I really don't know how much longer I can do this...

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by DrivingPigeon, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Sep 10, 2011

    Teaching, that is. :(

    I know I made a post sometime last year about switching careers, and I'm just feeling really stressed right now. Pretty much all last year I questioned my decision to become a teacher. I thought that switching to my ideal grade might change my mind, and I know it's early in the year, but I still question whether or not I want to teach much longer.

    I'm basically sick and tired of working 2 jobs to make ends meet, and barely making $38,000 between the two. I work about 70 hours a week and I'm burnt out. Switching grades has made my life even more stressful. I just want a life. I have to leave right away after school to go to my 2nd job, I work Saturdays, and I have to go in Sunday to do my lesson plans.

    I also think our job is only getting more difficult: higher class sizes, less support, all of the stuff going on here in Wisconsin...I just don't think I want to do it much longer. :(

    Has anyone else ever second-guessed teaching as a career?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Do you think that you might just need to switch to a job in a better-paying district? I am only in my 6th year, but I make quite a bit more than 38k, and I'm in one of the lowest-paying states. There's got to be another, better-paying teaching job out there for you. Is it worth it to start looking?
     
  4. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Yikes! That sounds awful. I know teaching is the highest paid profession around, but if money if the real issue, have you considered moving?

    In this area, except for one or two districts, new teachers with a masters will start at $48-52,000. The cost of living is fairly high, but it is definitely doable, even if you live a little further out.
     
  5. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oh my gosh! You're really burning the candle at both ends. That district doesn't seem to be one of the better paying ones. I agree that you can't continue on like this, working your fingers to the bone.

    I personally would probably get out of teaching if this is what you have to look forward to yrs down the road. I personally haven't had to deal w/ that kind of pay.

    I truly hope you find a solution!
     
  6. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Teachers in my area start at around $32,000 (in all of the surrounding districts). I live in Wisconsin, though, so things are only getting worse. Next year we're expecting huge layoffs, and possibly more pay cuts. My little district is facing more than $3 million in cuts. Beginning this month I will be making about $200 less, because of the new "budget repair bill." Plus, there isn't anywhere to look for a job in Wisconsin with all of the cuts. And I don't want to leave my family and friends to move to another state for my job.

    I don't know, it's not just the money...I just think so much is put on teachers and the stress is just overwhelming, and it's only going to get worse (at least around here). I just feel like there must be something better for me out there...A job that I don't wake up in the middle of the night stressing about, a job where I don't have to work Sundays, a job where I can leave at the end of the day and sometimes not take work home. I do like teaching, but I hate how it is my life...I don't really have a life outside of teaching.
     
  7. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Sep 11, 2011

    I thought about that a lot when I was younger and single. A LOT. I never knew what it was that I wanted to do instead, though so I'm still teaching.

    Good luck to you.
     
  8. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    I think part of your problem is the 2nd job. Look closely at your family expenses and see what you can trim, move to a smaller apt., take in a roommate, cancel HBO, look at clothing expenses. Really look at your expenses. If you want to continue teaching at that salary, something has to give.
     
  9. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    I agree. Maybe creating a family budget so that you can quit the second job may help to relieve somehow the stress. It may be also the shock of things changing for the worse. It's hard to compare what it was to what it is now specially when things change for the worse.

    I've heard on the news about how Wisconsin is treating their teachers and I just hope that those same laws don't come to us to Illinois but it looks like it is very likely to happen. This year we are semi protected by our contract but once June comes, I know things are going to get really bad. Unfortunately, our union president is very weak and ineffective.

    Interesting how only Milwaukee and Chicago are the only cities to have the residency requirement for teachers. This could mean that Chicago's laws may just follow after Milwaukee's. It already happened with the new anti-teachers law that was was signed a few months after the one from Winsconsin. I think that I better start mentally preparing for what's to come.
     
  10. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Sep 11, 2011

    Offer to step up and get involved in your association and support the president. It is a tough, time-consuming job.
     
