Commute vs. teaching in your community?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ms.irene, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I am currently commuting about 45 minutes to an hour each way depending on traffic. For reasons including the commute, I have been applying to other districts, and now I have an interview in the (small) town where I live. I am a little nervous about teaching in the town where I live, though...I am imagining seeing students at the gym, the grocery store, out at night, at summer music festivals...Am I over-thinking this, or is this a serious issue to be concerned about? Part of me thinks I'm making up reasons not to have to start over, but another part of me thinks that this could really have an impact on my daily life.

    So what do you think? Would you rather have a commute, or see your students everywhere? Have you taught in the community where you live, and how did it feel?
     
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  3. OhThePlaces

    OhThePlaces Cohort

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    I just transferred to my neighborhood school this past fall. My house is 2 miles from school. I see my students EVERYWHERE. Grocery shopping, the park, our subdivision pool, and in the neighborhood. It's been an adjustment, but I don't mind it. I teach 3rd grade and they are thrilled to see me out in public. ;)
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I wouldn't worry about it. Look at this as an opportunity to know your students on another level.
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I teach where I live. In fact I used to live in the same neighborhood where 3 of my students lived and that neighborhood was a major hangout spot for a lot of them. I didn't mind it, I saw at least a few students every day. I teach high school by the way.
    I think it's actually brought me closer to them, because that area was really bad (which I didn't know when I moved there) and somehow I was more approachable, someone that wasn't stuck up, that their neighborhood was good enough for me, I didn't think I was too good for that... this was their perception.

    I moved since then because I got broken into, but I still live in the same town, only 5 minutes away.

    My P suggested that I live in the nearby city like most teachers do, otherwise I'll be bumping into students, and they'd be in my business. So far that's not true, when I go out, I go to the nearby city and my students would never go to the same places I go. So so far it hasn't been an issue and I don't think it will be.
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I have almost always lived in the same community I have taught in. I have even lived right next door to two of my students at the same time (one each in the houses on either side of me.)

    It has never been an issue. The kids get used to seeing you around town and usually they say hello and we each go about our business.
     
  7. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    I've worked and taught in the same community before. I miss it; it was nice to feel like I was making a real contribution to my community and to be involved closely in it. Encounters with students was never a big deal. My wife teaches in our community, and one of her students even lives across the road. No big deal.

    I also have finished my sixth year of teaching in a school 90 minutes away. Nice school, but the traveling was burdensome, to say the least.

    Next year, I'll be teaching in a new school 40 minutes from home, which will be a relief.
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I was born & raised in the town I work in. In fact, I attended K-5 at the school where I serve as VP.

    I wouldn't have it any other way.
     
  9. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I used to work on a military base and live in the small town that was right outside the base. I was surprised that I rarely saw any students in the 3.5 years that I worked there.

    I've worked 45 minutes away and hated the commute. Most of my jobs have been 20-25 minutes away, and that commute was perfect for me. I just got a new job that's 40 minutes away. I have a new baby and don't want to commute that long, so we're most likely going to move closer soon.

    I don't think it will be too bad living closer. You'll get used to seeing the kids!
     
  10. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I've actually always kind of wanted that. I grew up in a small town and attended a school where most of the teachers lived in the area. It was a close knit community and I really liked it.

    Currently, the area I teach in is....less than desirable. I'll put it that way. I commute from a nicer area about 20-25 minutes away. I don't mind that length of commute time at all.

    The area I'll be teaching in this coming school year is nice, but it's not very close to my family. Part of the reason we are moving is to be closer to them. We are starting out living closer to my family, but we'll see where we end up eventually. It's a new experience, so we will have to feel it out for awhile. My commute will be about 20-25 minutes just like it is now, which doesn't bother me at all.

