Five years ago, had someone told me that I would have been subjected to furlough days and be happy about it, I would have told that person he was crazy. Well, I am here to eat my words. The economy has yet to recover. Many of my friends are still without teaching positions though they have been looking for over 2 years. Tenure and longevity have protected me so far, but I don't know about my adult children who are both teachers. One district may be cutting out middle schools altogether. Students would then go from elementary school (8th grade) directly into 9th grade (high school). This draconian elimination of middle schools will lead to massive layoffs. To make matters even worse, there is a movement afoot to combine 3 high schools to make one. More layoffs will ensue from this. Where will these teachers go in a market that offers nothing. Even retail has no openings other than the typical seasonal openings for the holidays.
At my site, there are no funds for anything. This will be an expensive year for me since I have limited funds from other sources. Teachers here, like teachers everywhere else in the world, do not make a fortune. Money was not the reason we entered this profession. We tend to be dreamers and in this position, we try to inspire students to imagine themselves in positions after school where they will not only be happy, but will also have a positive impact on the world. For this, we will earn a little pension and little else. I have been very frugal over my long career so I hope to be in a good position after retirement, but I think I am in the minority. Still even with that planning, political parties tend to play games with pensions as was the case with the last president. Nothing is secure. Like many other Americans, I will live on the edge in those supposed golden years.
Well, let me get back on track---limited funds and a classroom full of students. One of the major reasons for the development of www.ellteacherpros.com was to gather in one place as many free resources as possible for educators everywhere in the world. Lofty goal? Maybe, but it is one that I am proud to say has yielded results. Thousands of educators around the world continue to visit the site. We have filled a need and that is awesome. If you have classroom computers, you will be able to access lessons, videos, activity sheets, interactive online assessments, etc. If you don't have classroom computers, you have the option to preview the material and then print out whatever you wish. It is a lot cheaper than buying a book (a class set no less). I have also made it habit to use my Barnes and Noble TEACHER DISCOUNT card to buy up appropriate books in the clearance section (where I encounter many other educators doing the same thing). I also make it habit to ask for a teacher discount where ever I go. You would be shocked to know how many places do cut teachers a deal. You just need to ask.
What are you doing to cope in these economically hard times?