The job I lost
I have been a teacher for 16 years and on the 20th day of school (October 4,2011), I was called into the principal's office and told that the Board of Education closed two positions at our school and that I was being displaced effective that day. I was told that I could become a day-to-day substitute until I find another position, which pays less than 50% of my salary. I did it instead of filing for unemployment. When the school year ended, I filed for unemployment and was denied. Teachers can't draw unemployment during the summer, but I am not currently a teacher; I was laid off. Now, I have no work and no income
What it's like being unemployed
I have two masters degrees and I have no income; not a dime. How could this be happening to me? I have paid taxes out of my paycheck for all of these years and now that I need help, I don't qualify for unemployment? As a teacher, I didn't make nearly as much as my counterparts with the same amount of education. However, I am a teacher because I love what I do. Teaching is not a money-making industry and when the economy suffers, cities and municipalities balance their budgets at our expense and the expense of our kids. Teachers have been laid off and class sizes have increased to levels that cheat our kids of their education. Before I was laid off, I had 38 students in one of my math sections. Yes, 38 sixth grade students with no teaching assistant.
I teach because I want to make a difference in the lives of the kids that I teach. I feel so unappreciated and I don't think that I will be hired back. My story is one that is told by so many veteran teachers. We cost too much because of our years of dedication and our levels of education. However, we are REQUIRED to continue to take classes in order to re-certify. If you continue taking classes, they lead to degrees. If you get more degrees, you cost more. If you cost too much, no one will hire you. This is not a game in which I have written the rules, but I follow the rules. I have filed for chapter 7 banruptcy and my house is in foreclosure.
The hardest part for me is the lack of control I feel for my situation. I think, "what could I have done to prevent this from happening to me?" and I honestly have no answer. I think I have done all the right things and that is such a frightening feeling. I want to look for another job besides teaching because I want to feed my family (I am a single mother), but what do you do with a masters degree in curriculum and instruction outside of education?
- I have no advice. I followed the same advice that I have given to my students and you see where it got me.