    In general, I really wouldn't mind bumping into students/families in public. It would be kind of fun, actually. However, sometimes I do want a break and a little separation...;)
     
  11. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I've done both. I currently teach where I live, and I definitely run into students on the weekend. It's usually a quick hello/ hug (I teach elementary), then I'm on my way.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My commute is less than 10 minutes if I hit all red lights. I see students (and parents) at the mall, when I'm out for a run, at the farmer's market, at WalMart and Costco. It doesn't ever bother me, although I do try to at least make myself presentable whenever I'm going anywhere. Several of our teachers live in the same neighbourhood as our school and have had students as neighbours; it's never been an issue.
     
  13. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I used to live about 45 minutes from my school and shopping was an extra 15 minutes away. I saw my students out and about several times, even though the town I taught in had plenty of shopping. Might as well have a short commute!
     
  14. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I live about 40 to 60 minutes from my job depending on how cooperative I-695 and I-83 feel that morning.

    I could move closer to my school but I do not want to actually live in Baltimore (for many reasons). One key reason is that I never want to run into students outside of school so I choose to live in an area far enough away. I sometimes run into them at the mall, once or twice a year, but that's pretty much it.

    I just don't want to see my students outside of school; I'm sorry.
     
  15. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I have a lengthy commute, too. It's about 35 minutes with no traffic and up to 60 minutes on a really bad day. I don't always enjoy the drive or the time I spend in the car, but I do enjoy having a life away from school. In some ways, it might be nice to have that community feel, but I'm enjoying my distance right now.
     
  16. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I prefer to live a couple of towns over from where I teach. I don't want to be having parent/teacher conferences in the grocery store aisle every weekend, nor do I want families judging everything I do. My CT for student teaching used to grocery shop at 6 am on Sunday mornings because she was so tired of constantly being stopped and asked how Suzy was doing, etc. My mom works 2 miles down the street from where she lives and she loves it. She loves seeing her kids and families around the town. It's just a personal preference. If I really needed a job though and the only one available was down the street, I'd certainly take it. It would be annoying to me but not enough to turn down a job.
     
  17. underthesun

    underthesun Rookie

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    I haven't had the chance to develop my own preferences yet, but I did notice that none of my high school teachers lived in the area. Each and every one of them commuted (and I know this because they all mentioned it at one time or another -- not because I ran around looking for them xD). On the other hand, though, I remember running into my elementary teachers all of the time at different stores.
     
  18. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I don't have a problem with parents wanting conferences at the store. I keep the conversation non-school related, and if the parent mentions a concern, I ask them to email me.
     
  19. allaragallagher

    allaragallagher Comrade

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    All I can contribute is that I live in the same town that I did my student teaching and substitute teaching at, and it was definitely something I had to adapt to. I see my students at yard sales, when I'm buying fast food, at the grocery store, etc. They usually just say hi and tell me about how they are doing in school, but I have to remember before I leave the house that if I'm just running out for (forgive me guys) chocolate, midol, and "necessaries" I might have a student as my cashier. O.O I learned early on my cooperating teacher goes elsewhere to shop, get her hair done, go out for dinner because she hates living in the same town as she teaches.
     
  20. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    It depends where you live.

    I live in a densely populated suburban area of LA County. I live probably 3-5 miles from where I was a regular... I rarely saw kids. Now, I'm primarily at a school about 6-7 miles away, and I never see kids.

    I personally appreciate not seeing people I know.
     
  21. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

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    Interesting to see the different opinions. I'm guessing its a personal option: does it bother you to see students/parents outside of school?

    there isn't many places to shop around here so you will most likely see students unless you want to drive 50 plus minutes across the state line.

    Personally it doesn't bother me. Most parents will not approach you to have a discussion about their child in the middle of the grocery store and most students will smile and nod or run the other direction depending on if they like you as a teacher or if they are doing something they are not suppose to be doing.

    I think it should be fine to teach where you live if you set up boundaries. If you don't want to talk to someone, you can honestly tell them you have to finish shopping or take care of family things or something that reminds them you have a life outside of school. Most people get the hint.
     
  22. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I live in the suburbs and teach in a different one. I sometimes see my students out & about. We say hi & move one. Sometimes they will say I saw you at where ever. Especially for the younger ones they are excited to know that you have a life outside of school.

