Saturday, July 10, 2010

Between a Rock and the Proverbial Hard Place...

Any one that knows me or has read my blog knows that I am a teacher. I worked fulltime in my own classrooms for 6 years and have subbed for the last 2. I have, on several occasions, questioned my choise to stay in the career that I have always felt I was drawn to. I know that I have done good in my time in the classroom, I still get messages, texts, phone calls etc from former students, many of whom call me Mom.

The state of education as it is now is rather dismal. The environment in the schools is only part of it. The fact is, that many of us who went into education (for whatever reason) were told "you will always have a job, we will ALWAYS need teachers". Too many of us now know this to be untrue. Financial deficits has caused significant numbers of teachers and staff to be cut. Lack of funds and "low performance" (sometimes just a political load of crap) as well as the transient nature of the populace of most cities has led to the closure of numerous schools.

I know that I am a good teacher, in spite of the fact that I have been unable to find permanant employment in my chosen career. I was one of the more than 200 casualties of closing schools in my former city in Colorado. I was a 1st year teacher in district on a one year contract. I chose not to go back to the school that nearly put me in the hospital due to stress-related health issues. I was basically black-listed by the "interim administration" for not going along with the fixing of common assessment scores and standing up for my students' rights to have a safe and productive learning environment as well as my own rights as a teacher and human being. The next one and a half years I was the "favorite sub" in the 12 schools that I served. I had teachers call me 2 months in advance to make sure I would be available...especially in the middle and alternative schools.

 (For whatever reason, the "trouble kids" and I get along just fine  >.>)

I love the feeling of being rushed by kids when I walk into a school asking who I am subbing for and the reaction when they find out its one of their teachers(or not). It makes me feel good. That's what I want to do.

I want to teach.
I want my own classroom again.
I want to have the same kids every day.
I want to be able to connect with my kids and learn about who they are, who they are becoming, how they learn, how they interact with each other.
I miss that.

That's the rock.

Here's the hard place:

I haven't worked since the end of school.
Things are tight, but we're ok. Bills are paid, kids are "fat" and happy, if bored.

I know that I will probably work 4-5 days a week as a sub in the 2 districts in this area as a sub if I don't get hired on as a fulltime teacher. School starts August 5th and, so far, there are no positions available for my subject closer than an hour's drive away. (I would prefer to work close enough to get the kids off to school in the morning, even if we're not at the same school)

My husband's father found me a job.

He's got connections all over this small town and one of his good buddies is opening a big truck-stop type gas station and needs cashiers.

I have cabin fever like crazy from sitting at home all summer with 4 kids.
 I want to work.

But I am not sure if I want to take this job, even as part-time, because I KNOW that I can sub and make good money even if I don't get a full-time job. I am the kind of person that will stick with a job even if a better one comes open, especially if its only been a few months. ESPECIALLY since my FiL recommended me for it because he knows I want to work.


I don't know what to do!


Crazy Shenanigans said...

I think you have to take which ever job it is that makes you the most happy. Life is too short to be unhappy or miserable. I say take the job which makes you smile.

Lindsey said...

Yeah, that's a tough one. But Crazy Shennanigans is right - you gotta do what's right for you. It's really sweet that your FIL is looking out for you, but you want a career, not just a time filler. Just my .02 :)

Draea Lael (Rose) said...

Thanks guys, I feel the same way. Then there is this part of me that feels like caca because I am not working fulltime as a teacher, or at all right now. FOr the last 15 years I have been the wage earner in my relationships...except for the job I got my ex in Iraq..but that was after 3.5 yrs of not working at all. I am just not used to having to rely on my hubby to take care of things financially. Don't get me wrong, I love that he does, and he likes "taking care" of me. Its just RAWR.
Here's to hoping something fulltime opens up here in Corinth.

kathryn said...

Honey, now I understand the angst in your comment at my place. And I'd just posted last week about the debate of doing what you love, or working to pay the bills.

I recently interviewed an extremely astute economics professor with an advance degree in psychology. He'd mentioned that teachers in private schools will continue to be needed ...even in this economy.

If I think of anything else that might help, I'll be sure to let you know.

Draea Lael (Rose) said...

Thanks, sugar, I appreciate it. The major issue for me in that situation though is that there are no private schools in this teeny southern town.With only 3 weeks until school starts back, it looks like I will be subbing again this year. As soon as my kiddos leave with their grandparents next week, I will be traipsing all over the 3 districts in the area to introduce myself to the administration so I have a better chance of being called to work. I truly love being in the classroom, and if the only way I get to do it for now is as a sub, then that's what I am going to do.
The good news is, unlike CoSprings, our bills will actually be paid with money to put in savings with me working as a sub here. The cost of living is so much lower and my geek is getting a payraise to do a specialized job at work. So we are in no way hurting like we used to be...its mostly just my pride.

Jackie said...

Thanks for stopping by our place recently! That's a tough decision. But, I say, if financially reasonable for your family, then follow your heart & teach. Who knows, maybe a long-term sub position will open up & then lead to a full time spot!

Jody said...

Totally nothing to do with this post but that HAD to be a pumpkin.

Maggie May said...

i really am sorry. that kind of stress is so life draining. would you be willing or able to move? MSN had this list of ways to get the job you want and top on list was relocate.

Draea Lael (Rose) said...

@Maggie Mae: We just moved here 6 months ago to get ourselves to a better financial situation. Where we are now is much better for us as a family, the cost of living is about 40% of what it was in CoSprings. Its also a small, southern community where family and education is still really important in every day life. We are not going to drown, financially if I don't get a fulltime job, but I would sure like one. I would rather be in a classroom than anywhere else as a career, I have thought long and hard about what I would do if I wasn't teaching....and I couldn't think of ANYTHING! The stress level I have now is more a result of the role reversal that I am experiencing at no longer being the primary wage earner, or even contributing at all during the summer. Things will be ok. I just have this guilt issue about not working. I already have my foot in the door at the HS my daughter goes to. I subbed there long-term for the Spanish/Drama teacher during her 2.5 month maternity leave. The new principal is the former, long-time Assist. Princ. and he and I got on great. Its more an issue of a position becoming available in the area than having to fight for a position here. I am still hoping and praying, at least I know that I can sub.
Thanks for stopping by!

Gigi said...

How odd is it that as I am typing a comment to you - you are leaving a comment to me?

Do what you love. I understand that you are not in a position that you are accustomed (working full-time) but since the bills are being paid, do what you love. Eventually, something will open up unexpectedly and you will be a "known" and will be more likely to get the job then.

Draea Lael (Rose) said...

Hehe, Gigi, I thought the same thing!

I know this, I truly do. It has just been hard for me to adjust and sometimes I just need friends to say, "you're doing the right thing". The kids are going to my dad's next week sometime and I am going to use the time that they are gone to get dolled up and introduce myself at all the schools in the area. I know, in my experience as a teacher and what others have told me when I have subbed, is that teachers always prefer to have someone they know in the classroom, especially if that person is a certified professional with classroom experience. I cannot tell you how many times I have had subs come into my room and then have had to spend 2 days fixing what they screwed up. It will get better, thanks so much for the kind words...I just keep "wishing and parying and hoping" for the economy to get a little oooomph so that more teachers can be hired on.

Tom said...

I agree with Crazy Shenanigans....thats true all what she wrote!