Difficult decision...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Rabbitt, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Aug 7, 2015

    I have been offered a 2nd grade position in a different district. My dilemma:

    I do have a position in a district that I have taught for 24 years.
    I began the job search because I did not like the direction my school is going. Some decisions are not what I believe in as an educator. Other veteran teachers have left this district for the same reason.

    Now I am second guessing taking the position because I would lose 100 sick days, my heart is with the small community (K-12 in one building), I will add 20 minutes to my commute each way, I will be required to get my masters degree, and well, it's a big change after 24 years.

    My husband wants me to take the jump.

    Does anyone have a thought that I may not be considering?

    It sure has helped me typing it all out as I am pretty sure it is now more clear which decision is best. :lol:
     
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  3. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Will your pay be comparable? Around here you rarely find a district that will credit you more than 5 years. (Which is why the district I worked in last year is full of aging, miserable teachers. They can't afford the $20,000 (or more) pay cut to be happy again.)
     
  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Giraffe brings up a good point... For me, being single, that would matter. Maybe your husband makes enough money that it won't be a deal-breaker for you.

    For me, I tend to go with my gut. In fact, I am losing three years of credit by changing districts this year, plus missing out on being vested in the state retirement system. Had I listened to the logic in my head, I wouldn't have left. However, my gut/heart told me that it was time to leave, so I did. From what it sounds, your gut is telling you to move on. Your head, in an attempt to be logical, is telling you to stay. Don't let fear stop you.
     
  5. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Realistically how many more years do you see yourself teaching before you retire? Does switching districts affect your pension this late in the game?

    I will always leaning towards choosing a happy environment but at the same time I wouldn't want to throw away years of investment in my pension.

    It's a hard decision to make.
     
  6. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    The grass isn't always greener... Are you certain you will be happy in the new position? Do you know the new school won't make the same changes your current one has made? Do you even want to get your Masters?

    Just things to think about. I had a friend leave this year for similar reasons. She wasn't miserable, but she didn't like the direction we were headed a few years down the line. She chose a different district, that looked great on paper, but she is now miserable and looking for a way out.
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 8, 2015

    I think the opposite is true. It seems that you really are feeling the urge to stay. There are lots of positives if you stay. When you retire, will you be able to cash in those sick days?

    In my opinion, salary may be the biggest determining factor.
     
  8. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    Aug 8, 2015

    In my state you can take your sick leave with you. Are you sure you will lose your sick leave?

    I ask this because for me my sick leave would be a major factor. I have had some health issues lately, and cancer was a major concern. If it was cancer, and I didn't have my sick leave my family would be in some major trouble!
     
  9. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    My current pay is quite low and my new pay would be the same even without the years experience. I stayed before for seniority but that is now gone in WI.
     
  10. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    You hit it right on the nose. I am not happy in my current position. Just 5 years ago I would have said I will without a doubt retire in that district. Now I think I'm still hanging on to those glory years. I started getting my application stuff ready mid-year because I had enough. I've had that attitude until the job was actually presented. Glory years may not return in the new job, however I feel I can accept the change better. If not, maybe I will accept that teaching is no longer for me.
     
  11. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    I would say I need to teach another 15 years. I do not see how it will affect my pension. I better look into that.
     
  12. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    As of now...I would not get my sick leave paid. But who knows in 15 years? Salary and benefits are not different enough to make that much of an issue.
     
  13. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Talking with those veteran teachers that have recently left has helped lots. My pension follows me. Most are quite happy that they left but miss each other and those glory years we had when our school and moral shined.

    I also find it odd that they have given me better than a week to decide.
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    If the salary and benefits are similar, I would switch. We've had a lot of teachers from a nearby district transfer to ours with 15-20 years of experience. Although we only offer experience credit for 8 years, they said there had been so many budget cuts that their salary didn't take a huge hit. They are all happy they've made the switch.
     
  15. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Honestly, the more you post, the more it sounds like you want to leave. If it helps, here is what I kept thinking as I tried to make my decision to stay or leave: "I'm not happy where I'm at. If I stay, I still won't be happy. I may be secure but not happy. I may or may not be happy in the new place, but at least I will give myself the opportunity to try to be happy. When I look ahead a year from now, I just can't imagine still being in the same place, doing the same thing." That, along with support from my most trusted family and friends, led me to turn a blind eye to logic and follow my gut.

    24 years is a long time to have been teaching but so is 15 years. You still have a lot of time left. If you already know that staying won't make you happy, it's probably time to move on. This is especially true when your husband and past colleagues are supporting the idea. No one can guarantee it won't be a mistake or a "grass is always greener" situation, but what is the alternative? Continued unhappiness? It's not worth it to not take the leap, in my opinion.

    I wish you the best in making your decision.
     
  16. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Go for it! That's the biggest concern in my opinion other than losing sick days, that stinks but overall you'll be happier trying a new district that seems to be different than where you are now.

    Good luck in your decision!
     
  17. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Maybe your sick leave won't be paid if you leave, but that is not the same as if it goes with you. In Ohio it would go with you (if it is public to public), but Scott Walker may have different ideas!
     
