Do fairy tale endings happen in real life?, ch. 9

Yes, I finally got my long awaited teaching job. I became one of sixteen 1st grade teachers. I was out in a trailer with the other new teacher. We were on our own and taking on a class after the first nine-weeks of school had already come and gone was no small feat. Our students came from six different teachers and now we had to blend them all together and readjust them to us. The were used to six different sets of rules and procedures and without changing too much for them, I needed to set some boundaries of my own.   

My class began with 17 students. It took us a while to get in our groove but we got there. My class fluctuated throughout the year between 17 and 19 students. I ended the year with 19. 

this was a floor puzzle that I mod podged together

Then came the time of year in February when every teacher begins to worry (at least nowadays, it didn't used to be like that, there used to be security in teaching, but not anymore). Our principal was up front with us. She told us that really the only people who were not going to receive contracts were those who she had already spoken with and anyone who was a part year hire. Great, she hadn't spoken with me and I was not a part year hire. I mean I kind of considered October closer to the beginning of the year than say, December and well there were people who were hired in December. I mean, I had already done a round of report cards and I had already sat through two rounds of parent conferences. I had to be in the clear, right?

our class ceiling tile for the library

Friends of mine from other schools in the county were calling to check on me and see how I was taking the news. I did not understand. My principal really had not said anything to me. Then one day in February I happened to be at home sick and I was checking my school email. The email was from my principal and it mentioned again something about people who were part-year hires and so forth. I finally wrote her back and asked if she could please clarify who a part-year hire was. She wrote back that yes, I was a part-hire and if I was near a phone to please give her a call so we could discuss it over the phone.

All I can say is thank goodness I had such a head cold and was so congested that it over powered the tears. She probably could not tell I was crying. She tried every way to reassure me and said that a lot could happen between then and August when school would start again but that things would have to get sorted out with displaced teachers first. I thanked her and hung up.

There I was again, at a low point for about a month and people could tell. I really tried to pour myself into my work and my kids. I taught Saturday school for our 3rd graders in preparation for the CRCT.

The year came to an end and there I was in the waiting game again (man, that Seuss!). My final class statistics were as follows:

Class size: began with 17, fluctuated from 17 -19 throughout the year, and I ended with 19
Withdrawals: 3
Enrollments: 5
SST (student support team) meetings: 8 students, with an average of 2 meetings each
Sp. Ed. Referrals: 3, 2 eligible, 1 ineligible
Retention meetings: 4, 2 retained
Court Subpoenas: 1 for my child in foster care. I reported on June 1st. (at which point I was out of contract, but the subpoena was served a week prior while I was in contract)

The other in a local paper.

Last day of school received this email from a parent: 

Well Ms.Cohn, its finally the end of this school year. I want to take the time to say how honored I am to have such a wonderful teacher 
for my daughter. This was such a good year for her and I'm so proud of all her accomplishment. You have taught her to believe herself and so much more. Once again Thank You!! I wish you all the best towards the future and have a great summer!!!!! Thanks for ALL your help!
Best Regards,

Those statistics and the pictures within are what I have left as I sit and wait with two more weeks until school starts. This story is obviously very much unfinished. 


  1. Sydney,
    I am so sorry this happened to you. It sounds like you are a fantastic teacher. The job market for teachers stinks right now. I graduated with my teaching degree in Dec. 2009 and have been looking for a full-time teaching position. It is so frustrating. I will keep my fingers crossed that something works out and you are able to return to your district or find another teaching job.

  2. WHAT?!?!?! NOOOOOO.... ugh.... I hope you get a contract soon Sydney. I have really enjoyed reading about your journey and it inspired me to blog about mine.
    Texas would love to have a teacher like you!!! We still have openings in East Texas but I hope you find one where you live. Good luck! I'll be praying for you!:)

  3. I know this time is incredibly difficult for you -- one who has been called to this noble, yet often unappreciated, profession. Please hold on to your faith and never give up. I just know you will be in your classroom, inspiring students again very soon!
    HUGS from a fellow teacher!
    =) Beth


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