That Dreaded Word

ex·cess (ěk’sěs’)  n. 

  1. The state of exceeding what is normal or sufficient: rains that filled the reservoirs to excess.
  2. An amount or quantity beyond what is normal or sufficient; a surplus.
  3. adj.

    Being more than is usual, required, or permitted: skimming off the excess fat. 

  4. tr.v.   

    ex·cessed, ex·cess·ing, ex·cess·es
    To eliminate the job or position of.

That’s what happened to me. I was excessed.  My job at my middle school was eliminated.  I found out last Tuesday after school.  I wasn’t totally shocked – we’d known all year that we had more teachers than we were really supposed to, for the number of ESOL students we have.  Not that our classes are small.  In fact, some of them are in the 18-24 range, which is quite large for an ESOL class. But anyway, the higher ups want to save money and so they cut an ESOL position.  But somehow, I just didn’t think they would choose me, you know?  My principal called me down to her office Tuesday right after school and told me the news.  She said that she had tried to fund my position with other money, but that her request had been denied.  She apologized for doing it to me, told me that I was simply the person with least seniority, and let me know that there was another ESOL position that had just opened up at another middle school.  She said that she would call that school’s principal to recommend that she hire me.  I started crying, she gave me a tissue, and I came upstairs.  I went immediately to Jill’s office and cried and cried some more.
(Jill found out that I was leaving just about 5 minutes before I did.)  Jill was more than kind to me, told me that
she’d already e-mailed the ESOL department chair at that other school to tell her
to snatch me up and basically said that she’d do her best to find me another
job.  That’s the thing – there’s no
guarantee that I will get another job.
If I don’t, that’s just the way it goes and I’d be out of a job.  I finally got back to my room after about 30
minutes, and Laura was in there waiting for me.  She was so kind to me – the job prospects aren’t so bright for
her next year either.

It’s been a hard
few days.  I’ve really struggled with
wanting to know why this had to happen to me now – when Nik and I are hoping
that I might only have to teach for another year and then stay home to raise
our babies.  Why I have to leave a
school that I have loved, where (I am told) I’ve done a great job, and where I
have thrived.  Why I have to start over
again, meet and learn the names of a whole new staff and a whole new student population.  Why I have to leave just when I was feeling
like I had things under control.  And
that’s perhaps the first lesson that I learned right away – that God is in
control, I’m not.  That God’s plans are
higher than mine.  That he sees the good
that is far beyond what I can see.  Nik
and I are trusting that this next job, whatever I find, will be better both for
me and the students I teach, that there are other kids out there that need me
more than my current precious students, and that all things will work together
for good.  But in the meantime, I’m
still very sad.   I’m sad to leave my
amazing colleagues, I’m sad to leave my beautiful room, and I’m really sad to
leave my amazing students, some of whom I’ve taught for three years.  I was looking forward to continuing
relationships with my students.  I have
to trust that I will be able to form new relationships with my new students.  I must confess that I’m a little bit scared –
I know how to teach at my school, with my school’s environment and rules.  I’m intimidated to think of starting over,
learning how to teach in a school with different expectations and

I have been blessed to be
in an excellent school for three years, in a “oh you’re SO lucky to teach there”
school.  This other school that has an
open position is not like that, but it is supposed to be a good school with a good
staff and well-regarded principal.  And
the ESOL department is very strong.  My department
chair’s niece teaches there and really likes it.  So I meet with their department chair after school on Wednesday.  I’m not sure when I’ll get to interview with
their principal – spring break starts on Friday and then we have the MSA’s (high
stakes testing) the two weeks after that.
So it’s likely that I won’t have anything set in stone until the middle of
April at the earliest.  However, the other school’s department chair told Jill that she wants to hire me and that she told her principal that as well.  So it’s looking pretty positive.  I would appreciate
your prayers for Nik and I – that we would trust the Lord to provide for us,
for our finances, and that we would trust him for our future plans. 

really couldn’t write anything about this earlier.  As it is, I’m crying as I write this and it’s been a week.  I’m still so sad to think of leaving my
school.  We’d also appreciate your prayers
– for the first time in our relationship, Nik is sick.  So please pray that he gets well soon.

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4 Responses to That Dreaded Word

  1. nutmeggmama says:

    Oh Laura- you articulated that so beautifully, I am almost crying with you. Praying for peace for you and healing for Nik. I’m very excited for you guys to get here even for the short time. Eric and I are going to flesh out some plans for coming out there next summer, you know…for when we need to see you guys. 😉

  2. nanacilla says:

    I just want my arms around you right now in a hug.  I’m so proud of you two for choosing to trust God in this hard time.  Even in trusting, there’s heartache though – I know.  Praying for you, and for Nik, too.

  3. I am so sorry, that really sucks! It makes me think of the vows we take, “in sickness and in health, for better or worse …” I’m sorry you guys aren’t doing well, and Chris and I will be praying for you.You should make yourself a nice mug of tea.

  4. cjudge82 says:

    A pickle is right. Don’t you love the Orwellian language of firing? “You’re being excessed,” is a new one, though, I have to admit.I’m really sorry. It stinks that you had to leave under those circumstances. I hope things start looking up soon.

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