please keep us updated.

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  23. I'm sorry, Jess. That's awful. I can tell from your posts about your classroom and your kids what a great teacher you are--what a huge loss for your school, and for you. I am also in the process of telling my kids I'm leaving--I actually just told my book club girls today, which is why I haven't blogged about it yet. It's really hard, but it's also really heartwarming--goodbyes usually are. I've known for a while, though (we're moving across the state for my husband's job). I can't imagine having to come to to terms with something that huge in two weeks. Your kids will, I'm sure, be hugely disappointed--but they will also tell you how much they love you, and they will have your back, and they will want to stay in touch. If you need to vent to a fellow teacher, my inbox is always open :)

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    1. Thank you! I feel like this is one of those things that only other teachers REALLY understand. It's hard to explain that this is so much more than just a job, you know?

      Good luck with your move!

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  24. Jess, I'm so very sorry to hear this. I'm a career education guy so I get that it happens. Budgets are horrible everywhere. Teachers old and new are losing their jobs and pay...

    RANT INTERLUDE: Education is in CRISIS in the USA people. Not trouble, crisis. That's what's going to doom us. Not marriage law, or zombies, or anything else. Let's get our priorities straightened out before another generation of kids suffers. Yes, they've been suffering for 25 years now. We're literally destroying our own future over a made up system of paper exchange. Let's quit it. RANT. OVER.

    It still sucks. The tutoring position I've had for the last three and a half years at my local middle school wasn't funded this year. Getting sacked isn't cool for lots of reasons. A paycheck is great. Who doesn't like to eat and have a glass of vino every now and again? But what really hurts is being away from the kids, the teachers--and everyone else that makes a school-go-round.

    If you've never worked for young people before (not raised them, but worked FOR them--a difference), you can't really understand the bond that forms. The partnership. The investment. It kills you to have been a part of it and suddenly no longer be allowed. Especially when money is the deciding factor.

    You'll have other opportunities. You'll build new relationships. You'll help other kids, kids that need you. You'll move forward. Always forward. Until then, I'm wishing the best for you and your family.

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    1. I know I said it on Twitter, but seriously...thank you so much for this thoughtful comment.

      You really nailed it when it comes to the bond that forms when you are working for kids. I can't really explain it to anyone who isn't or hasn't been a teacher. These kids are more than co-workers, more than clients, more than partners, so much more than anything like that to me. So it's really, really difficult.

      Thanks for the positivity and the kind thoughts.

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  25. I'm so sorry. This happened to my daughter's wonderful teacher last year and it was very upsetting, disappointing, frustrating. We wrote letters of recommendation, but still she was replaced by someone from another school who had more seniority. But you're right, there are other opportunities on the horizon - let yourself feel sad, but hopeful too. Best of luck to you.

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    1. Yup...that's what's happening to me. Someone with seniority from another school is bumping me out of my job. I hate it.

      But I'm hopeful! There's something exciting out there for me!

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  26. Oh gosh Jessica. I'm so sorry. At the risk of sounding sappy, I know that you have a new adventure waiting for you. Way better than this one. I know it :)

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    1. Thanks Melissa! I know it, too. It's just so hard to get through this part!

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  27. Oh, man, my heart is breaking for you right now. You're in my thoughts & prayers! Wishing you the best of luck for the future. :)

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  28. I'm so sorry. That sucks. When one door shuts another opens. You'll be okay. Something good will come out of this.xoxoxooxox

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  29. So sorry Jessica. You have to be positive that there is something new and shiny waiting for you right around the corner. *hugs*

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    1. Oooh, shiny! :-D There better be! Haha

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  30. Oh no. I'm really, really sorry to hear this. The entire educational mess that's going on in CA (and everywhere else) is upsetting me so much. I hate that this happened. I'll think of you and send you lots of good vibes for figuring out your next steps.

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    1. Thank you for the vibes, Steph. xoxo

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  31. I'm really sorry to hear this. I have close friends as teachers and most say every year they're lucky to have a job. Most of them had to move out of state just to get the job in the first place.

    I will refrain from getting too political, but (don't you love that "but"??) when politicians say "cut spending" it's very important to ask where those cuts come from. Sure, cut spending sounds great, and these days it MUST happen since we're so far in debt. But what you nod and say yes to at the voting booth may cost someone their job. Sadly, teachers get dumped on so often. Really sorry to hear.

