Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Plan B

Mark called from work a little while ago to tell me that all probationary teachers, teachers in their first year in the school district, will not have their contracts renewed.

We thought something like this might happen. But when the new state budget projections started improving over the last month we had hope that a layoff could be averted.

Oh well.

We have time.

Mark will receive a paycheck till the end of August, at which time he will be eligible for unemployment insurance. If he does not find another teaching or state job then he can withdraw his state retirement account.

I may be able to return to the bookstore for a while and I will be pursuing the farming job this summer. If for no other purpose than to help fill the pantry. The Etsy shop is almost ready to open.

Whether we move or not is up in the air. The economy is bad everywhere, but it is really bad in the county we live in now. Mark has the opportunity to teach private lessons out in Farmington but whether he will get enough students to make it worth the move is in question.

And in the meanwhile he is out there and I am here.

I could hear the sadness and frustration in his voice. This wasn't just a job to him. He felt challenged and appreciated for the work he did with his students. He loves teaching music. He loves the school district he teaches for because it really supported the arts.

Meanwhile, I sit here and think of Sharon Astyk's words," We are all going to get a little poorer." I am okay with being a little poorer. I've been there before and I know what to do. It is the reason we live this life we live now. But the unknown can be daunting. All the plan B's we've come up with for this eventuality don't seem so perfectly planned when we are facing the reality of the situation.

We need to seek wise counsel. We need to plant a big garden. We need to write all our income generating plans down and see if they add up to our bottom line. We need to make our bottom line less. We need to be together under the same roof.


Wendy said...

Touching--your attitude will get you far. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Wendy said...

I'm so sorry. That so totally sucks - only profanity actually works to express how you must feel - words are so lacking.

Please keep us aprised of what's happening, and if there's anything I can do to help, please let me know.

Robj98168 said...

Man that sucks. I agree with wendy, that your attitude will get you far.
But still, that just sucks.
As someone once said it will be a great day when schools and libraries have all the money they need, and the defense department has to hold a bake sale to build a bomber!

TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

I'm so sorry. You guys have a great attitude and Mad Skillz--but losing your main source of income is scary, and worse because he truly loves his work.

With budgets tight everywhere, towns are making tough decisions that will end up hurting everyone in the long run. Cut services and have layoffs or raise taxes--or more likely some of both? Both use a word that's going around in the comments...suck.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about that! I had a feeling something like that was going down. (Both of my in-laws are Ed Techs in the Farmington district.)I'll keep you and yours in my thoughts.

I do have to say, though, I love the attitude that you are carrying.

Brightest Blessings

Kristina said...

I'm sorry! Hang in there -- things have been so hard for so many people. You have such an amazing attitude and faith and I know that will help you get through this time! We've been struggling, too, and are selling some of our farmground to take the weight off. I'm heartbroken but we have to do it. Take care!