ABBOTSFORD (WAOW) -- Two Abbotsford teachers who thought they'd be hitting the unemployment lines will actually be heading back to class next year. This pair of kindergarten teachers said the other people in the district are like family to them and avoiding these layoffs was something that hit both of them close to home.
Nancy Abel and Rebekah Dorwaldt teach kindergartners life's important lessons. With almost three dozens students, it helps to have help to keep their kids under control.
"We team teach," said Dorwaldt. "The majority of the time, she's teaching or I'm teaching and we assist each other as needed throughout the day."
This is the first year the team has shared a classroom, but their history together started a long time ago. Abel is Dorwaldt's mom. And both members of this mother-daughter duo found themselves on the chopping block after the district handed out preliminary layoff notices earlier this year.
"We really wanted to stay here and be with the children because that is our gift, we think, to work with them and be around them all the time," said Abel.
The pair accounted for one-third of the pink slips handed out this year.
"It's scary to know that you may not be able to be here," said Dorwaldt. "Our job here is not only for ourselves but it's for the kids. We live for these kids every day, in and out, and our lives are just surrounded by children here, at home and in the community."
The district found a way to bring them back, but even so, it's still not quite the fairy tale ending they hope for.
"It's very good but it's bittersweet because not all of the teachers have been called back," said Abel. "They seem like a family here. They're understanding and they listen to your opinions and to your family concerns between the staff."
These two know the value of having someone they can lean on.
"You have somebody you can share those little laughable moments that you sometimes don't get," said Dorwaldt. "Sometimes children say funny stuff and you just have to wait to tell somebody later and you can just kind of smirk about it and chuckle throughout your day."
Despite those laughable moments, the students learn valuable lessons from their adoring advisors, ones they'll take with them long after they leave the halls of Abbotsford Elementary.
As of right now, Abel and Dorwaldt aren't sure whether they'll be teaching together again next year, but they're glad to be able to stay in the district with the kids they love to spend their days with.