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Helping my mom with the news of being let go after 41 years of work...

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sohndrsmith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:40 PM
Original message
Helping my mom with the news of being let go after 41 years of work...

It was not entirely unexpected, but it's still hard. She's had the same job (teacher) for 41 years (longer than anyone in the history of the school), albeit part time the last few years... and she just learned (a day before her birthday) that her contract would not be renewed - purely for economic reasons (and I believe them).

My mother started this job when I was in kindergarten - taught both my brother and myself, and we are now in our mid-40's. She was head of the lower grades for a few years, and both teachers and prior students who'd grown up and had kids of their own specifically appreciated having my mother teach their kids. One teacher cried when she learned my mother would be on sabbatical for her son's first grade year.

My mother told me, "I have news," and her voice sounded a little shaky. She told me the news, and said, "I'm looking at this as an opportunity," but I didn't quite believe her.

This job has been her identity - for more than half her life, and she's a little scared. Of course, I immediately said the most stupid thing, "well, come live with me!" which was not exactly respectful of her feelings (even if my feelings are genuine - I feel bad).

Have you ever helped an older parent transition into retirement - not working - when their job has really been their identity and a career of love and dedication? I want to be helpful but not patronizing. Today is my mother's 74th birthday...

They better throw her a hell of a damn big bloody party...

I'd just love advice from anyone who's gone through anything similar with a parent... thanks.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. Big BIG party! :^D Then suggest to her she get on the sub or tutoring list so she
can still get a little time in working with kids. :)
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sohndrsmith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. yah, I suggested volunteering (the school is too small to have a sub list)
but she's not sure she wants to do that...

Super big party - or I'll come after them. : ) thanks...
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'm sorry to hear this.
My mom was a teacher and got laid off after 23 years. Much different story...politics. Won't bore anyone with it. Needless to say, she was more angry than upset. I don't really have any advice to give. Just :hug:
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
3. It wouldn't be the same, but she should seriously consider doing some substitute teaching. I'm sure
she'd be in very high demand in her district, with her reputation and experience.
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sohndrsmith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. She's not in a "district" per se. It's a private school and she's not certified to work
in a public school. But she's an amazing teacher. Certification wasn't a requirement when she was hired back in the late 60's... I don't think it's required now, in that school, in fact. But the state regs are different.
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vard28 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. How about tutoring?
She could do it when she wanted and could pick which kids to work with. I have a friend that does that now after teaching for 32 years and she loves it!
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