Discussion in 'General Education' started by DamienJasper, Dec 23, 2020.
Dec 23, 2020
I’m in need of...I dunno, aged wisdom and insight.
Dec 24, 2020
Which recession are you referring to?
The "great recession" around the 2007 to 2009 time frame?
No, but I worked at a bank. Not as a banker, but I worked in IT. The bank would do ANYTHING to make money and keep their big accounts. If you ever watched the old sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies", YES, it's just like that. No wonder the big banks got in trouble. So when that day hit us, I got a front row seat when the Four Horseman of banking rode in: panic, fear, blame, and audit. "The sky is falling" is how they responded to everything. It was business as usual. Some people were let go but they were fluff jobs.. like the VP of Coffee & Donuts secretary's secretary. Lots of BS jobs like that exist in a bank. In fact, throw a rock through the front window of a bank and you'll probably hit a VP.
What's going on now is the only game changer I have ever lived through. The protocols in place are compromising lives more than 911 and terrorism ever did.
What’s the real question that you want to ask?
Dec 25, 2020
The real question I want to ask...
It's kind of...formless I suppose. General concern/despair/fear. Maybe I should focus on the now and count my blessings. Not not being something of a worry-er isn't my style and my coworkers always accuse me of being the over prepared one.
I teach in Idaho. This is my third year. But I'm not as young as most people who've been teaching that long. I just turned 37. I'm wondering, because let's face it, the economic doldrums are still happening and likely to linger, how bad did it get during The Great Recession? I always figured I'd live through a few in my life (even though every time there's a 'boom' period in the economy, they say THIS TIME IT'S DIFFERENT! GOOD TIMES ARE HERE TO STAY FOREVER!).
I guess part of the blessing is that I live in Idaho. Occasionally there's a blip on the news that Idaho is one of the few states that's sitting on a sizeable budget surplus. I'm (surprise surprise) not a GOP voter, but I do have to give Governor Brad Little credit for holding firm on the budget during the good years to sock away money for the not so good years. A lesson from the Great Depression, he says. He wasn't lying.
All I can say is, yeah, a lot of us got into teaching because it was our dream job. I can honestly say I've loved it more than I ever thought I would. When I graduated with my teaching degree in 2009, I was still in my 20's. I (figuratively) knocked on a lot of doors to try and find a teaching job. Came close a few times, but never crossed the finish line. Resigned myself to working in a grocery store for 9 or so years. Nothing wrong with that; it paid pretty ok for what it was and they never ripped me off for benefits or bonuses. But the teaching bug never went away. When I decided to get back in the game and try again, finally getting a teaching position was like dropping a huge bag of rocks (regret, frustration, sadness, what-ifs...). Other teachers have made fun of me because I'm the only one who looks happier coming back from extended breaks looking happier. Dream job? Yep.
I fear however, that given what we're living through, it'll all go away some time in the next year. Budgets aren't great, students leaving public school and doing 'home school' (which in most cases we know is BS), some corners of the public pushing for "all online, all the time".
Maybe I'm too sad on Christmas. I haven't gotten the virus. I've had students in my class all year, despite my fears. I've sharpened my skills (and hopefully burnished my value) by also maintaining an online class of students as well. I'm still working while tens of millions aren't. I've never been involuntarily relieved of work in my life. Not sure I could ever take having teaching snatched away from me (I basically work at teaching 12-14 hours a day and wouldn't have it any other way). And besides that, how the hell do you start over at 37?
The question? I don't really know how to manage this fear.
Is my vote, since you ask.
Dec 26, 2020
Worry doesn’t fix anything. If anything, it makes things worse because it interferes with your now. It is especially useless to worry about things that are out of your control, like a school’s budget. Do your best every day, but don’t work so hard you burn yourself out.
Early in my career I was let go four years in a row from the same district due to RIF. It sucked, but getting let go from the school I had thought was my dream job (high school) led to being hired at a school people said was awful (middle school) and it has been q much better experience than my original school. Go figure.
I’ve taught through the recession, admin changes on building and district level, curriculum changes, standard changes, unreasonable testing situations, personal health issues, family health issues, a divorce, grade changes, technology changes, the latest “greatest”teaching & management methods, multiple teaching partners, and now a pandemic. And this school year I’m also trying to manage a classroom virtually during a pandemic while caring for my terminally ill mother at her home. I could worry all day long and still not cover it all.
If you can’t manage the anxiety on your own, seek professional help. A good counselor or medication could be just what you need.
I taught then and I am a little bit older than you by a few years. I worked in a state that had tenure but some teachers (very few) had their positions eliminated and tenure didn't help them.
Worry about the now. One of my favorite Bible quotes is Matthew 6:34 - Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
What subject or grade level do you teach?
Dec 27, 2020
I teach Reading and Language Arts, 7th grade. I also have a History minor.
I taught 7th grade reading & language arts for 17 years before switching to 8th grade. 5 years ago. Bless their hearts. They’re a mess.
OP, even though we all can’t control the future, you can prepare for the “just in case” situations that you think may come. Best thing to do is to keep your resume updated and take a look at job boards if you feel inclined to. But keep teaching at your best and you’ll be ok no matter what!
I come from a long line of worriers and over-thinkers and I swear I'm the only one in the family who can make myself turn it off. IDK if it'd work for you, but I manage by being a worst-case scenario thinker. I let myself figure out the worst rational scenario and decide what to do if it came to pass. Having a plan makes me feel better. I don't have to like what happens, but I do have to live with it.
If you feel teaching is your avocation, then find ways to teach without being a regular classroom teacher if it comes to that. I was a 1-on-1 aide before getting a classroom job, and I worked at a community college. Both were not ideal, but rewarding positions and I value the experiences.
Also, if it makes you feel any better, you're not first on the RIF list. That'd be me, the art teachers, and any other electives.
Jan 4, 2021
Have you ever posted anything NOT related to fear and despair????
Find somethings to make you happy while you teach. Find a hobby and don't focus on the negative. I am married to a constant worrier. He worries about literally EVERYTHING, and is a work a holic because you know he may never have another job. It's very draining for me. I do get it though. He grew up extremely poor and was one step away from eviction monthly and in fact moved around like crazy not ever having a stable house. So he works hard to maintain a house for us. However, he does not have anything that makes him happy. No hobby, no real interests because they all cost money that he thinks he needs because hes afraid of loosing our house. I guess what I am saying is balance is key. Yes work, but yes have an outlet. Because all work and no play can be very hard on people.
Jan 17, 2021
I so agree with this! DH was someone without a hobby. This year he bought a tractor, and it has made all the difference. In spite of some job difficulties, it has provided him with something different to focus on.