Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cue the stupid movie quote...

"We have no food! We have no jobs! Our pet's heads are fallin' off!"

~Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber

Only our pet's heads haven't fallen off. Yet. And we still have food.

So three weeks ago I was RIF'd. (Reduction In Force) I feel like everyone knows since it's been my reality for the past month, but I realized when I looked back at past posts that I *haven't* mentioned it. Weird.

So here is how it went down. On March 8, a fellow teacher (who was also RIF'd) called me earlier that day and said, "She's calling us in today to give us the news." By 1:00 PM, the principal's secretary called and let me know I had a 3:30 appointment. I was glad to have a few hours to prepare myself, although knowing what was coming was sort of distracting.

Later that afternoon, I headed down for my appointment. Funny how I wanted to be on time even though it really didn't matter if I was on time or not. Of course the entire school was abandoned at 3:30 on a Friday, but there I was walking the gauntlet to her office. The newly fired vice-principals (yes, as in "plural" - all three got the ax) gave me knowing, sympathetic looks. As soon as I walked into the principal's office, she was overwhelmed with emotion. Oddly, I found myself comforting *her.* She said, teary eyed, "I didn't realize how difficult this would be. You've been a fabulous addition to our school, and I want you to know how much I appreciate what you've done for our kids in and out of the classroom..." Yadda, yadda, yadda. "I'm sorry to have to give you this." And then she handed me the "Your services are not required for the 2010-2011 school year" letter.

And that was that.

I know I was RIF'd last year, but this experience was completely different. Not only did I get the letter *directly* from the principal this year, but I also had to sign for a copy of the letter that I received in the mail the next day. Last year, 80 teachers were RIF'd, and 40+ teachers were cut. This year, 91 teachers have been RIF'd so far. And they closed a middle school. That's bad news for me because those middle school teachers will bump me. So my chances of getting my job back are slim to none. Ah, seniority! Just when I was about to be tenured in this district, too. Bummer.

The great thing is that all of my supervisors have written fantabulous letters of recommendation for me. And, I still have me degree and certification in two states. Now if I can get my job applications in before the 24,000 other RIF'd teachers from California beat me to it...

P.S. I turned 40 yesterday. Never expected "40" to look like this!


Karen said...

I knew from a conversation we'd had that you were RIF'd, and I wondered about you but didn't want to intrude. I'm hopeful for you that you will be recalled when they see their actual numbers.

I was RIF'd once and was recalled before school started. It was a horrible experience and feeling, and I'm sorry you have to go through it, Jana.

Maria said...

Sorry I never emailed you about all of this.... I haven't had too much time for reading blogs lately or keeping up with people. Things are just so bad for teachers! I have pretty much started only working with homeschool kids now. I'm a vendor with a couple of charter schools and offer writing classes to those folks at my house. It's been a bit hard to build that, and it's nowhere near full time, but at least it's some work. You could consider doing that if you were inclined, but it is a little strange....