Teacher Pink Slips

By Megan Power on March 11, 2010

  
Are you one of the “lucky” teachers to get a pink slip this year? You are not alone. This time of the year can be very frustrating for teachers. With all the gloomy budget talk and teachers receiving notices, it is hard to keep up the morale when we need to be doing our jobs. I myself have now been pink slipped for the sixth time in eight years. Even with going through this so many times, it never feels good when you get that paper in your hand. If you or a colleague have received their pink slip, please support each other and read on.

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Being noticed so many times, I am very familiar with the feelings that come along with it. For this post, I have asked several noticed colleagues about their feelings and about what colleagues could or have done to help support them.

If you are noticed teacher:

If you are a noticed teacher, I feel your pain. This time of the year is so difficult. In most professions you get your pink slip and you’re gone in a short time. Although I am not saying this is better, it is just different. Keeping up the level of teaching you are performing at with a smile on your face is extremely difficult. Inside you are feeling rejected. It is frustrating knowing that you still have to teach your students for 4 more months never knowing if you will have a job or where or what you will be teaching the next year.

Teaching is a very personal profession. We put our heart and souls into our jobs. When you get your notification it is hard not to take it personally. You start thinking what you could have done to not have this happen. Remember that it is not a personal decision. Districts have to go by numbers and hire dates not by how good of a teacher you are. Just keep reminding yourself that you are an amazing teacher and this is not a reflection of your teaching.

As I am sure you are aware, districts throw out a big net during the March 15 notification period. They typically pink slip more then they will need to cover themselves as they work out their budget. So try to stay as positive as you can and wait it out. You may find yourself being brought back before the May 15 deadline. If you are still notified during that time, districts tend to rehire many teachers back in August as they get more information on budget and enrollment.

How to help a colleague that is notified:

If a colleague is a notified teacher please take time to reiterate what a wonderful teacher they are and that the notification is not personal, although it may feel like it is. These teachers often feel frustrated and not valued as teachers. Make sure to give an extra smile and pat on the back to let them know that you care. I have heard from some teachers about colleagues sticking a little note in their mailbox at school. These little gestures are very meaningful.

It is important to stay positive that the colleague will get their job back, but it is also important to recognize that they are going through this situation. I have often heard of teachers being too positive that noticed teachers do not feel they are acknowledging their situation. The threat of loosing jobs can severely impact teacher families and financial responsibilities.

Another important tip to remember is, although with budget cuts your job will be impacted by either less money or more students, try not to talk about how difficult it will be next year in front of noticed teachers. Most teachers don’t realize they are doing this, but it is tough for noticed teachers to hear. Many noticed teachers would gladly take the pay cut or more students just to have a job so try to be more aware of who you are talking to about this.

Again this is a very difficult time for teachers that are noticed. Being pink slipped can bring up a lot of feelings having to do with work and personal family concerns. I wanted to write this blog post to connect to teachers that are pink slipped and to let them know that they are not alone. I want to give them support during this frustrating time and get other teachers to help support them. I know most of us have been there at some point in our careers. This is a very difficult time for our education system and our teachers and students are being hurt. Please comment back to help our fellow colleagues get through this difficult part of the year. If you are a noticed teacher and you would like to add a tip or feeling please do so.

Sincerely,

Megan Power

Comments

I was given a pink slip but my principal didn't sign it. Am I safe from layoff?

That is a great question. I would call and check with your union. I wish you luck! Smiles, Megan

Hi Megan, I've just linked your site from the home page. Could you edit your "Pinked slip" article change moral -- morale? I am so sorry to hear about your being 'pink slipped.' You seem like such a fabulous teacher. I wish you the best in having this come out with a happy ending. Millie Swain - PUSD Web Developer...

Millie, Thanks for your support! Thank you also for catching that mistake. It has been corrected. Fortunately I have a pretty high rehire number so I am hopeful, but my heart goes out to so many other great teachers around the world that have to go through this unknowing period. Thanks again! Smiles, Megan

Thanks for a timely post, Megan. I know that this is the chatter amongst my colleagues. It's sad that the district tends to place a greater emphasis on years of experience rather than actual teaching expertise. As we await the outcome of budget cuts and the potential guillotine, your message is an important one. Many thanks for your honesty and insight! Good luck!

Lynn

Lynn, Thank you for your comment. It is really sad about what is happening to our education systems in this economy.I am glad that you found my post helpful. I hope it assists teachers in getting through this tough time. Thanks again! Smiles, Megan

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