How does "commute" play into your job choices?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    So I recently accepted a new position--in a district I wasn't even really considering due to it being "far away" (my MiL teaches for it and she lives in the Middle of Nowhere two hours away, etc). MiL as well as an old colleague teach there and like the district just fine. I honestly interviewed for the sake of interview practice.

    Now, this school happens to be the closest school to me in that district... and it's not a bad commute at all. When I told people where I was teaching, they would looked shocked "because that's far away" before realizing "wait a hot second, Backroads, you would have a shorter commute than a majority of the schools in the two technically closer districts plus you're going the opposite direction of rush hour traffic? We hate you!"

    Yeah, the commute really worked out.

    How much does commute matter to you?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I usually don't like to commute more than about 20 minutes. So far, in my career I've been lucky. At most of the schools I have worked at, they have been walking distance or no more than 20 minute ride.
    Good luck with the new job. What will you be teaching?
     
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  4. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I want to say this school's commute is give or take 20 minutes. I don't mind it since my last commute to a "closer" school was 15. It's a matter of city traffic vs highway/freeway situations.

    I'm teaching 1st grade.
     
  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I commute 20 minutes to work everyday, back and forth, so 40 minutes in total. It makes a huge difference because I want easy access to work, especially if I forget something in my classroom and I’m on the way home already. There were a few times where I had to get something at home, too, and it only added ten minutes to my commute time because I turned around half-way through.
     
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  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    My commute matters to me, as I think it does to everyone. It's just really about what each of us are willing to put up with. For me, I preferred my 11-minute, mostly city roads commute back when I was single. However, I now drive roughly 35 minutes, mostly on highways in order to live with my significant other and still stay at my school, cause I like it. Eventually, I hope to move closer to my school, but I’m willing to put it with it now because I want what is on both ends of the drive.

    Personally, I find 15 min or less on any type of roadway to be ideal, particularly because my contract time starts at 7:15 in the morning, and it wastes a lot of time when we have evening events at school. I either have to stay at school all night or drive home and then turn around to drive back to school later.
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Also, I think it matters whether we are talking about public transportation in a large city or driving yourself. I didn’t mind a longer commute when I could read on the train. It’s not as pleasant when I have to drive myself.
     
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  8. txbelle

    txbelle Rookie

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    The commute will eventually be important to me but since I'm just starting out I'll take what I can get (within reason of course). I have a realistic goal of teaching in the high school in my town, and where I'm currently going to student teach, by the time my 6th grader is in high school. The high school is 7 minutes from my house. There are plenty of districts around me that I could apply at, but everything is a little more spread out in Texas in the area that I live. Commutes will start at 15 minutes and go up from there, I think I wouldn't want a commute longer than 45 minutes one way though.
     
  9. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    It's vital to me--I don't like anything more than 10 minutes myself, and will move myself near the school if I can.
     
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  10. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    It would be very important to me. I recently had an interview where I decided the commute was just too much. When I started teaching I had a 30 minute commute one way. I would do that again, but wouldn't want much more.
     
  11. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  12. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I commuted quite a long way to work at a great school and live where I wanted. For an average school, I don’t want to drive more than twenty minutes.
     
  13. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I used to drive a half hour to my subbing gigs because that was what I was used to when I was in the private sector (banking and finance). Now, I'm annoyed when traffic turns my 7 minute commute into 11.
     
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  14. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    The longest commute I’ve ever had for work was 20 minutes. That was in college when I worked for a bank located in the next town over. I was never interested in transferring to the bank in my own city because my boss was so kind to me and worked around my crazy school schedule. I worked there 5 years (I began employment the week after high school graduation).

    All the schools in my district are no more than 10 minutes away from home, so I’ve always had a short drive.

    Now that I think about it, I’ve been fortunate career-wise. I’ve only worked for two entities: the bank and my current school district (I’ve been in the workforce for 18+ years).
     
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  15. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    That's the thing I like about living in an apartment- if I got a job farther away, I'd just move. A big part of my decision to take the job in my current school was actually that I really wanted to live on this side of the city. There were a few other factors, but overall the other offer I got at the same time would have been my first choice if I didn't factor location in.

