Here's the letter I sent to parents and students in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. I had taught there for twelve years. I guess I didn't expect an outpouring of support or outrage towards the district, but I was surprised by the fact that parents complained to the district that I even sent it and that the district, in its last communication with me, reprimanded me for sending it.
"Dear Former Students and Parents of Former Students,
My name is Brian Jaeger and I have been an English teacher at Menomonee Falls High School for twelve years. However, administration has made cuts to my department and my contract has not been renewed for the fall semester.
Although the work climate and public perception of teachers has changed dramatically since I started in the district, I have always adapted and attempted to create positive classroom experiences for my students. I am not writing to you to ask for sympathy or to complain about how decisions are now made, as I am sure many of you work for businesses that retain the right to lay off employees for economic and not performance-related reasons. However, you also know that, if necessary, you would like to have some of the people you affected over the years be able to help you connect to new employment.
I am asking for you to take a moment to consider whether you know someone or are someone who could use an experienced teacher, web designer, trainer, writer, editor, researcher, communicator, or creative mind. I am not a person who decided to teach because I could not do. I decided to teach because I know how to do and want others to learn how, as well.
Please check out my website at PassiveNinja.com. If you have a testimonial to add (especially former students), please click on the “Write a Testimonial” tab. Look around a bit in order to see what I am capable of and what kind of career move might suit me. I have always hoped that what one knows is as important as who one knows. However, I may have been proven wrong this year, so I’d like to ask those I know for some help.
Thank you and have a nice summer,
Former MFHS teacher of:
Film and Novel, English 9, English 10, English 11, Senior Lit, Senior Comp, , Writers Workshop, Creative Writing for Publications, and Creative Comp
Former MFHS advisor of:
Thassophobia and the Thasso Read-In talent show, Forensics, and Smoke Signals online"