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Layoff and March 15th letters – our version of March Madness

Apr 24, 2023

Yes, I know it's April and technically we are supposed to be well out of March Madness, but that couldn’t be further from the truth from educators and the educational community. We have a different type of March Madness which involves the decades old tradition of handing out March 15th notices, also known as pink slips, to employees in various levels of services for a myriad of reasons.

Sometimes they are for performance reasons, but often it is a matter of fit, style, power struggles, personality and characteristics that have little to nothing to do with job performance. That makes April the time when positions are shifting, being posted and educators that are unsure of their futures have the dual role of continuing their duties through the end of the year serving students and families while revising their resumes and interviewing.

To ease the tensions of this time of the year which is also riddled with the oh so fun world of standardized testing, final exams, end of year festivities, grades, preparation for graduations and promotions and being deep in the preparations for next school year. Collaboration is key - everyone has increased workloads towards the end of the year. The more teams of educators and leaders can work together helps to relieve the burdens off one another.

Here are 5 tips to help your teams and colleagues work through these tough times by supporting one another.

  1. Listen without judgment - if someone has been released from their position or is changing positions they may need time to process, grieve and come to terms with what their next steps entail. Being a listening ear could make all the difference for someone who may be feeling defeated, unsure or any other number of emotions.

  2. Review and provide feedback on resumes - for some they may not have adjusted their resume in some time. Most in our profession are detrimentally humble. Helping someone see their strengths and skills then putting them on paper may be just what they need since they may not see the good in themselves.

  3. Support with letters of recommendation - If you feel comfortable supporting colleagues with a letter of recommendation highlighting their strengths and accomplishments offer it to them without them having to ask. It could be the pick-me-up they need to move forward.

  4. Lesson or Unit plan together, particularly in the area of student tasks and assignments - Since your colleagues focus may be split between job hunting and continuing service, having someone to share the load will benefit both them and those they serve.

  5. Share open positions and make connections or introductions to those in your network - A phone call could go a long way and an introduction over coffee could change the trajectory of someone’s career and life.

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