Monday, June 22, 2015

Things Not to Say the the Displaced Teacher

It is the last day of school and I should be jumping with joy and dancing my socks off because it is summer! I am dancing a little, because for 2 months I get to sit and relax. I have neglected so many things at home because I have focused so much attention on my class and my wedding. So I am excited about this part.

I am not jumping for joy today though because once again I am displaced.  I always tell others that I am very fortunate to have a job teaching in the state I live in. I see people who sub for an extremely long time and still searching for the permanent job. I have a job, but I am still searching for the permanent job each summer. So, when everything thinks all I do is tan and sleep the reality is I am panicking.

I have been brainstorming a list of things not to say or complain about around the teacher who is displaced or a substitute who is desperately trying to find a permanent job.

1.     What are you doing next year?  Well if I knew I wouldn’t be packing my room up and avoiding all eye contact leading to the end of the year. I knew most ( not all) people have good intention in asking the question, however it is a constant reminder every time someone asks this question of the unknown I am about to enter. I wish I could answer it, but I cannot.
2.     Don’t worry it will all work out in the end. Yes, I know somehow it will. As teachers we know that each year someone gets the “pink slip” and that usually they are recalled quickly. Even though we know normally that is how it works it is still not guaranteed that will be how it works out. Worrying is what I have to do to make sure my family is taken care of.
3.     Complaining about next year before the new year begins. It is always awkward to listen to people complaining about next year. It could be anything from their room not getting painting to their class size. This bothers the teacher living in the unknown because they would make the small amount of money the school gives and the large amount of money out of pocket to create the best learning environment if someone would just give them a chance.
4.     You are young. We all had to do this. This is not true for every state and I will leave that at that. It is not a right of passage to be a teacher and shouldn’t be. My obstacles as a young teacher shouldn’t be teaching or having a job period.

The list can go on and on and on. Today is a bittersweet day for me. I am excited for summer to start. I am excited once again to let the kiddos that I have taught ( some for 2 years) go to the highest grade within our school. I am excited to be surrounded by people I truly enjoy working with at a school I love. I am sad because I know with this ending the worry, stress, and unknown world is beginning once again. This is my fourth summer of worry.   It is in God’s hands and as hard as it is to let it go I know I will.  I know many teachers are in the same boat and could add many more to the list of things that are said unintentionally that sting more and more everyday. So yes I work 182 days, but I spend the entire summer not knowing if I have a job or when I will know differently. That weight is heavy .


Miss Stetson


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