Stalled

Stalled in so many ways!  Our fundraising has ground to a halt and house hunting isn’t turning up anything remotely relevant (but look at this neat 1850s log cabin for sale – too bad it would cost $$$ to move and reassemble and make livable! – http://bloomington.craigslist.org/mat/3849961648.html).

School has started and is already proving to be challenging – it’s the 21st century and EVERYTHING is online, although all my classes take place in actual classrooms.  All the readings, forum discussions (part of your grade), assignments, messages, etc. are online.  Since they are sometimes posted within the 24 hours before class and I’m not always at the library in that period, it’s already hard to stay on top of it all.  The kids aren’t the only ones who really miss having Internet now!  I have 3 courses – an integrated seminar, a course on literacy in your content area, and a course on psychology in education – and they fill my days Tuesday and Thursday until 6:30 PM.  The semester is only 8 weeks so the classes are fast-paced with lots of reading and written papers due.  It’s not easy.

In the meantime a job has come open in the clerks’ office – 30 hrs a week at $13.66 per hour (compared to my 15 hrs at $9 an hr) with partial benefits. I wonder if I should apply for that job.  We could almost live on it which we cannot do with my current job (which after deductions and minimal taxes nets me about $450 a month).  I would not be able to attend classes with that job so I’d have to drop school.  In fact I won’t be able to keep my current job next spring semester when I start student teaching full-time.  If I stick with school I should be positioned to find a better job, and teaching will be a good fit with the family schedule.  But it will be a tough year, especially if we aren’t in our own home.

This is the beginning of year 5 of our Great Recession struggles, and unlike apparently everyone else (did anyone else see the news story that said Americans had regained the household wealth lost in the Great Recession?) we are still struggling.  And as periodically happens, my reserve of get up and go is running low.  I’m not as resilient as I was when this began – my bounce back has been stretched and stretched and now resembles a baggy pair of pantyhose!  I need a little energy boost, a favorable sign, a winning lottery ticket… 🙂

This entry was posted in 2nd Career, back to school, economy, frugal living, fundraising, houses, jobs, journey, recession, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Stalled

  1. Rachael says:

    Definitely apply! Don’t hold back on any opportunity. Even if you haven’t quite made up your mind, applying shows the higher-ups a bit of your tenacious side. Could only be a good thing. Just having people read your resume and consider your qualifications is a good thing! Get yourself ‘out there’! 🙂

  2. Oedgar says:

    I would apply for the job, and take it if offered. Your situation is and has been desperate for quite some time. The job could lead to something better in the long run, certainly another skill set to add to your resume. Teaching jobs are hard to get here in Texas. My friend’s husband is qualified to teach in two states in a couple of subjects. He has applied to anything is several areas of the state and gotten nowhere. He went back to school to be trained as a truck driver. I have followed your blog for a couple of years now and hope you catch a break soon! This job could be it….

  3. jill says:

    Last night at my daughter’s HS graduation, the superintendent was spinning some fairy tale about ‘don’t believe the economy hasn’t recovered, don’t listen to information that isn’t positive, BE AN ENTREPRENEUR! Yada…

    Unicorns fart pixie dust, was my thought. Reading you through your experiences, I think that you’ve had way too much reality in recent years, but I don’t think that has served you badly. You have your priorities straight, however frazzled it may feel, many people would have folded long ago. If I had any munnies, I would send them. In lieu, I will hope that you can hang in a little longer. I hope that the end of the bad stuff is within sight for you and your family.

  4. Melissa says:

    I would definitely apply for the job and accept it if offered. No doubt about it. It even comes with partial benefits, which would be wonderful!

    You wrote on a post a while ago that you kind of applied for the teacher training program because of a lack of other options. Now another option (potentially) presents itself. You have to at least TRY for this other position!

    I don’t mean to be down on things, but as a teacher for 26 years, and still going, I don’t think you will actually like teaching. (I don’t like it nearly as much as I used to.) It takes a tremendous amount of time beyond the duty day, probably more than you can imagine. I don’t know if you could teach, commute, plan and grade and update electronic gradebooks and online teacher calendars, serve on committees (required) and attend before/after school conferences/IEP meetings, plus, oh yeah, take care of your children, your animals, your home and yourself.

    And doesn’t your grant commit you to work in a ‘school of need’? That’s a PC way of saying a really difficult school. I’ve worked in them. Couldn’t wait to get out.

    In my state, there is about zero chance of getting a position teaching earth and space science. Chemistry and biology, yes. Earth science is not required for graduation here, so it’s rarely offered. Don’t know the situation in Indiana, however.

    There is also the issue of age. I have to be blunt. I know when I have applied for transfers within my large school district, every single job has gone to a much, much younger teacher. Age discrimination may not be legal, but it does exist.

    And of course, as you’re aware, finishing the program doesn’t guarantee a full-time teaching job.

    So my input is to try for this other position. Try hard. Try really hard.

    Fingers crossed!

  5. As a fellow solo adoptive mum with children, I really understand how hard this is. Sometimes you can’t “stay the course” because your needs right now are so overwhelming. There isn’t a second person for free child care, benefits, an income, and kids have needs, the wants you can avoid but the needs you can’t. Yes, most likely teaching will give you better benefits and summers off and better pay, but it won’t do that right now and sometimes sadly when vulnerable and in need, right now is crisis point.

    Can you see if you could defer your place in the teacher training for one year? Would they let you come back next June? Also, you never know the outcome with the job, maybe it is another stepping stone to something even better there, maybe it will end. I would try to keep teaching open and if you can manage as you are (no computer, no benefits) then stay with it. I would also apply for the job and if you get it believe in yourself to make the right decision. Sometimes doors open when you least expect them and those doors are the right doors.

