Positively Respond to Teacher Hiring Freeze
The Clark County School District leadership decided this month to initiate a teacher hiring freeze for nonessential employees, including teachers. CCSD Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky and CCSD Chief Financial Office Jason Goudie said, in the need of nearly potential $80 million in cutes, that widespread layoffs are to be expected.
“At the end of the day, class sizes are going to go up,” Palo Verde High Principal Darren Sweikert said. “When a cut this large comes around, it means human beings are being cut.”
Sweikert accurately points out how both current teachers and recruitment for teachers will be impacted by this budget crisis.
How should you respond?
If you are a current teacher with the imminent threat of a reduction in force (RIF), there are some very important things to remember:
- Think about your students. Your job begins and ends with teaching students; that is your primary responsibility. As hard as it may be, try to remain focused on providing your students with the best education you possibly can.
- Be brave for your students. Even if you can’t remain focused totally on your job, do not allow your students’ learning be hindered. Take one class at a time; one subject at a time; one topic at a time.
- It is not their fault. Your students and all the students in your school are most likely not aware of the massive political volleying taking place to determine who is to blame. They certainly do not know the ins and outs of a multi-million dollar budget. Please refrain from projecting blame or frustration on them.
- Out of your control. As noted in the Harley Therapy Counseling Blog, “Whatever your reasons, the worry and anxiety focussing on your troubles brings is like a part-time job for your head. It leaves very little space for any other thoughts, let alone finding useful ways forward. ” Acknowledge that a pending RIF is out of your control and try to remain productive with your thoughts and actions.
Potential New Teachers
If you are currently training to become a teacher or thinking about entering a certification program, news like a “hiring freeze” can be paralyzing. Here are some things to consider.
- Get your pre-reqs done. The hiring freeze will not last forever and you will be required to have certain requirements complete in order to begin teaching. Make the most of this time and complete as many items as you can.
- Hiring freezes are temporary. A hiring freeze shouldn’t propel you to change your career aspirations. If you want to teach, then let’s make that happen! The hiring freeze will pass. Will you be ready?
- Teachers are valued. Though there is ongoing debates on teacher pay and compensation, you need to know that a hiring freeze or RIF from a school district is not because that school district/system doesn’t value the work of teachers. Rather, it is most likely the consequence of city and state leaders poorly forecasting upcoming expenses. It is them, not you!
None of the above is a silver bullet to the stress and anxiety of a teacher hiring freeze and/or pending reduction in force. However, it is meant to communicate to you that the world is not ending; it just feels that way.
At the foundation, try to remain positive and look to be productive during this time. Whether that means making the most of your time with your students or completing training requirements in a proactive fashion.
If iteach can help you accomplish the your teacher training, it would be our privilege.