Today lay-off letters went to teacher's who fell below the set seniority level (This year was 4 years and 9 months).
Every year, the district lays-off teachers to ensure there are openings for teachers returning from leaves and such.
Then, starting in July, the laid-off teachers are "recalled"
This layoff/recall process has become the norm, but what sometimes happens is that in September, there are not enough positions for all the teachers. In these cases, recall teachers are given temporary contracts or put as a priority TOC (TOC almost every day, first in line for any positions that come up throughout the year).
As a TOC, I do not get laid-off.
The plus to this is that I can apply for EI benefits over the summer (though getting approved for benefits can be a challenge).
The down side to not getting laid-off, of course, is that you continue to TOC next year.
I love TOCing, it offers diverse experiences, a variety of environments and situations and many perks, however, it is difficult because of the lack of benefits, stability, and ability to earn/use seniority each day worked.
In September, I will enter by 7th school year as a TOC. I was hired in August 2006 and have TOC's ever since, with the exception of a .4 temporary teaching middle school home ec for two months in 2010, and a 5 month temporary teaching middle school grade 6/7 last year.
The way it works in my district is that you require 10 months of temporary time within three years to convert (be owed a job). I needed 3 months this year to convert (complete my 10 months within 3 years) however, I did not get any temporary contract time this year, therefore I lose my 2010 temporary time (the 2 months) and now require 5 months of temporary time next year to convert. The challenge is that we do not post temporary contracts, so I can't apply for them, so I have to hope that someone thinks of me when it is interview time and/or that my qualifications allow me to be flagged for an interview.... (Sadly, in my 6 years I have not have one, single, interview... yet...)
Still with me? It can be confusing....
Essentially, I did not get laid-off this year, but as a TOC I actually can't wait for the day I am laid-off... it means I have converted.
The unfortunate part is that many teachers get laid-off for several years. About the first 50 of over 250 teachers laid-off this year, are on the 4th or 5th year of going through this process.
What it means is that for those years you are laid-off, you often move from school to school, sometimes level to level, because as a recall teacher you don't have a lot of choice in where you are placed. It is difficult to build connections with students, staff, even establish the physical enironment in your classroom, when you are only there a year, then move repeatedly.
Still, as a TOC I see it as "a job is a job" (since I don't have one)
Yet, things seem to be improving. In September last year, not only did all recall teachers have a position (albeit some temporary) but there were positions in which TOCs were interviewed and hired into! Exciting for some TOCs who were hired in September into positions!
I am anxious to see what next year holds for hiring. It is my hope that all layoff/recall teachers are placed before September, and there are some positions available for TOCs to be interviewed for.
It is hard when government cut-backs mean less specialty teachers and larger class sizes.
One day I will have a class of my own full-time, but until then, I see the positive in TOCing and enjoy the people I meet and the resource sharing with other teachers.