Last Week of School and LOTS of information……

Well, it has been a week….

Part 1: Leaving my current job because of no money in the budget for fine arts only to be asked to apply for the same job I have because the wolf that everyone cried never showed up.

For being educators, we don’t really look at history when making decisions.  I haven’t been around as long as some of these other folks but I do know that educational finance has been an issue for a while.  Even in the olden days, I bet there were teachers who wished they had more money for supplies and manipulatives.  I’d be surprised if there wasn’t ever a concern with teacher pay back then too.

All that to say, concern over the budget, whether it be state, federal, or even local, is not a a new concern.  That said, I have felt very “jerked around” the past few months with the whole budget crisis in the district I worked for this year.  For the sake of ease of understanding, we’ll call in District C.

For new readers, I was called into a meeting about three months ago where I was told (along with everyone else who was “new” to the district) that I had the choice to either resign or be terminated at the next board meeting.  This was due to the proposed budget cuts made by the state.  I chose resignation over termination even though I’ve been told by doing so I was giving up my rights for unemployment.  Oh well, I’d rather not have a termination on my record so early in my career.

About two weeks ago, there was a posting via email for elementary music teachers……..wait… WHAT?  After all that, getting rid of all the elementary music teachers (which is what I teach if you didn’t catch that) and now you’re posting to hire back.  The catch of course is that everyone has to RE-apply and RE-interview for a position they technically already had……Ah….the broken system……

Well, Saturday, I got a text about scheduling an interview for MY OWN JOB.  I declined….BECAUSE

Part 2: Making a life-changing decision to move across the state away from my family and friends for my career.

I interviewed for an elementary music position in another District (District S for Blogging’s sake) and was offered the position.  It is for one school only (At District C, I taught at 2 schools which was EXHAUSTING), more money (YAY), less travel depending on where I find a place to live (I currently commute 90 miles a day), better benefits, and more respect……

More respect?  Why do I say more respect?

District S has not let a single employee go due to the proposed budget shortfall that caused District C to let me go.  District S has a healthy respect for fine arts and not only has fully funded music for elementary but also two art teachers and a full fine arts staff at the high school level.  District S is giving me my own building with technology that is usually reserved for the “classroom teachers.”

The only problem is……District S is about four hours away from my home, my family, and friendships that I cherish so much.  Although I’ve already accepted the job, I’ve spent several hours either in tears or regretting this decision.  It was not a decision made lightly and I believe God will bless my willingness to step out in faith and go where he leads me and with all my soul, I believe God led me to this decision and this place.  I don’t know what is in store for me but I have faith that it is better than what I could have planned for myself.

The hard part is going to be making this transition.  Thank goodness for technology that allows us to be in constant communication with those we’re far away from.

This week, I’m supposed to go down to District S and sign my contract.  While there, my mother and I are going to look at rental property.  My options are kinda limited since I have Coco and a one bedroom apartment would not be pleasant for a 54 lb horse…..I mean dog…..

Part 3: Why I haven’t been blogging: the old, the new, and scrappy.

This week I learned the last week of school is not really ideal for blogging…..mostly because I just don’t have time.  Since I’m leaving District C for good now, I had to move out of 2 (count them, 2) classrooms.  That means checking in everything in 2 classrooms, removing every staple and piece of tape in 2 classrooms, cleaning out everything I’ve ever brought in to 2 classrooms.  Most teachers struggle with getting their 1 classroom finished on time.

You may recall that I was asked to make a scrapbook for the retiring principal at one of my schools.  Well, that was due on Saturday and I finished the last of the 74 pages on Friday night.  Let me say, if that principal was NOT retiring, the decision to move would have been even harder because she is the best boss ever.  She is kind even when getting on to you….which she never got on to me because I’m a rockstar….she is graceful even when wearing a t-shirt and dancing to African drumming music…….I absolutely adore her….I want to be her someday.  When I retire, I want people to say the kind of things they’ve said about her this week because I’m not the only one who feels this way about her.

Finally, with all this moving, decision-making, and scrapping till I drop, I was EXHAUSTED.  We had to work on Saturday (it was a staff) day and, after I got home, I laid down and didn’t get up on Sunday morning when it was time to go to church.  After church and lunch with Beefer, I went home and took yet another nap.  This is the first time I even turned my computer on since Friday at school.

Part 4: Where do we go from here?

So, this summer may be touch and go for a while.  I really can’t decide on a move time until I find a place for Coco and I to live.  I’d like to aim for beginning of July (which will mean it’s hot as Hades) but we’ll just have to see.

I used to be hoarder (not the kind you see on tv, I just used to like the “stuff”) but recently, I’ve become a purger.  There is something so freeing about just getting rid of everything so I’m going to be having a MASSIVE estate sale (yes, I’m calling it an estate sale) and getting rid of everything that’s not crafty (and even then I’m going to dial down) or clothes that I still wear.  That may sound crazy to some of you but I really don’t have that nice of stuff because I’m cheap.  The stuff I do have thats even remotely nice is a hand-me-down from someone in my family.  My brother has even said “if you want to see what my house looked like 5 years ago, go to Cara’s.”  It’s true.

Blogging may be touch and go for the next couple months until I get settled.  I’d like to say that I’ll keep everyone updated on the process but I’m not making any promises.

Thanks for reading. I really appreciate all of the encouragement during this crazy job situation.  

One thought on “Last Week of School and LOTS of information……

  1. Dear Cara: Best wishes with your very difficult decision and move … but go in faith and confidence that you’re on your way toward becoming that principal-woman-friend you love so much. It’s the road less traveled, that difficult one where the road is bumpy but the destination is more glorious.

    I SO understand your ability/inability relative to blogging; I too had to allow my obligations there to take a back seat toward job change. Desperate for a job (and to be off of the public dole of unemployment), I accepted a job where today, 3 weeks later, I still have no job description, just got an office, and it’s clear the job is nothing like I was recruited to fill. The promised “autonomy” has become the most micromanaged position I’ve held in my 30-year career, and we’re unwilling to move out of a stuck/failing model. I’m back to looking for a new job … but this time while holding down this full-time position that disappoints me. Grrrr. I wish I had trusted my instincts that I was taking a “good enough” position rather than a good move for me. NOW I’m looking at doing something completely different … something “more me.”

    Be well, be happy … and don’t worry, we’ll still be here waiting for you, supporting your journey … when you’re back to us.

    Ellen ♥ CardMonkey

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