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As an administrator, I have never had to let someone go because of a reduction in force, but I did go through it as a teacher.

You do have to be positive. The principal at the school I was teaching at became despondent with the reduction in force. His attitude was contagious. Many of the teachers' attitude became negative and started going through the motions.

We needed to hear that no matter what is happening outside the classroom, our students need our best. We will continue to provide our students the best possible educational program. They deserve nothing less. If your teacher is truly a Peyton Manning, he would not want their personal situation to effect the students.

Talk with him about their morale. Enlist his help. If he remains positive, it will go a long way to keeping the rest of the teachers positive.

Alan Knobloch

Brad Davis

It is hard to swallow that and the way in which someone handles something like a RIF is a major test of character. Doing what is innately right for our students is why most of us got into education in the first place.

Our district is in a state of flux now as well. The environment is negative and people really feel it. As an assistant principal I am always thinking about new ways to motivate and increase morale. Sometimes the "veterans" are a little hesitant because they have seen it all already and the nature of any AP position is transient.I try anyway though, I always have a smile on my face and people seem to like it (unless thay are faking it that is)

I haven't had to let anyone go yet in my career, but it looks as if I will have the experience very soon. This is not a RIF, but a performance issue. It is a not a pleasant feeling I have knowing that it is an experience I need to go through. I try an tell myself, though, that the kids do come first and any decision made in an educational setting has to have the kids at the core.

Jan Borelli

I was RIFed as a teacher in the early days of my career. The first thing I did was go right out and find another teaching job. I found one pretty quickly; I was lucky. I have had to RIF teachers in my career, and here's what they have found comforting: 1) I described my own experience with being RIFed and how I got experiences that I have valued my entire career, 2) I promised to provide a glowing recommendation that they could count on their entire career, 3) I promised to contact any of my colleagues where they were interested in teaching and make a strong personal recommendation, and 4) I promised that should I get an opening that they would be the first to hear from me.

Getting RIFed is scarey, but experienced great teachers are always in demand. They will find another position, and somehow you will make it without them. Right now, the teacher is worried about rent and car payments... ease the concern by helping them find another job. This too will pass. Do not dwell on your own concerns for your school; we have learned over the years of our careers that there are lean times and fat times. Provide support and leadership. It's going to be okay. Really.

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