  6. Barb says:

    I say if you are offered the job, take it. It could lead to full-time better jobs in the future. I returned to school for teaching in my 50s. I have had my license since 07. I have had 4 – 1 year jobs. In the years without a job, I subbed and did part time stuff. I have been cut so many times that if I could rewind, I would not have gone this route and I LOVE teaching. I am very discouraged about teaching and ever having a long term job in it. The older I am, the harder it is to keep starting over. My advice is a bird in the hand (if you can get it) is worth 15+ in the bush. You need a stable job and the sooner the better. I wish you all the best.

  7. julia says:

    I imagine people are really going to be divided here on what they feel you should do… my thoughts – apply for the job and accept it if it’s offered to you. You need the income and you need it now. Tabi makes a fabulous point when asking if you really want to teach and mentions how stressful it can be and the fact there are always kids there – nothing against kids but adult time is good and necessary. There are absolutely no guarantees you will get a teaching position upon finishing school and won’t you still have loans to repay? Is this a city/county/state job? Government jobs have good benefits and decent pay. I have one set of parents that are retired public servants (federal gov employees) and the other retired educators… each has its own benefits but at this point, I think you should go for the job – you’ve already got your foot in the door and would/will likely have no problem moving up.

    As always, wishing the best for you and your kids….

  8. Lynn says:

    What happens to the grant if you quit school? Didn’t you already spend it?

    • boxcarkids says:

      The grant hasn’t even come through yet – although it hopefully will before fees are due in July! There is a period where you can drop or add classes without penalty at the beginning. There are several other candidates for the job – people who already work in the clerk’s office so it may turn out to be like the school position I wanted to apply for last year – by the time they had finished shuffling all the in house people the job that was left was not the one they advertised!

  9. Maja says:

    Apply for the job. In the meantime you can decide between the two paths.

  10. debbie says:

    stay the course stay in school

  11. Tabi says:

    I think you should go ahead and apply; so much could change by the time they make the hiring decision. And you could still say “no thanks” if you get an offer. Can you find out more about what that job would be like all day? Will it be stimulating? I know you are realistic and consider all the angles, but I still want to remind you that teaching means kids, kids, kids. You already have some at home. When will you have time for adult interaction?
    Do you really, really want to teach? You know it is challenging and stressful. Imagine coming home after a long day and still having homework, as well as your own children’s demands as they (and you!) get older. I like all your living-close-to-the-land ideas. Won’t a 30-hr/wk job leave more time for quality of life? More money isn’t everything. On the other hand, a teacher’s summers are nice.
    So, sure, stick with the program as long as it feels right. Even if you drop out later or decide to leave teaching, there will probably be other jobs of interest that you can apply for. How interesting is this clerks’ office job? Could you stand it long term? Could it lead to something better?

  12. Kim B says:

    Chantal, I’d probably go for the job in the courthouse, if it were to be offered to you. As someone w/ a teaching degree who searched in two states for three school years, and only found one PT position at a private (ie LOW paying) school, all in the undesired middle school age group vs the desired high school age group, I’d go with the job that is there now. There is no guarantee of a teaching job down the road 🙁

  13. Rita says:

    Things are in no way looking up. Don’t believe it for a minute. I’m not sure what you should do so please read what the other comments say and go with your gut. I went with my gut and it was always the best choice. When I would flounder and try to please family that were watching with comments I would mess up every time. I just made a mistake that will cost me by not going with my gut. I was listening to others…..bad idea. Teachers get a pension so that is very helpful on the other end of things. Mine is small I only taught 15 years but it makes me able to stay at home now since I’m getting older. I plan to pick up part time jobs in the future but teaching even though a very difficult job can give you a pension and other professions do not. Hope this helps a little.

  14. Jeannette says:

    If it were me, I would take the job, its the first real opportunity in a long time, perhaps with a steady flow of income a home of your own home will come that much sooner. And thirty hours will still give lots of time if you wanted to take night courses. Of course this is just my thoughts and my own two cents. In any case, as always wishing you the best

    • boxcarkids says:

      Of course it is only a job opening – naturally there are other people applying for it. I might apply because rhe prosecutor had suggested training me to do more than just traffic tickets and if nothing else maybe he would think about going ahead with that. Working at the prosecutor’s is much more interesting than maintaining voter rolls!

  15. Cranberry says:

    I understand the appeal of this “almost liveable” opportunity ~ the operative word here being “almost”. My words of encouragement are, Stay focused on your goal. You and your family have sacrificed a lot to position yourself for a new career in teaching. You might find you’ve given up all you’ve worked so hard for only to be downsized in three months’ time. As a mom myself I am bold to say I hear you, but don’t entertain this distraction. Dig in and keep your eyes on the prize of a teaching certification, and the new, long-term career opportunities that go with it.

    My very best to you,
    Cran

  16. Barbara says:

    For what it’s worth, I realize the option of working (almost) full time really looks good right now. However if that job pans out, then you have sacrificed your school fees and time. Me, personally, I would stay in school because the long term will be a BETTER benefit down the road. Can you add internet to your relative’s home? It would be a benefit to all. I would look into that first.
    As for the Fund raising: I will leave your Tupperware Fundraiser up for the next week, to see if any of your Blog Followers may be interested. Can’t hurt and may help. Everyone LOVES Tupperware! and you would get 40% of total sales.
    Here’s a Direct Link: http://order.tupperware.com/pls/htprod_www/home

    Everything ships directly to the customers so there are no deliveries to be made.

    Praying for your family.

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