Help Making Decisions...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Sam Pasterano, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. Sam Pasterano

    Sam Pasterano New Member

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    Jul 25, 2019

    in 2014, I graduated with a certification to teach PK-4 and just recently tested up to 5-6. I worked as a day to day sub for several years and then two years ago I landed a "permanent substitute" position at the district of my dreams. This means that I have been keeping a spot warm for contracted employees that get 3 years off (unpaid) per child they have. People have 3+ kids and take 9+ years off. I have my own self-contained classroom and all the duties that come along with it.

    For the past two years, they have treated me as a warm body filling a classroom while they hire from the outside for full-time contracts. They make me go through the whole interview process every time they have an opening. I have done 5 rounds of interviews at the district I work for. In my position, I do very well. The parents, students, and my co-workers love me, I get great test scores, and I am an active contributor to the school (after school clubs, informal training for the teachers, etc.) They will not hire me. If they hire someone from within (another sub), it is obvious that they knew someone.

    At the end of this last school year, the principal "let me go" and told me it wasn't anything I did, I just wasn't as good as the competition to make it to the final round of interviews. I packed up my room, hugged my co-workers, and cried for a week. I picked myself up and made plans to continue applying everywhere within 2 hours of me and applied for a master's program. Two weeks later, they called me and asked me to return to my same 3rd-grade spot for another year (something the secretary told me the principal had planned since before school ended). I accepted because, at the time, I had nothing lined up and need the money. I am married and have three small kids.

    However, I was offered the job of a one-year sub at another district an hour away. The pay is the same in both places but the atmosphere at the new school is significantly better. It's also in the teacher's contract that subs are considered first when hiring. Likewise, if I did get a contracted spot, the school will pay for my Master's Program at the local university. This is the same university that I applied to earlier in the summer and got into today. I would not, however, be able to attend this year's classes since I would be driving home as class starts. It also would take a huge toll on my family. My mother in law would have to drive the kids around to their different schools in the morning (one has to be at school at 7am). My husband also works a swing shift which means most of the after school stuff I do on my own, dragging all three kids along. This would be a big problem for us.

    My question is this, what would you do? They are both one-year positions:

    1. GOOD FOR MY FAMILY: The district where my kids go, love the teachers and families, 5 minutes from home, can work on my master's at my own cost, NEVER getting hired, and going through pointless interviews every few months

    2. GOOD FOR MY CAREER: A school that is a great fit for me, 1 hour both ways on a bad highway with bad traffic, have to disrupt kids with before and after school timing issues, cannot work on my master's but will be able to in the future for free IF I get hired, loan forgiveness after three years.
     
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  3. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    Jul 25, 2019

    Does the master's program offer an online format?
     
  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jul 25, 2019

    Ultimately, I think you have to do what your gut tells you to do. You should probably get your husband’s input, as well.

    If it were me, I’d go with #1. Stay where you are. If you didn’t have the three small kids, I’d go with #2, but I think you need to put them first. Not necessarily for them but for you. I think you’ll end up regretting the strain that your work puts on you as a mother. It may not be best for your career right now, but it doesn’t sound like you are in a horrible place. When your kids are a bit older, you can look into advancing your career, but, for now, I don’t see any urgent need to put additional strain on your family.

    Again, though, ignore my advice if it goes against what your gut is telling you. You’ve gotta do what’s right for you.
     
  5. Sam Pasterano

    Sam Pasterano New Member

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    Jul 25, 2019

    Yes, I am in an online program but it has set class times where you have to be online and I would still be driving home.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Jul 25, 2019

    I'm with Bella on this. Why add a much longer commute to the equation if you don't have to? You have had limited exposure to "know" that the atmosphere is "significantly better" in school #2. Even if it says that permanent subs have to be considered first for available positions, that means very little. Oh, we should consider Ms. X - done, now who are the real candidates? I would suggest having your resume updated and refreshed, and my personal choice would be to use someone who does this for a living. Best money I ever spent. A fresh resume that shows the growth and skills that your job has provided may not be adequately portrayed in your current resume, but that's just my opinion.
     
  7. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    Jul 26, 2019

    Ok, so it's a synchronous class. Gotcha.
     
