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With less than twenty days left in the school year, my first “year” as an elementary library aide is coming to a close. Whenever I take a break from patting myself on the back for surviving my return to the workforce, I start thinking about next year and what it will bring.

Anyone who has read my posts about “day job vs. writing”, as well as those regarding the significant chunk of change that we have spent putting Bailey in doggy day care, may have gotten the impression that I was considering “retiring” for the second time in ten years. I was….retiring, that is. And now I’m not.

I’ll spare you the mental gyrations I’ve gone through (and plagued Scott with) over the last couple of months, and get right to why I’ve decided to KEEP working (if they’ll have me).

  • It gets me out of the house and interacting with other adults. I can do that at Starbucks, too — but those lattes aren’t paying for themselves.
  • It pays. Even after paying for Bailey’s day care, at least it’s something. Also, time spent at work is (theoretically) time NOT spent shopping and spending money that I don’t have.
  • Who knows? Bailey is two years old now, and MAY soon manage to loaf around the house for six hours at a stretch without eating any dish brushes or picture albums. Β (The more I talk to other dog owners, I am more impressed with Bailey’s ability to absolutely NEVER have an accident in the house. The importance of this should NOT be overlooked.)
  • Getting INTO a 10-month school job is NOT easy. I stalked anyone and everyone to get this one, and giving it up just seems ungrateful.
  • I love books. I cannot emphasize that enough. I do NOT, for the record, love children. I do, however, enjoy them on a child-by-child basis, and the percentage of the ones that make me want to stick a fork in my eye is currently running under 20%. BESIDES, they all eventually MOVE ON and are replaced with a new batch.
  • The sense of purpose that it affords me just about outweighs the withering disdain that I tend to receive from my own children.
  • I have someplace to take the boys on “take your child to work” day. Last week, this elicited the following from Will, “Wow, you’re a lot busier than I thought.” That, my friends, is priceless.

Of course, having had this epiphany, I am now convinced that I’m in danger of losing my job. Our district, like EVERY school district is looking at another serious budget deficit for next year. Programs are being cut, and the teacher’s union has accepted a pay freeze. This Friday, the faculty will receive their much-anticipated/ dreaded letters with their assignments for next year. Talk around the water cooler has up to 75% of the staff at each school reassigned to other schools within the district.

Support staff (which I am) should be receiving, depending on who you talk to – a) one-on-one phone calls in the next week or so, with our placements, b) letters this Friday, like the faculty, or c) letters in June called “Reasonable Assurance” letters, indicating that we will have jobs without specifying where.

As you can imagine, everyone is a little on edge.Β Is it too late to convince the universe that I love my job? I hope not.

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