Just when I think that I have been tested enough times in my life I am hit with yet another curve ball. You see both my husband and I work in the education system and the last few years, the budget cuts to education in Colorado have been devastating. At this same time last year my husband received news of his non-renewal for his HS teaching position at a public school in the Denver metro area. He eventually accepted a position at a innovative Charter HS. This change resulted in a pay cut but honestly he has been treated much better by the people he works with. I am now learning the hard way that unfortunately working in the public school system during times of budget crisis means that, well, to be blunt you are simply a number. After three years of giving 150% to my position as school psychologist I received news last Friday that my employment will be non-renewed at the end of the school year. Had I been the least bit prepared for this I might be coping better, but I was completely caught off guard. I have a stack of documents attesting to my positive work performance and just a month ago had been informed by the principal at my school that I was doing a great job and "there would be no surprises". I am utterly devastated for so many reasons. I have truly invested in the development of programs in the school district that I work for, volunteering to serve on several specialized teams. I have formed excellent relationships with the staff that I work with at my assigned building and they are all shocked by the news. Nearly every teacher as said to me "I just can't believe it, I don't know what to say". I am most saddened because I really care about the kids that I work with. Many of these kids are in foster or kinship placements and have been tossed around in their young lives. Having consistent relationships with caring adults in their lives is so important and now they will have one less familiar face when they return to school next year. Someone completely new will have to learn their stories, their fears, what sets them off and what calms them down. Of course this is also a terrible hit to my family, as my children attend the same school where I work and my husband works just up the street. Thinking that I was finally going to obtain tenured status we had started looking at homes in the area. We have been commuting 45 minutes each way to work for the last 3 1/2 years, for this very reason, that there is no guarantee of stable employment until a school employee becomes tenured after three years of service. In my situation I am being given no answers but I have some hypothesis. See, I choose to enter the mental health profession because I care about kids and that did not change when I started working in the schools. But I am very saddened to say that not everyone who runs our schools has the best interest of kids in mind. I will always stand up for the rights of kids and the rights of those who work with them, including myself. So enough said on that.
Where this leaves us of course is having no idea where we are going to be living next fall. I have faith that I will find new employment or find a way to make ends meet. The problem is that we still have heard nothing on the status of Vanessa's humanitarian visa. I have always believed that things happen for a reason but my faith is definitely being tested, tested for so many reasons all at once. To work so hard for a organization and to be blindsided leaves me wondering. Wondering if good things really happen as a result of doing good things in life. Yes, I know there are no guarantees and maybe this is all part of the big lesson that I need to learn. And so I will continue to show up for work for the remainder of the school year knowing that at least I have a few more months to make a difference for the students in my care.
Please pray for my guidance, in job searching, for progress on Vanessa's visa and for my own children, that they will bravely cope with yet another school transition. But, most of all pray for my faith and my heart, that I do not become hardened towards the people who made this decision that has devastated my family.