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Peter and His Amazing RIFs


As teacher layoffs have become a frustrating norm for several of my friends, I wanted to find a way to personalize for the public the mass layoffs that affect the teaching force. Peter and I sat down for an afternoon trying to figure out a way to clearly explain the mess that has been his employment status over the past few years. The conversation took nearly four hours and spilled over dozens of post-it notes. The result is the above children’s book. Though it glosses over details and even more infuriating bureaucratic mistakes and lack of communication, the general difficulty with determining seniority (and thus ensuring a job) is pretty clear. The messy scrawl is all mine – Peter made all of the images using a program we used in our journalism intersession class. (The slideshow can be slowed down by clicking on the options once it’s launched.)


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