  8. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

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    Jul 27, 2019

    I agree with the others on going with your gut. As someone who has coped with my husband's long commute, I would caution you, especially as you have young children. His commute added a whole new stress level to our home life with kids, and he was on the road so much of the time, he missed a large part of their formative years, which became a big issue during adolescence. I'm not saying you won't be there for your children, but in our family, the reality of the commute was harder in fact than in theory. If you do choose to go with the new district, would it be possible to lengthen your day and stay on campus and do your online class at your school site and drive home after? I wish you the very best.
     
  9. Sam Pasterano

    Sam Pasterano New Member

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    Jul 28, 2019

    So the day after I posted, I called and told the farther away school's Principal that I could not take the position. I called his two phone numbers and after no answer, I left a message (it was a Friday) I wanted him to have enough time to get someone in the spot as soon as possible. He called me right back and said, "would you answer change if it was a permanent contract?" He explained that he had the potential to move people around and open a contract. He asked me to at least commit to interviewing for the contract, which I will if he calls this week. I feel like this is something that doesn't happen very often and I am incredibly grateful. I will definitely take the permanent contract if offered as it is extremely hard to find a position in my area.
     
  10. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Aug 7, 2019

    Good luck. I hope it all works out for the best.

    While I was reading your original post, I found myself getting angry and frustrated for you. It sounds like district #1 likes to hold on to good subs by not hiring them. I've been in that position, and I've known other people who've had this happen to them. It is such a slap in the face. If small children where not part of the equation I'd say jump at the opportunity to work at district #2, but you have to do what is right for you.
     
  11. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

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    Aug 7, 2019

    I'd stay at number 1 for the sake of my kids. I had a long commute at 1 time too. It was not worth the toll on me time wise or the toll on my car. I was driving in the dark too much and hit moose 2 different times totaling rigs.
    While your kids are young, cherish what time you have with them.
    The way your district treats subs is wrong. They do the same thing here too. When they find a good sub, they keep them a sub.
    Jobs are hard to come by here too. I have known a lot of certified teachers who work as aides. They are more likely to get bumped up if a teaching position opens. I know others who never got jobs in teaching and went on to different careers.
    I have never heard of 3 years off per baby. Where do you teach?
     
  12. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

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    Aug 11, 2019

    So, I am gonna go against the grain on this one because my perspective is a little different as a single mom-I always have to find a way to make it all work out on my own and I have to keep my eyes on the long term.

    I would go with school 2 and move my kids there. Then you can drive them yourself. IF you have to be signed in at a certain time for you online class have your oldest log you in on your phone and be your help (obviously if your oldest is younger than the 3rd grade this wont work-but at the very least you can log in and use text to speech on you phone to read to you the postings

    If you need to work then you need to start moving in the direction that will have some job stability for you. Being told that your "not as good" as the others interviewed makes it pretty clear that you will never get hired there permanently and never have any job security. Thats even riskier when you have spent the money out of pocket for a masters and are sitting on more debt. If the new school will give you a permanent position you jump at it and get flexible in how to make it work.
     
  13. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Aug 14, 2019

    You might also be able to find before and after school care so you can drop them off earlier! I saw a sign for this type of service for kids in my home district and the bus takes the kids to school from the care site then takes them back to be picked up by the parents.
     
  14. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    Aug 14, 2019

    If it were me, I would go with the job closer to home. I would maybe change my mindset and ask, what can I do to be better than the people they are hiring? See if you can put on the school play, organize a reading or math tutoring club after school, make them WANT you more. How can you move out of, she's great at filling in to we need her here at our school. You can do this. When we lived in Connecticut, getting a job was very, very difficult. I went on so many interviews, I was selected as a finalist so many times just to hear we went with the other candidate. I thought I was going to turn into an alcoholic from drinking after all the NOs. But finally, I didn't get the job and it was at the BEST school. God knew where I needed to be and I had to be patient and it happened. You can change their mindset. One time I was subbing before getting a job here in Georgia and the teacher left me plans to read Number the Stars. I used to do that as a unit too and pulled out my files and added that to my notes at the end of the day, just as a suggestion stating to feel free to use or toss. That teacher called me thanking her for the extra materials. I think those little things may be what you need to try before you give up! Good luck Sam! I am sure you have what it takes!
     
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