It’s hard to believe but as of next Friday (July 4th) our summer break will be half over. The busy part of the summer is over – the garden is in and (mostly) growing, the kids have gone to camp (4-H, WonderLab and IU’s informatics and computing; the last two great opportunities on scholarships) and I went to my teacher conference in Washington. June has been a very busy month.
Now July looms in front of us like a big, hot and sticky mess of overweight, damp cotton candy. No plans to speak of, just a long list of wishful thinking but unfunded projects like building a deck and a hen house, putting gravel down on the drive so the propane people can deliver the gas we need to cook and heat the house, and putting up jars of salsa once the garden starts delivering. And of course the endless job search.
So far I’ve applied for seven jobs. Of the three that have closed I had an interview for one (but they hired someone else), one I received a canned email saying thanks but no thanks, one I found out through reading the paper that the job had been filled. That last one stung a bit as it’s my home district – the in which one my kids attend school and for which I’ve been diligently substitute teaching. I thought I’d get an interview for that job (or at least some communication about it). The four open jobs are moving into the interview phase as the application period is about to end. Two are middle school science teacher jobs, one is a high school position and the other is a 9-week temporary sub job covering maternity leave for a middle school science teacher. I’d take any and no longer have any hopes of getting one. It’s been a little discouraging to say the least.
I have the grades (GPA 3.9), the certificates, the glowing letters of recommendation ( “…a self-motivated and intuitive professional who assesses and responds to situations calmly and efficiently. She is confident, flexible and natural as a teacher. ” “…a professional both inside and outside of the classroom. She is always enthusiastic in her teaching and treats her students with respect and kindness.“) but I’m not getting interviews. I worry that my age (given away in the dates of my various diplomas and degrees) is an issue. Sure there’s the lack of teaching experience but the younger set in my Transition to Teaching cohort have the same amount of teaching experience and they are getting jobs. The one other older student also hasn’t found a position.
I’m also trying to find a part-time job for July (I expect to continue substitute teaching in August as I’ve been told it’s the way to get your foot in the door even though it’s more babysitting than teaching) to bring in some money. My last paycheck (of $97) was at the beginning of the month and while all the free camps were great they’ve cost a lot in gas money. And naturally the utility bills keep coming. I’m working on a few suitcase dog beds to sell and the kids are sorting through their toys to come up with some eBay items (we think we have a Nintendo DS and an American Girl Doll for the auction block). I’ve listed the bunk bed we used at our relative’s house on craigslist. It’s a hardscrabble life!
As much as I enjoyed going to the Noyce conference in Washington, especially spending 2 nights in a nice air-conditioned hotel room (which was nearly as big as our house), I fear the contrast between the nice surroundings and gainfully employed professionals and my life has left me just a bit depressed.
I try to maintain an optimistic outlook on this blog. It doesn’t always match my internal outlook and on these horribly hot, muggy days when sweat runs in rivulets down your back and the cistern is dry and the propane is exhausted and it’s 88 degrees in the house with all the window fans running and the job situation seems stalled at best and loan payments and medical bills loom and the kids want (ice cream, bikes, outings with friends, the Lego movie….) stuff I can’t afford it’s hard to be Pollyanna! I’m worn down and I’m finding it harder to keep my chin up.