Well, I don't know about the programs and processes in other states, but here in SC we have a process that all teachers go through called SAFE-T using the ADEPT Standards for teaching. It is an evaluation process and SAFE-T is what you go through your first two years of teaching. Being a second year teacher, I have gone through SAFE-T this year and completed it. I passed with flying colors and am very proud of myself.
It really hit home yesterday when my principal walked into my classroom with my contract in her hand. That's right. I said contract. Now, the awesome thing about this contract is that at the top it says "continuing". Very exciting!!
Also, let me remind you that last year instead of being handed a contract to come back for another year I was handed a letter laying me off. My job (and all other induction teachers in the district's jobs) was cut due to budget cuts. I cried. I managed to make it out of the office and meeting, but I cried and cried. My heart was broken and I felt very helpless and hopeless. I had looked for a job for over a year before finding that one and I was being let go after only one year due to no fault of my own... silly budget.
Yesterday, though... yesterday was awesome. My principal walked in and handed me that contract. She said that it was my contract for next year and thanked me for all I do. I didn't cry. But, I wanted to. I wanted to cry tears of joy. I have worked so hard this year and I am so excited for next year.
I have found a school I love. I get to go to work everyday with awesome teachers and an awesome team. I get to spend my day with children I love and adore. Life cannot get any better!
I saw a quote that prompted this post. It said, "Lord, teach me to laugh again, but please don't let me forget I cried." (Unfortunately, I do not know the author of this awesome quote.) I am laughing again. I am smiling. I am breathing and not feeling like the ground might fall out from under me at any second. I assure you that being jobless is a horrible thing. It is hard. It makes you question your self worth. It makes you angry. It makes you sad. It makes you frustrated. However, at the end of it all, I have come out on top. Just as my Grandmama always says, "It'll all come out in the wash." And, you know what? It did.