Thursday, July 17, 2008

Every silver lining has a cloud, or

"Incompetence is the pinnacle of annoyance."

No, I'm not talking about anything adoption or Anna Kathryn related!  However, this has easily been one of the craziest weeks ever for Mark and myself.  

Monday morning was, well, busy.  We were frantically calling the pediatrician and getting our acceptance paperwork together, not to mention quivering with excitement over AK and a major lack of sleep.   Then, Mark got a call from our school district's HR department.  He'd recently been hired to teach 4th grade at an elementary school, a big change after 8 years of surly eighth graders, but one he was really excited about.  Two weeks ago his new principal called him and said that everything was set, his transfer was complete, and welcome to the team.  Monday, he was informed by HR that due to a MAJOR oversight, they had just noticed that he is not, in fact, "highly qualified" to teach elementary school.  Therefore, he cannot be put into the position.  


Mark has been teaching for 24 years.  The majority of his experience has been at the elementary level.  His bachelor's degree is in elementary education.  He holds a valid NC teaching credential in-- you guessed it-- elementary ed.  And he is 1 class away from completing a master's degree in Educational Leadership (school administration).

Hard to believe the man is not "highly qualified", but according to the federal guidelines established by No C.hild L.eft B.ehind, unless he takes and passes two exams, he is not "highly qualified."  None of the rest of his credentials matter-- just that.  He did all the "HQ" stuff several years ago for middle school math, but was told then that his elementary status was fine the way it was.  Guess which presidential administration has just been put on my poopy list??  And which HR dept. ??!  Grrr. 

And unfortunately, the only time this exam will be given between now and the first day of school is at 8:00 a.m. the Saturday morning after Abram, Mark's son, gets married to his sweet fiancee, Karen.  The wedding is at 6:30 p.m. Friday.  At the beach.  Not gonna happen, my friends.  

Plus the test will cost many hundreds of dollars, which frankly, we do not have, what with all of the grad school classes, car repairs, weddings, and adoptions that we are funding right now.  

And the final kicker was that Mark's replacement has already been hired, and he cannot go back into his old teaching position.  They don't have any openings, either.  He would gladly return to his old school, but their hands are tied.  He has tenure, so he'll have a position somewhere in the county, but we have no idea where right now.  

Needless to say, this has been a bit of a challenge we've faced this week in the midst of our great jubilation over seeing Anna Kathryn for the first time and swinging into preparations.   We've been pretty calm-- all things considered-- because honestly, how could we get overly upset about anything when we have the sweetest baby ever coming home soon?

Still, it would be nice for Mark to have a job-- preferably one he likes.  He has some leads on middle school positions, and we are praying that something awesome will come his way. Thankfully, he finished summer school today, so he gets some R & R time.  At least he doesn't have to write 3 weeks' worth of elementary lesson plans while we are in China!

I know God is teaching us to continue to be completely dependent on Him in all circumstances. This is a lesson I have learned the hard way through the years of waiting to have children, through all the failed attempts, through the slowdown in China and all the discouraging news about the state of IA in general.  This is not my strong suit.  I prefer to be in control.  But the Lord has a way of reminding me who's really in charge of my life.  I'm slowly learning that it's better to go with His plan, since it's gonna be way, way better than anything I could come up with on my own.  

I got confirmation of that last Sunday, the first time I saw Anna Kathryn's beautiful face.  

By the way, I really would love to post her picture, but we are waiting on a couple of approvals from the CCAA before doing so.  Soon, I hope, I'll be able to show her off to the world.  My next post I'll do my best to explain the next round of red tape we will wade through before traveling. 

Also-- for my family, or anyone who has always thought it would be a ton of fun to hang out at the beach for a week every summer with your best girlfriends, read this.  I meant to blog about it myself, but Allison took pictures and well, she has a way with words. 


Kristi said...

Wowzers! You are in my prayers as Mark looks for a new job. Darn NCLB rules ~ I had some fun with those while I was still in the system too!

Heather said...

That law (one I have NEVER personally be a fan of-NCLB) is just..ugg.

I feel bad for your husband. I am in school now, and one thing that our prof drills into our heads at each lecture is how lucky we are to be in school NOW so that we will be HQ. But, honestly, if 24 years doesn't make one HQ, what does a test and a few classes mean?

Hope you all have a fab time at the beach wedding!