Saturday, April 10, 2010

We are doing you a cutting my hours in half!?

It took three weeks but I now sort of know what will happen to my job next year. I mentioned before spring break that I was informed that our school needed to add a few sections of foreign language and that our principal wanted someone part time to oversee the technology at our school.

After spring break I was brought into the principals office and told I would be dropped to .9 or at worst .8, but would still receive full time benefits and status to get off probation at the end of next year. I was told this small decrease in my hours would pay for the foreign language teacher.

Two days later he drops by my classroom between classes and asks me what my licenses are again? K-12 art and 3-6th contained classroom I reply without any though. (yes back in grad school we had to choose two subject areas to get licensed in, I added a contained classroom upper elementary license. I student taught in a regular 5th grade classroom and while I liked the kids, I knew it was NOT anything I wanted to do in the future)
He says ok, thanks and leaves. Odd.

At the stuff meeting he says he is going to announce some of the changes for next year. My decrease in hours is not mentioned. Hummm. He adds that not only will be have a two day a week foreign language teacher but he also found the money to have a full time librarian/technology person. I turn to the person sitting on my right...our school librarian...."what?" we mouth to each other. Another teacher raises their hand and points to our school librarian and says, "don't we already have a librarian?" We are reminded that she is a EA who happens to be our librarian. So he is adding a licensed librarian to the school who will mostly teach technology classes but sometimes be in the library. Our current librarian will stay our librarian. I find this a bit confusing.

On the way out of the staff meeting he asks me to stay and talk with him. He has made some more changes. I sit down confused. He asks me to list my licenses again. Didn't I tell him that just a few days ago? I tell him again. He informs me that he crunched numbers and talked to HR and decided that he needed to free up more money and FTE to pay for the technology/librarian position. He has decided to drop me to .6 and "share" me with another school. The other school will have me .4. So three days at my current school and two days at another school.
I am told, "really we are doing you a favor, now you can still have a full time job."

"So what school am I being shared with?" I ask. "Oh I don't have a school for you to go to." He replies. "We just have to hope that one wants an art teacher two days a week and then we will send you there."

My heart drops, "Has anyone mentioned wanting an art teacher to you?" I ask, "Well no," he answers, shifting in his seat. "Do I send out a email to principals letting them know I'm available? Do I mail a flier saying will teach art and walk your dog?" I joke half heatedly. He says he will let the principals know I'm available and then as soon as the opening list comes out I will get first shot because the school district still owes me a full time job.

"Aren't the school plans to use FTE due on Thursday I ask. Will you send out an email before then?" He assures me he is going to a principals meeting on Thursday and will tell them then. "What happens if there isn't a .4 art job for me to take?" I ask. "Oh then you will just go a classroom teacher at another school for a year. Once I learned you had your contained classroom license it opened up so many more options for me to add a full time technology person." He proudly answers.

"But I don't want to teach a contained classroom. I am an art teacher!" "Its only for one year. He says. I'm pretty sure we will have enough students in another year to bring you back full time. We think you are a great art teacher and we don't want to loose you to anther school. Know that this is not a reflection of your quality of teaching. If we didn't want you here we would have just eliminated art. This is only temporary." He says, stand, pats the table, smiles and says he will let HR know so they can make the paperwork. My head is bobbling around in a half yes half no of shock and disbelief.

STOP: Ok let's review. I am being drooped to part time to pay for a librarian when we already have a librarian? I might have to go teach a contained classroom? Wasn't I told I would have full time beniffits and get off probation next year!? They expect me to go somewhere else for a year and then just come back. WTF!!!!

My husband convinces me this could be a good thing. I could get into a really great school half time. That is if any schools know if time to set aside some money to have an art teacher.

Thursday passes, before I leave for the night I ask the principal to please mention me at the meeting that night.

Friday morning arrives. I see him in he hall. "Did anyone seem interested in having an art teacher?" I ask. "Hum, what? Oh we had more pressing matters to talk about. Really meaty stuff. I didn't get around to mentioning it," he says distractedly. "Are all the FTE plans in now?" I ask. "Oh yeah, they all went in last night," he says and walks off.

I AM SCREWED. Please let someone retire so I can apply for their job.


  1. I went from 1.0 last year to .6 this year because of something similar :( Wishing you the best outcome because as I can see from your blog you are a rocking art teacher and I'm sure you brighten your students days xx

  2. I suffered this fate for about 10 years not knowing where I would be from year to year and how much FTE i would be teaching. I works very hard and gained a curriculum writers job. From then on I was able to pick a job and finally after 14 years got a permanent job. The foreign language bit messed me up several times and I had to go into a classroom to teach other subjects too but that is now over.I dont teach anything else but art and love it still in my 21st yr now - Hang in there and look for other opportunities where you will be appreciated.

  3. Dont forget to join the Art Education group nearest to you to get contacts - try doing some relief- substitute - emergency teaching in other schools as well- this will give you more contacts and opportunities. This happens in Australia as well

  4. Thanks Cheryl! It's really tough and I am unfortunately living this right now. I'm loving your optimism :-)

  5. I read your blog every now and again, and just wanted to let you know that I went through this about 6 years ago and it turned out to be the best thing to ever happen to me. I am now (the last 4 years) the full time K-8 art teacher in a private school with lots of budget money to spend!!!! Stay positive and try to find any support you can from other art teachers in your area.