    I do like a little bit of separation though; I wouldn't want to live in the same neighborhood I teach in. I don't want to have to worry about putting on sweatpants to grab something at Walmart and running into three parents/student families there or have to worry about a parent wanting a conference in aisle 3. I was at a PD with some teachers from other schools at the end of the year and one was telling me that several students live in her apartment complex and they've figured out which apartment is hers. No thanks. My 20-30 minute commute is worth never running into students/parents outside of school.

    Like Bella said, I think everyone has different tolerance levels. Several teachers at my school have moved further away over the years (for cheaper housing) and commute an hour or more in bumper to bumper traffic. If I were in that situation I'd definitely be looking to at least see what my options were in closer schools. My teammate was commuting 60 minutes in the morning and 2.5 hours in the afternoon to her previous school (she could leave early in the morning, but there's no escaping traffic any time in the afternoon) because it's the highest paying district in the area. To me, the extra money absolutely wouldn't be worth doing that.
     
  16. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I used to have a 30-45 minute commute depending on traffic. For the last seven years, I’ve had a 10 minute commute, and I LOVE it. I will have a hard time going to a longer commute if I ever switch schools.
     
  17. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I was at the airport in San Francisco (which is two hours away from home) and heard a kid yelling my name. Thankfully, we weren’t on the same flight.

    WalMart? Forget it! I can’t ever go there without running into someone.
     
  18. Camel13

    Camel13 Rookie

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    Perhaps I will break the record. I commute an hour and 15 min one way to my school. That being said the closest school is 20 min away that my daughter attends. Teaching positions are few and far between here and I worked three years in a lab after obtaining my degree. However, even if a closer position opened, I would really struggle to want to change I love my district so much! While the commute is taxing, it gives me a lot of decompression time and brain lesson planning.
     
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  19. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I don’t like driving that much. I planned to move near where I was teaching. I live 4 miles from work, and I can be there in well under 10 minutes 7nless something unusual is happening. Before our new school was built, I drove 2 miles and 1 mile. (I lived in two different places.)

    My DH lived a mile from work for 22 years. Now he’s 25 miles or so away? He doesn’t mind the drive for his last few years before retirement. He loves his school.
     
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  20. whizkid

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    On my salary, it's a huuuuuuge deal! I commute about five minutes to get to work.
     
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  21. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    On a good day my commute is roughly 15mins or so. It's really not that bad a drive, it's through the country backroads and what not. I don't actually go through the city. On the otherside though, in the winter time it can take twice or more that with fresh snow. I haven't actually missed a day of school due to snow yet. There's been days when there's 3 teachers and a cafeteria full of students though. Always fun! I don't really mind the commute, it's not that bad.
     
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  22. rpan

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    The commute is very important to me because I hate driving and wasting time travelling. I live about 1ish miles from school but I pay a lot extra to live in my area that is so close to school. My DH doesn’t mind driving so we moved close to my school while he has a 30 minute commute each way to and from work. I guess it’s personal preference and whether one can afford to hold out for a job that is close to school.
     
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  23. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  24. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    My commute will be about 25 minutes next year. I agree with a previous poster about wanting some distance. I would not want to run into my students and their families all of the time, so I did not want to get an apartment in the same city that I teach in.
     
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  25. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    I completely get where you're coming from on this one. I run into students and their parents all the time in town. It's sometimes good, sometimes not so much. Generally I don't mind and I keep it pretty general greetings and that's it.
     
  26. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    My town is so small that driving 25 minutes just puts me in the same town where we have to go shopping. Plus, that’s the town where DH works, so even when we go 50 miles to the bigger city, we still see someone we know. We have been 25 years each in our districts, so between the two of us, we can’t get away.

    I can see four houses from my house, and one year three of those houses had kids in my class. They didn’t pay any attention to seeing me in my natural habitat. ;)

    One day last year a house burned on our road, and the road was closed. Someone from central office came to pick me and my DH up at th end of the road. As we were walking to meet him, I stopped at the house of a kid in my class and got him, too. Small towns are just different. I like that.
     
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  27. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    In my 1st 3 years, my drive was 24 miles each way. Then, I worked for 1 year driving 64 miles each way. Last year, it was 50. I was re-hired so it'll be another 100-miler round-trip. What saves me so far is that I really like where I am working. Plus, I drive south and then west. Not much blinding sun ahead of me!!
     
