So, this week brought my official "pink slip"...it really isn't pink at all. It was a letter explaining how at Tuesday night's school board meeting, they voted to end my contract at the end of the school year. Yes, I'm tenured--have been for several years--but that's what happens when there's no money I guess. They actually voted to end the contracts of 200 teachers--out of around 1,000 district wide. That's a 20% reduction in force. Yikes! Since there will still be kids, chances are many will be rehired before next school year, but thanks to all my other English buddies getting laid off last year, I am now the bottom of the barrel when it comes to English credentials in my district. So we will see...
But here's the part that was so cool: My principal had the lucky job of calling us each individually into his office yet again to deliver the bad news. Lucky guy. And when he sadly handed me my letter, he reassured me that this was in no way based on my performance, and then he went on to encourage me that I have made a huge difference on this campus, both in my students' lives as well as (this is the part that was so cool) in his own life...that I have inspired him to be a better person and pursue a deeper walk with God, and that I have motivated him spiritually, etc. I felt like I was getting teary, and it looked like he maybe was too, so I got up to leave, and he gave me a hug, and I went back to class.
What a difference from the last time I got pink slipped--at Vista High School five years ago, when my principal insinuated that I wasn't a good teacher and they'd be better off without me...and where I later learned there had been complaints about my involvement in Christian Club and allowing my students to hold Bible studies in my classroom.
That time, I was devastated, and it really made me second-guess my calling to teaching. I felt like a failure.
This time, I am elated, and it really confirms that God brought me to Oceanside to be both a teacher as well as His hands to those around me. I feel like a success.
So, yeah, God is good...even through a pink slip!
Another way I saw God's wonderful-ness in pink this week was our short visit with Jim's sister and her husband and their baby daughter. Not quite 5 months ago, Becky went into labor 7 weeks early and gave birth to a tiny Kylie who had to spend over a month in the NICU. Now she is a gorgeous, healthy, smiling, expressive little girl who is an amazing testimony of God's goodness. And she looks great in pink! (although by the time we took this picture, she had changed out of her pj's)