Unemployment, ie What I Did Not Write About 2 : Spreading the News

The next day, I called my mom to tell her the news.

It was a Saturday so I called her the next morning.  My mom tends to wake up early.  I called her and walked her through my horrible, horrible day.  I wanted to put the news in context.  At one point, she said she had news to say, but she would wait until the end of the story.  To her surprise, I said, “You better tell me now.”  She talked about a co-worker of hers whose daughter was teaching kindergarten and was also struggling with classroom management.  In retrospect, this is not surprising.  I have heard from several sources that September is a discouraging month for teachers.

Eventually, I came to the point where I told mom that I was being laid off. She was surprised, and said that she had to run to the bathroom and that she would call me back later. I only just found out that she ran to the bathroom to cry. As for myself, I was still in denial and relief. I wanted my mom to feel the way that I did, that this was not necessarily a bad thing. We discussed what this meant, but to be honest, I do not remember much about that conversation. What I remember is the fact that I had no shame about being laid off and I had no fear at that moment. Perhaps it was completely denial and shock. I do not know.

I called my dad and my friends later, though I did not tell them the entire story of that day. Instead, I simply broke right into the fact that I had been laid off. The only person I did not tell was my younger brother. My mom did that.

As I think back to that weekend, I do not remember a tremendous amount. I am sure I planned for the rest of the week. At that time, I had no intention to tell my students until just before the end of my last day two weeks later. I wanted to keep things as normal as I could. I use the term normal loosely because my classroom was very poorly structured.

One decision I had to make was whether or not to call the other teacher who would be taking my students. I did not trust my principal to tell her in good time. Considering that they were going to lay me off without any notice, I suspect that they were planning to tell the other teacher that same day that she was going to get an additional ten students. At that time, I was generous enough to care about her and my students. I realized how overwhelming it would be to have nearly thirty students without any time to wrap her head around it. After some deliberation, I decided to tell her Monday. I figured that she should be able to enjoy her weekend with her family and that two weeks would be a good head start.

I am surprised that I can remember so little of that weekend. I do remember that my brother said something very prescient, as he always does. “It sounds as though you have lost a job but not your dream job.
That was very true. Still, as I look back on that weekend, I do not think that I had any idea of what was going to happen. After all, I had been unemployed during the summer as I applied for teaching jobs, but I had been very happy and optimistic that summer. I felt that my best days were ahead of me. That weekend, I still believed that. I remember that I posted the news of my layoff on my blog and I posted a song with the refrain, “’cause I believe that in the end, good things are coming my way.” I really meant that.

That Monday, I would tell the other teacher of my grade.

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