  28. TnKinder

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    My commute is about 20-25 minutes depending on traffic one way. The commute time did not influence my choice of schools at all. In my area everywhere is within a 30 minute drive. As it is I don’t teach in my neighborhood so I rarely run into students when I’m out, unless they’ve moved.
     
  29. Been There

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    I forgot to mention earlier how I made good use of my commute time. Instead of listening to music, audio books or self-help tapes, every day on my way home I reflected on the challenges that my underachieving students were experiencing and how I might use multimedia lessons to accelerate the learning process. (When I was at my peak, I would spend another 5-6 hours every evening developing the lessons on my laptop.) The next morning on my way to work, I would spend another hour reviewing everything I needed to do that day, beginning with the moment I stepped into the school. I also practiced what I would say: a) to help certain problematic students, b) to a colleague (shared the same room) who was challenged by the third grade curriculum, or c) at IEP meetings. My solitary commute provided a sustained period of time in which I could think creatively to overcome the challenges of my workplace and was probably instrumental in helping me to reach retirement!
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
  30. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    How big are most of your districts? The three closest to me are all around 700 square miles.

    I drive twenty minutes one way but am at the closest school to my home.
     
  31. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    700 square miles!? That sounds crazy to me! My first district was rural and covered about 100 square miles, and I thought that was huge.

    I just googled my current district; apparently it's 6 square miles :). When traffic is the best, my commute is just under 20 minutes and I drive through 3 other districts to get there.
     
  32. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    One of my former districts in the area (the one I happen to currently live within) is 163 square miles. My current district (about 35 min or 28ish miles away) is 2.76 square miles. I drive through a handful of districts to get there.
     
  33. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    I'm in basically the same boat here. The house beside is to the left have twin boys, but of whom will be juniors at my high school this year. Actually I may potentially have one of them this year. The house directly across me, her grandson is a senior at my school. She's a sweet old lady but I have to avoid her some days. She is forever asking me something, complaining about something, fussing about this that our the other. I mean don't get me wrong she's a sweet lady but she gets on my nerves.
     
  34. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Honestly, this is one of the things I don't miss about teaching--I ran into parents and students everywhere, all the time.
     
  35. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    My county (the district) is 256 square miles. We have five schools: one preschool, one primary, one intermediate, one middle, and one high. Each grade level has between 150 and 200 students.

    If I want to go to a store besides Dollar General, I drive 20 miles to the next county. They are 443 square miles, and they have a Walmart, Kroger, Meijer, and other stores. My DH teaches in that district. They have two high schools, five middle schools, and I’m not sure how many elementary schools.
     
  36. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    My commute is 30-40 minutes, which is a bit further than I prefer. However, I kind of live in the middle of nowhere, so most things are at least 20 minutes away.

    My first job was abotu 5 miles away, and I biked to work on any day that was nice enough! I miss that.
     
  37. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

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    Commute matters alright.

    I started off teaching at a private school that was about 5 minutes from my house. the pay was pretty bad but I wasnt credentialed when I started so it worked. It was nice but I did run into those kids every where. I really did get a bit annoyed at not being able to just do the grocery shopping or post office or other chores in peace and I felt like I needed to be dressed to project a certain level of professionalism at all time. Also My son has special needs, he actually attends a special school now, but while we were in the diagnostic process he was really struggling and everyone in town seemed to know it and I couldn't help but feel like I was considered a failure at teaching when I couldn't "even teach my own kid". It was actually Too close for comfort.

    Then I worked at a charter school 1 hour away. No one knew me and I could totally have a drink in a restaurant without running into parents and see a movie without sitting next to students but.....that school was awful. Add to that the 2 hours a day in the car and the expectation that I would work evenings events (events started at 6 or 6;30 and our contract hours ended at 4:30 but I would have to stay because I couldn't get home and back in that amount of time so these events because 12+ hour work days). and occasional weekend events it was too much driving, the wear and tear on my car and the time wasted and the gas expenses made it not worth it ;)

    Now I work in a neighboring district and my school is about 20 minutes away. Its the best of both worlds and not being stuck on campus for 12 hours or more to attend an evening even has made me much more happy to attend and support my school, rather than dreading and resenting it. :)
     

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