How to decide if you are making a mistake

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Camel13, May 22, 2019.

  1. Camel13

    Camel13 Companion

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    May 22, 2019

    i am completing my second year teaching in a very small rural school as 7-12th science teacher. I absolutely love my job. Of course there are imperfections, but I get along well with staff and admin and love my students who I follow from 7th to 12th grade. The biggest downside is my hour and 15 min commute each way every day. Drive is beautiful but road treacherous between deer and snow in winter.

    There was just posted an opening at my daughter’s school only 15 min away from where I live for a high school science position, but the district is much larger, I would be limited to only a couple grades and I’m afraid I won’t like the change! My current school gives me so much creative freedom! I am literally the science department and created the curriculum map. My husband really thinks I should apply to the closer school, but I would have to tell my principal that I am looking elsewhere and I do not want to seem less committed to our school if I don’t go for this other position in the end. I feel like my gut is telling me to stay where I am, but I also wonder if I am just playing it safe.

    Any insight especially from people who might have made similar decisions and how it turned out in the end?
     
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  3. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    May 22, 2019

    I have been in a similar boat (though 45 minutes was my longest commute). There are a lot of costs associated with a long distance commute to a small school.
    1. Fuel costs
    2. Extra car maintenance costs.
    3. Greater vehicle depreciation.
    4. Extra time spent driving instead of spending time with spouse and children.
    5. Extra time spent working due to having to “do it all.”

    In my experience, administrators have been very understanding and even helpful in applying for closer positions. The phrase, “We understand you need to do what’s best for your family,” is common. I, too, worried about being viewed as less committed to the current district once the cat got out I was applying, but those concerns have been unfounded.

    Next year I will be teaching in my local district with less than a ten-minute drive. I am looking forward to it. It will be a learning curve adapting to the new school but well worth it.

    Having fewer preps at a larger school has benefitted my work-life balance. Sure, by the time the fourth identical Geometry lesson rolls around, I feel like I could teach it in my sleep. But the extra time outside of work from not having to worry about #5 above is well worth it.
     
    futuremathsprof and whizkid like this.
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    May 23, 2019

    OP, I think you are playing it safe, and letting "what if's" run rampant. Without at least following through by submitting an application and possibly interviewing, you will never know if this is a job you might love, or at least like well enough to consider the switch. I have a long commute, with frequent deer hazards, and I have considered a change, but I have a very specific list of things that would have to exist to move, and one of them is the paycheck. I know that I have managed to move up the payscale to the point that it might be hard for another district to beat what I currently have, so that is a real factor. Would I like to work closer to my home? You bet, for all of the reasons JimG has stated. Do I think I would hesitate to tell my principal if the job was truly the same or better? Not in the least. Shopping around is not the same as closing the deal. How do you know if the second job is better or worse without comparing actual facts that you get during an interview? You might find that new job can't come close to what you have, or it could be better. You are playing it safe and making up reasons in your mind that may or may not be real. Can it really hurt to check out the facts? Compare apples to apples!
     
  5. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    May 24, 2019

    To me, saving an hour each way on a commute time is a lot. Those 2 hours a day equals 360 hours which is equal to 45 eight hour work days (or over 51 if you count the work day as 7 hour days). I think if you look a lot closer and go through the complete interview process, you will see if this is a good school for you. For now, I'd do your homework and find out as much as you can about this nearby school, principal, community etc. The time and cost savings is significant.
     
  6. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    May 24, 2019

    My P told me that "it would be crazy for any non-tenured teacher not to look for a job closer to home." So, after my own discussion topic about applying openly or behind their backs, I just outright told the P that I was looking for a new job closer to home "because my not-even-3-year-old car has more than 75,000 miles on it" and he understood. I've asked other co-workers if they would write LORs for me and they all said they would. The AP knows and will write one for me. I think if you approach them with a "there's an opening much closer to my home and I want to apply," they will understand.
     
  7. Camel13

    Camel13 Companion

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    May 29, 2019

    Told my principal and she was totally understanding. Knew she would be but it is hard as I’m so invested in next starting a whole new elective and getting fish to raise for a local hatchery in the classroom to name a couple things.

    But, I am feeling better about things. I just hope I can feel good in my gut if I have a hiring offer on which choice I make.
     

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