    When I lived in a small town & subbed there, I always made sure that I was "presentable" when I went out. Although, that's something I did even before I was a teacher. As a high schooler I babysat for a couple of teachers. No biggie.
     
  23. MonicaWinter

    MonicaWinter Rookie

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    I'm curious as to why people wouldn't want to see students outside of school? I went to a neighborhood school (everyone, students and teachers, lived within a few mile radius) and saw teachers at the store or in the neighborhood all the time. In fact, one teacher lived above my good friend in her apartment building. Maybe I'm just used to it?

    If I do wind up getting a teaching job, it will be in a very small town area...so with the whole two grocery stores, I'm sure I will run into students...
     
  24. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Thank you all so much for all the food for thought! I do think living in the town where I teach would require me to think ahead about certain things, but that might be a good thing. For example, going out and having a few drinks...I would never want students to see me under the influence. There are also some festivals around town where people dress up and I would not want students to see me dressed inappropriately. I hope it doesn't sound like I go around town wasted and scantily clad!! I do like to have fun, though, and I think I would need to be aware of how I presented myself around town. So I think it might be a lifestyle change, but not necessarily for the worse.
     
  25. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I have a 30 minute commute. The salary scale in the district I teach in now is much higher than most districts and I enjoy the population on students I teach. I would prefer to teach in the same district that I live in for an easier commute. I wouldn't mind running into students.
     
  26. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    On a side note, I teach at a school that's about an hour away from Disneyland. A couple weeks ago, I ran into one of my students at Disneyland! I couldn't believe it. It was the first time I'd seen a student outside of school, and it was in line at Disney! Pretty funny, actually.
     
  27. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I've had both experiences and I prefer living in the same community in which I teach.
     
  28. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Ms.Irene, Years ago I ran into students when I was all decked out and not dressed at all like a teacher. They were shocked and I think I said something about dressing appropriately for school is different for dressing appropriately for other events (like a date) and it really was NOT a big deal - that was when I subbed at a middle school in my area. Now I'm at a high school further away but I still sometimes run into students. I actually like it. It makes me feel like I'm part of something bigger. That I am part of the community.
     
  29. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My drive to Orlando is about 22 hours--I ran into a student and his Christmas, one of our teachers was surprised to discover a student on the same cruise she was on!
     
  30. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    For my first job, I lived in the same town and ran into parents and students all of the time. That was fine until my school laid me off and then it was just strange. It wasn't fun for me because parents would come up to me and want the real reason why I wasn't working there any more :(

    For my second job, I live in the next town over. I haven't run into anybody from my school unless I go shopping or go eat in the town that I teach in. I'm much more comfortable with this set up- I feel like I can be myself without having to go into "teacher mode" if someone from my school is around. :) At my school though the parents are kind enough to know it's "me" time and will usually just say hello and move along, which I appreciate (if they have any questions they know they can always call, drop in, or email me later).
     
  31. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I have a 40 minute commute so I do not run into students. I am no longer directly in the classroom so it really doesn't affect me. I haven't ever taught in the community I lived in. Though the district I taught in the last three years was right next to where I lived so I did see students out and about all the time.
     
  32. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    I have done both also. I worked at a christian school in the community I lived in. I saw students sometimes but it was not a problem. They thought it was weird how I didn't wear a shirt and tie to the ymca lol.

    I now work at a school that is about a 45 minute commute. I have also thought about applying to closer districts, I would also think about moving to a closer school but only if it was a really good situation. The school I currently work at is a very good school and it would be hard to leave….. but I do hate having to drive that far every day.
     
  33. HistoryGirl14

    HistoryGirl14 Rookie

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    I substitute teach in the town I live in. I also went to school here and my Mom teaches here. You do see students outside of school sometimes. I think you kind of get used to it, though.

    I know some teachers don't want to work where they live because they don't want to run into parents and students.

    I think it depends on what you feel comfortable with/can adjust to.
     

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