Can't Afford to Stay

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Guitart, Jul 16, 2022.

  1. Guitart

    Guitart Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2022

    GAS PRICES have forced me to look for a job closer to home:(

    All summer, I have been on the fence about this. There appears to be no relief for rising costs of inflation and gas prices. I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE MY DISTRICT but I have to look out for myself and family. I drive 30-40 minutes to my schools. I have been happily doing this for almost 10 years. This school year, it will cost me $80 a week to make that commute. That is roughly $4000 in gas for the school year. I will make $46K this year so you can see this is a huge expense.

    I applied at a school walking distance from my house. It had a reputation for being one of the best, urban districts in my area. Recently, the district has been in the news for a rise in behavior problems and the public wants the superintendent's head on a lance. They pay over $50K for level 1 teachers. If I get an interview and offer, I expect a minimum $55K.
    I applied at another school that is an equal commute as my current school BUT I will make the extra money to afford the gas. I have heard from sources that my level of experience would be over $51K plus a $1200 "signing bonus".

    I never thought I would have to leave my district. My district is small, rural, and still holds many common sense values that are being lost in our complicated and sometimes bizarre world of education. It really is a wonderful place to work and retire. I will miss it if things happen and I need to pack up my stuff. Some teachers hop from job to job, are always looking for more money, or think the grass is greener elsewhere. I'm not that person. I feel like I'm letting down my staff and students.

    For what it's worth, what would YOU do?
     
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  3. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Cohort

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    Jul 16, 2022

    Put a price on what the pros of each are worth to you. You've already calculated your gas cost, so figure out what the pros of staying cost. How much is knowing students/families worth? How much is familiarity with curriculum, staff, facilities, resources worth? If it comes out to more than the gas cost, decide if your financial status can support staying.
    At the end of the day, if you can't pay your bills or do what you need to do to set yourself up for long-term stability, you have to chase the money.

    Personally, I chose to stay in a lower-paying job for this upcoming year because it's worth it to me to:
    #1: have a known entity admin team who I know to be reasonable people
    #2: have full control of my curriculum and resources- I am the whole department
    #3: live 15 minutes away with a 0% chance of being transferred to another school/building
    #4: teach somewhere with a mission statement I truly believe is good for children and where we make a full and honest effort to support the mission in ways that aren't lip-service
    BUT, if I weren't in a two-income household where my eventual husband makes more than I do, if we had or wanted children soon, or even if we were in any hurry to be married, I'd be reconsidering. At the end of the day, no one is looking out for you but you.
     
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  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Jul 16, 2022

    I would not let any guilt about "letting down staff and students" sway your decision. There will be new staff and new students who will need your expertise in any position. People change jobs all of the time.

    As far as the money, for me it would depend on how big of an impact it had on my overall financial security. Your school sounds like a wonderful place to work, and it's unlikely you'll find that environment elsewhere. I'd try really hard to hold on to that if it were me. If increased gas cost meant having to live more frugally in the sense of taking fewer vacations, cutting out more frivolous spending like eating out/entertainment/new clothes, etc. then I would stay at the job I was happy at. If the increased gas cost means you'll literally be struggling to pay basic bills, then the salary may win out for me.

    I'd also consider if you'd be giving up any sort of tenure or non-probationary status by going to a new school. Going back to being a probationary employee means you can be non-renewed for any reason at all, or even no reason. That would be a big con for me in moving. Even if I felt like I truly could not afford it this year, I'd likely look into ways to bring in extra money (tutoring can pay extremely well if you can get clients) before I left a school I was really happy at.
     
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  5. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jul 17, 2022

    What was your cost for your commute prior to the gas increase?
    I agree with the previous posters.
    Is there anyway you can make up the gap or a good portion of it with tutoring? If you can tutor one student a week at 50 dollars, you just brought your cost back down to what it probably was prior to the increases. But it may be hard to find students to tutor in your area that can pay with the increase in cost of anything.
     
  6. Guitart

    Guitart Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2022

    Thanks for the input. The PROS do out weigh the CONS. I completely forgot tenure (thanks waterfall) and don't want to lose that. The biggest CON is obviously the cost of gas. Gas has always been necessary but combined with my wife's paycheck, the expense was transparent. Her paycheck has always been a safety net. Now, inflation is chewing that up with our cost of living items (groceries, kids, her gas). Another CON is time. I teach a summer side job all next week. I have no time for interviews, no time for moving stuff, no time for change.

    Honestly, one of the reasons I applied for the jobs was that I wanted to see my value. My wife and I are curious if one school dist will respond. I applied for their para jobs in the past when I was a brand new teacher and got nothing. We heard from people that it was cliquey and local "outsiders" have a tough time getting hired.

    I will most likely stay in my happy rural job and district. If this is a year of "withouts" I will have to set the example for my family.
     
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Jul 18, 2022

    I spend about $50 on gas per week. It really adds up.
     
  8. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Jul 18, 2022

    I would second the sentiment of tenure as a big con. I considered a similar move this summer (mine was more with salary), but decided to not pursue it...

    You may not be old enough to recall, but in '08, they were laying folks off left and right. This time, it probably won't be as bad. Still (IMO), there is a high probablity of pink slips rearing their head... as a 10 year vet, you are probably safe. As a 1 year vet? You'll certainly be first to go.
     
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