Wednesday, IPS issued RIF(reduction in force) notices to those employees who are to be laid off. Fortunately, the district was not forced to lay off as many teachers as expected, but the day was not a happy one.
At the end of the day, as we walked to our monthly faculty meeting, you could find no smiles. I was told that ATHS only had to terminate 10 positions, which should mean a sigh of relief from the rest that avoided receiving a letter. Instead, the mood throughout the campus was melancholy. We were sad for our fellow teachers because, like many professions, many of us have become a second family to each other.
I was not laid off, which I realized the more I thought about it that the uncertainty of my job status had been weighing heavy on my mind and affecting me in many ways. I think it has been affecting all of us. We pour our lives into this profession and our school becomes another home to us. One of which we often spend more time at than at our family's home.
That is why there was so much sadness. We looked around and saw family members that have to leave. These people have poured their sweat and tears into trying to improve the lives of urban students. Some have spent most of their life with no other goal than to change these children's lives.
I now have to make a decision.
This year has had serious effects on my health, both mental and physical. I realize now that much of it has been the stress of waiting and evaluations. We felt that every move/decision/lesson could cost us our career. It made dealing with all the other normal stresses of teaching in an urban school that much harder to manage.
Now that I know that I have a choice, and that the choice is not being made for me, I must evaluate what is best for me and my family. If things get worse it could cause even more strain to my health, but changing jobs could possibly do that as well.
I am also getting married this fall. It is not the time I should be dealing with a new job and potentially serious reduction in pay. Nor is it when I would want a repeat of this school year. It is a time to have stability so that I can focus personal time on my personal life.
I know that many from IPS read my blog and so I will state for the record that I will make my decision within the month. And, if I decide not to remain with IPS, I will give official notice so that they can find a replacement. I do care about the communities we serve and it would be a disservice if I left without notice and/or at the last minute.