A Dilemma...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by seanerin, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. seanerin

    seanerin New Member

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    Oct 27, 2012

    Hello fellow teachers…

    I need help! Now, in trying to resolve this matter, I have turned to many of my friends and they have proven to be helpful to varying degrees. Yet, I figured, at this late hour in the decision process, why not turn to such a wonderful community of teachers...

    I have lived in NYC for ten years now having moved there from Louisiana (I was 30 then). I am currently on leave through the end of January to be with the family after my brother lost his two-year battle with lung cancer. So I am in Louisiana and feel compelled to stay closer to my family (in reality, closer to my mom….) But here’s the root of the dilemma: I have a job that I absolutely love and I am paid nearly 80k a year. As a high school English teacher, I am able to teach the material I am passionate about. I was able to create senior electives based on my literary/philosophical interests (Existential Literature). And I have a wonderfully supportive administration. Finally, I work with students who are incredibly motivated and love being in school (I know crazy!). In short, this high school (which shall remain nameless) has proven to be a dream school. I should also add that I have permanent certification and have great job security.

    But my mom is in Louisiana... I have been offered a position here at a local high school. Naturally, the pay is considerably less (but so is cost of living), but that is the least of my worries. The new job will not allow me the autonomy and creative control that my current one does, so I fear that I will not be as inspired, will not love the position as much. I have sat in on the classes I would be teaching and let’s just say the students would rather be elsewhere and have no difficulty letting the sub know as much. At my current school in NYC, the focus is on content and process everyday, whereas at this school, a great deal of time is spent on discipline. Additionally, I worry about the new evaluation system in the state.

    In short, I feel as though leaving my position in NYC, is professionally the wrong move. Yet, leaving Louisiana is personally the wrong move. How does one make this type of decision? Do I step away from my career in NYC, one that I love? Or do I leave my family in Louisiana?

    I know no one can decide for me, but I am just curious to know what you think... Thank you so much.
     
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  3. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Oct 27, 2012

    A tough decision to make. What's more important a career or family? Do you have family members in NYC that need to take part of the decision making process?

    You sat in a class with a substitute teacher. Can you sit in a class, at the same school, to see what the kids are like with a regular teacher?
     
  4. seanerin

    seanerin New Member

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    Oct 27, 2012

    Thanks for responding. My immediate family is in Louisiana. No family in NYC. It is my understanding that the classes I observed are indicative of the school as a whole.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 27, 2012

    What's your mom say?
     
  6. seanerin

    seanerin New Member

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    Oct 27, 2012

    She tells me that I should stay at my current high school... But I think she is "just saying that."
     
  7. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Oct 27, 2012

    Being a mom, I know what I would tell my daughter in that situation. I would tell her to stay in NYC. It would make me miserable to know that she was moving closer to me and sacrificing her own happiness in the process of trying to make me happier.

    I would be much happier knowing that she was enjoying her life and career.

    I think all moms want that for their children. So I really don't think that she is just saying that.

    Also, I work in a school where a good deal of time must be spent on discipline. I don't recommend it for anyone who is not 100% happy doing that. It won't benefit the students or you if you decide to teach at a school where you know you will be unhappy.
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Oct 27, 2012

    Is there any way you could convince your mom to move to NYC?

    My other thought is how is the job market in Louisiana? Do you think that if you decided you needed to move in the future, you would be able to easily land another position there? Personally with a job offer in hand I'd worry that if I didn't take it I wouldn't be able to find anything there in the future.

    ETA: I work at a school where the focus is more on discipline and academics are "second chair." I wouldn't recommend it unless it was "a job is better than no job" situation.
     
  9. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Oct 27, 2012

    That would not be a worry. Louisiana's a big state, but most places have openings right this very minute, especially the larger districts. A nearby district has 5 openings in secondary English right now, and it's the end of October.