  18. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    There are worse things than having to earn your masters degree. Generally, I am inspired and feeling most alive when I am taking classes. There is a lot to be said for showing your students that you believe what you teach - being a life-long learner doesn't end at graduation from high school, or college. It is a way of life, and it colors how we view the world. When we continue to expand our knowledge base, we are more alive and vibrant. I don't think I could spend years in the classroom without learning more, growing. Just a thought.
     
  19. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I totally skimmed over the master's part when I read the OP the first time. Will the new district pay you significantly more when you complete the degree? Besides the significant time commitment involved, the money is something to consider. Degrees tend to be costly- I spent about $11,000 on mine and really looked around for a good deal. Many that I looked at would have been $20,000 or more. Many districts around here have gone to pay for performance and either pay little or no extra money for teachers that have MA degrees, so if you can even make the money that you spent on getting it back at all, it takes years and years to just break even. My district does still have a traditional pay scale and I currently make $7,000 more per year (and that will go up each year as well) than someone with just a BA, so it was worth for me but I'm finding salary scales like mine are becoming more rare.
     
  20. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    15 more years is a long time. Sometimes all we need is a fresh new start.
    Go with the one that you think would make you more happy.
    Don't want to sound cliche, but you only live once! You gotta enjoy life, and your job is a huge part of your life.
     
  21. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    I was thinking THIS very same thing as I was reading through the posts.

    I hope you do take the chance to go. Because you just never know! :)
     
  22. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Here in NJ, most districts would pay about $10000 towards your masters degree. I have heard from others that this is not a common benefit, but it would be worth pursuing if possible.
     
  23. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    Masters Degree is a lot of work. I know because I am in the middle of getting mine right now. That would be great if you got reimbursed. I do not. It raises your pay by about $1000 a year here.
     
  24. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    The Masters degree is one thing I do not see in the handbook. It was only mentioned at interview. That will be a good question for Monday. I have not pursued one because of the cost and lack of raise.
     
  25. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Well said Bella. This is exactly what I needed to hear.

    Today my husband asked about my doubts. I told him that being away from there for 2+months makes it not seem that bad. His response "Oh, it was badddd honey. You have the most tolerance, compassion, and patience and you lost that a lot the past couple of years."

    It's time to give myself that opportunity.
     
  26. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Aug 14, 2015

    I took the position. Borrowed a trailer and moved it all out. Wow there was a lot! Didn't leave the new teacher much as the bookshelves, chairs, radios, marker boards, curtains, tubs, totes, and nearly all books were mine. She/he will have one kidney table, one round table, a file cabinet, and 13 student desks.

    Moving it all in Monday! I have two retired teacher friends coming Tuesday to help me. This weekend I'm making name tags, spray painting chairs/shelving, adding contact paper to file cabinet and shelving, and using cricut for wording. I know the room is minus curtains so I will have to measure those windows and see what I can whip up. Maybe just valences.

    Come Wednesday-Monday will hopefully all be getting to know the curr, technology, and materials. Tuesday 24-26 in-service. I'll be the only grade 2 teacher but grades 1&3 and 2 sections each. So I will meet with them to see where I proceed. 21 students.
     
  27. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I'm very happy for you and glad that you took the leap! I hope everything works out for the best and that you feel reinvigorated by the change. Enjoy it!
     
  28. Banana0

    Banana0 Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2015

    I would have moved too. 15 years isn't exactly a brief period of sticking it out. Best of luck on your new job!


    Edit to add: May we all have enough passion and conviction to make a big change after 24 years. I've known a lot of veteran teachers that are burned out and no longer care this much. It's inspiring and encouraging to those of us that are newbies!
     
  29. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Thank you! It was a difficult decision. I was in a K-12 building before and still attended their HS football game last evening. I NEED them to know I still hold them deeply in my heart.
     
  30. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Congrats on your move. I know how difficult a decision it can be. In 2003 I had to decide whether I was going to stay in my small town in KY and hope that a decent position would come open or move two states away and take a position where I hadn't even met the principal or seen the school. BEST decision I've ever made. Good luck on your new endeavor.
     
  31. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Good luck in your new position!
     
  32. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Aug 17, 2015

    It's moving day! My stuff has never looked this fresh or been this organized. Hope it all fits like a puzzle into my new room. Tomorrow I have 2 friends and 2 nieces to help me make the room 'look' ready. School has a Peanuts theme this fall. I'll try to post photos. Haven't done that before on here.
     
  33. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Today is my moving day too! Hoping it's quick and painless for us both!
     
  34. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Good luck!!
     
  35. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Aug 17, 2015

     
  36. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Thank you for your sympathy. It has been unfortunate.
     
  37. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Sep 5, 2015

    I want to thank each of you for your support. My decision to move on was the right one.

    Some things that are different to me now...
    1. Lower number of low income students makes a huge difference
    2. Lunch prior to recess is amazing
    3. AC is an asset
    4. Daily 5 does work well with larger numbers (although it's only been 4 days)
    5. Homes have internet access.
    6. Putting class work online is challenging me but I'm sure it will get easier
    7. lounge fun does still exist

    Again, thanks!
     
  38. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Oh and the commute is only about 10 minutes longer each way than the predicted 20. Morning traffic isn't as bad as expected at 6:30.
     
  39. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Glad to hear the new position is going great!!!
     
  40. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Glad to hear things are starting out well!!
     

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