I really like this song.
Anyway, I should clariFY what R.I.F stands for: reduction in force. It basically means the district is out of money and needs to cut funds. Which usually means, cut teachers. Which also means, cut the young, enthusiastic teachers who don't have seniority. And since this has happened to Matt 3 times out of the past 5 years, he hasn't been able to avoid being the "New Guy" in any district. Thus, the R.I.F. notice in his mailbox near April (or an all-time early one this year: March 27).
I like what Zeke said it stands for better. I can probably think of much better words to represent R.I.F. Perhaps, Ridiculous Imbecile $#&%ers? :)
Okay, it's been about 24 hours now and I'm calming down. Things are a bit clearer now. I was originally really sad for Matt, as we finally thought he was in a district that wouldn't have to do this, but in January the superintendent hit them out of nowhere with the need to cut $2.6 million. But with the retirement of his department chair, we thought he'd be OK. So then I was MAD. Mad that I really thought this time it would be OK. That they wouldn't cut a teacher they had called "a gem," or written such favorable reviews of. It's just frustrating. When are we going to understand that to have quality education, you must FUND IT???
So (as usual) Matt is doing better than I am with this whole thing. He's joking that the "third time's a charm," and I'm trying not to be too upset in front of him because that's not what he needs right now. He's his typical self--calm, even in the face of uncertainty. He's grappling with the idea of leaving education, which is a profession he loves, but he can't go through this every single year. We're contemplating relocating to a state with a teacher shortage, which neither of us want to do. But do you give up something you love to take a "more secure" job doing something you don't? Or do you do whatever it takes, if that means moving away from family and friends, to pursue your passion?
So the anger is subsiding. Now I just need some guidance. Prayers for guidance are heading upstairs quite often. Hopefully God won't get too annoyed with me. :) But I just don't get it.
I know that things work out for a reason. I just need to have faith and let things take their course.
This is a proverbial flat tire on our bike course. Something that could happen at any time, but you can't really predict it and you usually don't expect it.
Get out the tube, and get to work. Get back on the course.
I really need my training but think I need sleep more. I will most likely take today and tomorrow morning off and try to jump back in tomorrow evening. After all, a flat tire's no reason to quit a race. You suck it up, and push a little harder to get back into your groove.
Maybe that means moving. (I hope not) Maybe that means we go down to one full-time salary and Matt works landscaping for a while for our friend. (Although he'll probably be the only landscaper with two bachelor's degrees and a master's) Maybe we eat ramen noodles and cut back.
Things could be worse. I just taught about the end of WWII today. I had a great discussion with my kids about the liberation of the Nazi camps, and it just kind of put things in perspective.
This is not life and death. This is a JOB.
And we can still start our family when we want to. I'm proclaiming that. I'm not letting this determine that decision. After all, I had quite possibly the perfect childhood growing up, and I didn't even know that we didn't have lots of money. I thought everyone ate pancakes for dinner sometimes. I thought that people who went on elaborate cruises or trips to Florida every break were really strange. We had so much fun in our little bungalow, just Mom, Dad, Mike and I. I didn't know when my Dad's job was on the line several times. I really had no idea.
I can do that for my future kids, too. It's all a matter of attitude.
I'm not going to let school funding ruin my life. School's are NEVER funded enough. That's just a fact. And by the looks of it, it ain't changing anytime soon.
Maybe I get a flat tire at Ironman. You know what? I'll probably swear a bit and get mad. (Okay, I'll DEFINITELY swear and get mad) But I'll get off the damn bike and fix the stupid tire. And then I'll get back on and ride away.
In the scheme of things, over 17 hours, what's a 5 minute bump in the road?
What gets you through is your ability to see the finish line, the trust you have in yourself, the love and support from the people around you, and your strength that will get you there.
Anyone got a spare tube? :)