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    Posted March 2, 2013 by
    Chesterton, Indiana
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Teachers: Worried about forced spending cuts?

    Hoping I Have 9 Lives


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Phil Dietrich is a fifth grade teacher in Portage, Indiana. He says it is hard for him to tell how forced spending cuts will impact him and his students. 'In the past, my district has tried to keep budget cuts as far from the classroom as possible. In other words, they have -- and I’m sure will continue to -- make every effort to meet their federal obligations while preserving as much personnel as possible.'

    But despite his district's attempt in the past to keep teachers and staff after budget cuts, he says he is still worried. 'I’m sure all professions, education and otherwise, have felt the tightening of budgets. My biggest fear is what this will mean for our kids. I worry that technology which prepares students to compete globally will be seen as luxuries, not necessities, and thereby put our students behind the 8 ball,' he said.

    He says he is disappointed with Congress for letting the forced spending cuts come into effect. 'Everyone is affected. We’re not alone. But what I would like Congress to cut is the political theater that has in many ways led to this day. I see the spending cuts as being symptomatic of a much deeper problem,' he said.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    While I am in my 30's, I am still in the infancy of my teaching career. You see, I earned my bachelor degree in advertising and transitioned into education. My first teaching year was 2011-12 in a school and a school district I absolutely love. While every profession has its good and bad days, I've had more good than bad and EVERY day has served as a reaffirmation that this is where I belong.

    Toward the end of last school year, I learned that there was the possibility of being laid off as the low man on the seniority totem pole. I understood it and held no ill feelings towards anything but a situation that's tough on everybody involved. I was more than elated when I discovered that not only myself, but every colleague of mine would be kept on for the following school year (this year). I now have the same questions with regards to what the cuts will mean, and know there are no easy answers.

    I continue to love my class, my school, and my district and I believe that, as much as I - and every other faculty member in the district - are nervous about the potential cuts resulting from this situation, the district is just as concerned about losing us.

    I am at the point of trying to accept God's will, which will lead me to whatever His plan holds in my life. It's a daily struggle to keep that inner peace but I'm trying. I believe the Lord wants me to continue teaching. I believe our students, our district, and my colleagues are the best around. Most importantly, I believe that whatever happens will be for the best. Until I am told to do differently, I will continue teaching with the same passion I have now.
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