Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Stories From Others

After starting this blog a few days back, I have received numerous emails.  I have tried to reach out to teachers in my school and around my district to get their stories.  Following are a few of the brief emails I received:

Lora Nora, Elgin High School nurse wrote:
I am now following your BLOG.  It already is very powerful.  Personally, now that I have been pinked, I am going to put my Family Nurse Practitioner certification/training to good use, continue to help the students /community we served, but in a different nursing capacity the as a certified School Nurse for the past 11 years.  My heart is broken for all of us-students, staff, communities, and our principals, who have to shoulder this burden.
Mine too, Lora.  So its not just teachers.  It is much bigger than that.  We are cutting out nursing staff?  Isn't H1N1 a considerable health care issue in public schools right now?  Less nurses....hmmmm....  There are numerous students who fell ill last year.  I commend Ms. Nora's work in our school.  She constantly reminds us about sanitation, and teaches us how to minimize the spread of communicable viruses.  Our nursing staff at Elgin High does a great job, and as you can see by Lora's email to me, they have a passion of all of us.

Jacqueline Irizarry wrote:
I also love working at EHS also.  I have been riffed 4 times now, luckily returning.  This time I'm not as hopeful. You can share this. My feelings are of dejection and sadness to leave my kids.
FOUR TIMES!!!  My lord!  Going through this once I cannot imagine the repeated stress that this does to the newer staff in ours and other districts.  What a mess.  There simply has to be a better way.

Anonymous wrote:
I was laid off too.  Sorry.  I don't want to tell anyone my story.
I felt I had to post this as well.  There is a lot of anger and mistrust right now.  Not exactly what you want in an institution for learning.

There are many ways of dealing with this situation.  Mine was to start this blog.  I felt that it does no good to go silently by waiting for the next opportunity.  If you read this blog, please share it with others.  Only through our personal stories that put a real face to this crisis can we reach others beyond the walls of the school.

I continue to hope to hear from others outside of Illinois.  I know this crisis extends beyond my state's borders.


  1. I feel your pain. I'm not a teacher but I have been unemployed for a year now as of March 24th when I was laid off when the economy began its death spiral downward. I would think that teachers would be the last to be given the boot since they are the strongest backbone of our communities. In the realm of importance, teachers ranks up there with doctors, police, firefighters, and scientists. You can't survive without them without some extremely adverse effects. I wish you and other teachers out there the best and hopefully this isn't something that doesn't last as long as my difficult stint has been. Peace!

  2. The system is broken, the schools are just spending and taxing society too much. It is because to many administrators have unrealistic salaries. If we don't stop spending so much, more people will lose their jobs. Look at the unemployment rate in Illinois (11.4%). So many private workers have lost their jobs, who do you think pays the teachers? The school board, lol. Cuts have to be made at the upper ranks if we want to really control costs.

  3. Dear Mr. Bremer,
    Thanks for starting this blog. I teach two sections of the elementary school science methods course at NIU, and one entire section has students who are doing their clinical rotations in Elgin. They are keenly aware that their work will likely not lead to jobs in the school district. Their parents and friends who teach throughout the state are getting RIFfed. Could this be why the number of students in our elementary education program decreased suddenly in the past year? My other science methods section is composed of older students, mostly professionals (and professional moms! ;-) who want to change careers. These magnificent students in their 30's, 40's and 50's are changing their lives in the service of our students. What do we say to them? Taxes are a good thing, and I'd happily pay an extra $20-$50 per month in state taxes (that's the difference in the change from 3% to 4% rate) to stop the political gamesmanship and get you guys and gals back to work. We need you, now more than ever!
    Paul Kelter, Teaching and Learning, NIU