    If it were me, I would keep the job I have, even though I have a pretty good job, at a pretty good school, here in Louisiana. Jobs like that exist, but they are rare here. I would love to teach in New York. Maybe we can trade jobs? :)

    The only thing I will say is that I taught with a woman who felt like she needed to be closer to her family, and her teaching and personal life suffered for it. I'm not sure what part of Louisiana you're talking about, but there are sayings about certain areas of this state that you can never really leave, and if you do you'll always come back. If you feel like it's inevitable that one day you will be back, it may be better to make the move now rather than later, so you'll have longer to establish yourself here.
     
  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 27, 2012

    Could you fly to Louisiana more frequently, let's say once or more every month, and on holidays, 3 day weekends and school breaks?
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 27, 2012

    You should at least finish out your NYC contract for this year, then reassess. Right now you are caught up in the emotion of your family's loss of your brother:hugs: don't make any life changing decisions right now.
     
  12. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Oct 27, 2012

    I had to make that choice - to stay where I was or to move closer to my family.

    I worked at a high school in Manitoba that I LOVED. I was able to advance, and very quickly became a mentor teacher and a department head. I made good money. SO would have easily been able to get a contract. Financially it made sense to stay there.

    But, both of our families were in the Maritime Provinces. We had no family anywhere near where we were.

    We made the choice to come home. I found a job at a middle school within a few hours drive from my family (compared to a 5 hour flight). My SO has had a harder time finding a job, but he has been subbing regularly. I took a nearly $10,000 per year pay cut. But, for us, it has been worth it. It was too hard for me to be that far away from my family. I want to have kids soon, and I don't want them growing up not knowing their grandparents.

    It's a very personal choice, and one that is not easy.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 27, 2012

    I'm so very sorry.

    When my dad died, my mom chose not to make any major decisions for one year. She didn't sell the house or do any thing else with lasting effects, until dad's first anniversay had passed.

    I say you do pretty much the same thing. Kiss mom, and go back to work. Finish out the year.

    No matter how hard you try, you can't replace your brother in your mom's life. She's going to learn to live without him.

    Go back to work and give it some thought over the next few months. Give mom a chance to adapt to her new life. Make your decision some time later.
     
  14. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Oct 28, 2012

    You should at least finish out your NYC contract for this year, then reassess. Right now you are caught up in the emotion of your family's loss of your brother don't make any life changing decisions right now.

    This sounds like a very personal and difficult decision. I think the answer completely lies within you. My best advice is to consider following what czacza's advice from above, and then decide. I find if you really think about it for long enough, you will find the right answer of what to do. You know your mother and your job situation much better than I or anyone else does.
     
  15. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Oct 28, 2012

    I agree with the others that you should avoid making major decisions until more time has passed. Grief experts generally recommend six months, I believe.

    Grief clouds your feelings and doesn't allow you to make decisions the best way you can.
     
  16. seanerin

    seanerin New Member

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    Oct 28, 2012

    Thanks to all for your help. You all are wonderful! I have been considering a return to Louisiana for the past three years, even prior to my brother's diagnosis. But my school in NYC always drew me back to the city... I suppose my desire to return to LA despite my professional happiness in NYC suggests that something is missing.

    Anyway, the job offer here is in St Landry Parish and I am expected tomorrow. I grew up in this parish and with all due respect to the parish and its people, I left upon graduation and never thought that I would return to live. So the thought of long term employment in the parish is not appealing to me. I would love to teach in Lafayette, East Baton Rouge, or St. Tammany Parish. I wonder how easy it is to move from parish to parish. If a teacher in the state could chime in, that would be wonderful.

    Finally, and also for teachers in Louisiana, my level 1 certification is set to expire in Feb of 2013. The school board here said that they would be able to extend that for three years for me with no problems. But I am considering what some here have said (return to NYC to close out the year without making any life changing decisions). Yet, here is my question. If I were to return to NYC to close out this school year, my LA certification would expire. Suppose I wanted to officially move to LA in June. How could I secure a teaching position with an expired Certification? In other words, could I still be hired by a school and the district would simply extend the certification upon hiring? Could I extend the certification from NYC?

    Thank you so much!
     

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