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    1. It's really crappy that education keeps getting screwed. How do people think that is going to impact our country? I seriously hate it.

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  32. I am so bummed for you. I have friends at my school who are still hoping for last minute reprieves....this is so harsh. CA needs to get its act together or we are going to lose a lot of excellent educators.

    xoxo--

    Shelley

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    1. Thanks Shelley. I'll keep my fingers crossed for your friends, too.

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  33. Jessica this makes my blood boil. This whole situation is re-freakin'-diculous. I got transferred from a school that I've been at since 1998 because of our districts cuts and shuffles. It IS heartbreaking. I am thankful I still have a job - but I also don't think teachers should be put in the position for acting grateful to keep the jobs we pour our hearts and souls into. The kids are the ones getting screwed. I will keep my fingers crossed for a last minute turn around for you. Sending virtual hugs, chocolate, and wine your way.

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    1. It really is the kids who are getting screwed, and I hate it.

      Thanks for all the love, Leslie. I know the other teachers really get it.

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  34. This is heart breaking! Ugh, and with two weeks of school left where you still have to put on a happy face... so sorry, Jessica. I love my job and teach with one of my best friends (and another who became a close friend) and if I was told that I didn't have a job here, and for someone with tenure, I would be so angry, so sad and everything in between. I know it's part of the (jacked) system, but STILL. Are you thinking about leaving education all together? Being a planner and one who likes stability I know you'll land on your feet but still, such a bummer!

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    1. Yup, that's me...angry, sad, and everything in between. I don't even know what to do...cry, yell, throw things, pout. I'm doing a little of everything, I guess.

      I don't want to leave education. The thought of that makes me sick...I really do love teaching. But the window of getting another teaching job is so small. I guess we'll just see what happens.

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  35. Ugh. I'm so sad reading this post. I'm sending as many good job-finding vibes as I can spare right now your way! =)

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    1. Thanks Stephanie. I hope I'm not scaring you too much about your own job prospects. Hopefully WA isn't as much of a mess as CA is.

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  36. Oh sweetie, I'm so so sorry. I don't even know what to say. My sister is a teacher and she's been through this twice. It's so horrible what is happening in education. The reshuffling is awful for employees and awful for students.
    You are amazing. And you can write and rant to me any time or I will tell you ridiculous stories to make you laugh. Beauty, it sucks, but I believe in you. Sometimes crap things lead to awesome. Keeping you in my thoughts. And keeping all my fingers crossed that something amazing will happen out of this.

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you Christa. I appreciate the pep talk and the finger crossing SO MUCH. xoxo

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  37. I'm so sorry to hear this :( Hopefully you'll look back on this in a year and see that it was the catalyst for something amazing.

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  38. Jessica, what awful news. I'm so sorry. I always get so frustrated hearing about great teachers getting laid off because of the economy, and it's especially terrible to see it happen to someone I know. So absolutely unfair and senseless.

    I hope something great comes right on the heels of this. Sending good thoughts to you.

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    1. Thanks so much Allison. I'm sure there is something awesome out there for me, it just sucks getting through it.

      And if you happen to hear of any teaching jobs then let me know. ;-)

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  39. UGH JESSICA I AM SO SORRY. UGH.

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    1. Thanks Anne. I know you get how sad this is. :-(

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  40. Oh no, so sorry Jessica! :( Sending hugs.

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  41. oh no! I'm so sorry to hear this!

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  42. This post made me sad on so so so many levels:
    1. For you first because one can tell from your posts how much you love your school and students and your job and that it will be a difficult departure!
    2. But even more for your students: You are one of those wonderful breeds of teachers, the kind who makes a difference, the kind who invests so much time in their students because they love to teach and because they realize how much students bring to them as well. Your students appreciate what they have. Your motivation and your kindness and your spirit shine through all of your posts, Jess. Every time you write about them, I had to smile.
    I remember teaching German at the university in the US and I loved loved loved seeing the progress my students made in just a semester, how I was always sad to see them go, how happy if I got to teach them again later...and my greatest gift was when someone who was taking language as just a requirement ended up telling me that they enjoyed the class because they learned something and had fun with it...
    Your students had these moments with you every single time in your classroom.
    You´re a star in their eyes Jess, never forget that!
    Big big hug (and I am sure you will get something again soon!)

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