After a lot of debating and ponderous consideration, I have decided to look for a new job. Currently I work a totally different schedule than my children and work about half an hour away from my home. This year has been one of the hardest years ever as I feel that I never see my family any more. We are on different time schedules, different daily schedules (I teach year round and my older two children go to traditional,) and the older two are in a different district which means different holiday times and days off. Throw the every other weekend parent schedule and my ESL endorsement classes, our time is extremely limited.
I realized the other day that next year would be even worse. With a daughter in high school, a son in junior high and my baby in third grade, I need to work towards getting my family on the same page and not continue with the craziness that has been this year. I thought hard and realized that I need to work closer to home, get on a traditional schedule and finish up with my endorsement course. I feel very anxious about three different start times, three different schools, three different schedules and my working across the valley.
I did a screening interview a few weeks ago with district close to my house. It went incredibly well and I was excited to see what would come of it. I had several school interviews on Friday. I went in exited and ready to wow them. I figured that I had an edge on most people. I have a Master’s Degree. I have taught for a significant period of time. I have worked in district level positions. I am bilingual and completely fluent in Spanish and I have my medical translator’s license. I have an autistic son who has taught me a lot. My previous school has sent me to New Zealand to a massive conference and to teach local schools down there. I interview very well and knew what I was going to say when asked about my experience.
However, when I got to the first interview, I had a new and unexpected reaction. I walked into the first school to see 4 other applicants already sitting there. They were all in their early 20’s and looked it. I heard them talking about just getting married and moving around from school to school to accommodate their husband’s job moves. None of them had more than a couple of years of experience and none of them had higher education than a bachelors degree.
The interview was cold and sterile and very straight forward. The principal was polite and nice, but was very direct and to the point. It wasn’t personal at all. I am a warm fuzzy person and didn’t know how to read the environment well. I left feeling a little discouraged. The interview went well, but seemed cold, very formal and not exactly as I would have liked it to go.
Here is my dilemma I am no longer in love with my chosen career choice. . Education has changed SO much since I first started down its pathway 20 years ago. When I started teaching, I was put into a top position and was our team leader for three years in a row. I got my Master’s degree early on. My school and district had respect for me and what I knew, that they sent me to other schools, districts and even countries to learn and teach new things.
I walked out of the building realizing that I am now 40, and no longer a spring chicken. I have a ton of knowledge base and experience. I used to be highly respected and on top of my game and sought out by all sorts of schools. Now, I am three years into my comeback after choosing to stay home with my kids until they went to school. I am competing for the same jobs as girls that are just coming out of college. My salary is capped, as I have the maximum amount of education that they will pay for (they base salary on education level and I am already at Master’s plus the maximum extra hours) and I will only have my salary increased on a yearly standard of living increase, or if I get a Ph.D. Even getting a Ph.D only raises my salary a thousand dollars a year, so it hardly makes it worth the time, effort away from my family and the money spent for a very small increase in pay.
I used to be excited about education and thought that I had a lot to offer. However, after seeing that I am just one of the random faceless few that is interviewing for the same position, it makes me realize that over all, all of the hard work and effort that I have gone to in progressing ahead in life has really done me no good. I am right where everyone else is that hasn’t put in the same effort. It was a hard and humbling moment for me. One that I am sure I will get past, but hit me harder than I expected it to.
Having said all of this, please cross your fingers for me. The interview that I was not excited about, is the best situation for me. It is 4 minutes away from my home, including traffic. It coincides with my older children’s school yearly schedule AND their time schedule. I work more days, but less hours a day. I am close enough to my home that I can go home at lunch if I need to or run to help my children with whatever they need. It is hard having your fingers crossed for a job that you want, but don’t want at the same time!