  11. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Here's the thing:
    -I am 29 and single.
    -I do not own a TV.
    -I have a computer that is 8 years old, and I do not have the internet.
    -I own a car that is 10 years old, and in very bad condition, but I'm driving it until I can't possibly drive it anymore because I can't afford a new one.
    -I live in the cheapest 1-bedroom apartment I could find (other than one that was $50 cheaper, but in a very unsafe neighborhood).
    -I go clothes shopping once a year, and spend about $200.
    -I use coupons, buy generic, etc.
    -I stick to a very strict budget.
    -I'm on the most affordable cell phone and car/renter's insurance plans that I could find.

    I have looked over my budget countless times, and there is nowhere else to cut. :( Without the second job I would not be able to pay all of my bills.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Would it be helpful to post your monthly expenses? Maybe we can help with a budget. After taxes, it looks like you probably make between $2,000 and $2,500 per month. Without a car payment, cable, or internet, and with coupons and limited shopping, I'm not seeing where all your money is going every month.
     
  13. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I think that's a good idea, Caesar.

    Also, someone suggested looking into another district that pays more. I think that's a good idea as well.
     
  14. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Sure, I wouldn't mind posting, but I'm going to wait and see what this upcoming paycheck is going to be. I don't know what it will come to with our new insurance and retirement plans, so I plan on re-doing my budget this week.

    A lot of my money goes to student loans, and credit card debt. And I still have a car payment-even though my car is really old, I have only owned it for 3 years. It's almost paid off, though!
     
  15. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    As I have been thinking about this more and more the past few days, I think what I would really love to do in life is be a stay-at-home mom. I want kids so badly, and I would love to be a full-time mom. Sounds like a dream. :)
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Those are years I'll always treasure.

    But, since it's the topic under discussion, they were a huge pain in the pocketbook.

    It's HARD to support a family on one salary, even with outside work. It's taken us quite some time to recover financiallly, but it was worth every bit.
     
  17. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    :yeahthat:
    What Alice said times 2! I stayed home for 15 years - mostly because we moved and I couldn't get a job in districts that didn't know me. Financially really difficult but I wouldn't turn back the clock if I could. I certainly support anyone who wants to do it!
     
  18. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Destroy your credit cards! Do not buy anything on credit. Start moving towards completely paying off one credit card every month or every few months if possible. Consider consolidating the debt into one debt of the lowest interest possible. Then move towards not using credit cards for anything. If you have a lot of debt I would consider contacting a debt counselor; otherwise it will not matter what job you do, you will always be in the red.
     
  19. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I haven't used credit cards in 2 1/2 years. I have been working on paying them off ever since.

    The good news is my boyfriend makes decent money, so being a stay-at-home mom might be possible for me someday. :)
     
  20. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    Sep 11, 2011

    I may get slammed for this, but so be it. Please don't put all your hopes in this one statement. I know life is hard and it would be so much easier if only...... If I ever learned one important lesson in life it was this one that my dad taught me. Always strive to be able to stand tall and stand proud on your own two feet. Never depend on a man or anyone else to do for you what you can do for yourself. If you do that, then one day when that right man comes along he'll see you for who you are, an honest hardworking woman who wants good for both of you. Now, I am not saying that this does or does not apply to you. I think that there is something to this message for me. If there is for you, take it or leave it. I guess I am just saying that I find it easiest to live in the moment even if in this moment I'm working myself to death and I'm still in debt and two feet behind in all that I have to do. I hope this helps.
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I agree absolutely. Lots and lots of those "decent money" jobs have disappeared in the past few years.

    Do what you have to in order to earn a living wage for yourself. If someday things work out with you and your boyfriend, and you're able to be a SAHM, wonderful.

    And if they don't, for whatever reason, you'll still have that living wage.

    And if you don't get to be a SAHM, that's OK too. Lots and lots of us here work full time. It takes some juggling, but it's doable.

    Like everything else in life, parenting is about juggling conflicting priorities. It takes some doing, but it can be done.
     
  22. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Soooo true!!!!
     
  23. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Oh, don't worry-I don't depend on anyone right now. I have been completely independent financially since I was 19 years old. I wrote an essay to my university to qualify for independent status on my student loans because my parents were not supporting me financially. I worked 2-3 jobs throughout college, while taking 18-21 credits/semester. My boyfriend and I aren't even engaged, so kids are not in the picture anytime soon! I'm just saying that someday it may be a possibility for me. As others have said, it would be difficult financially, but I would love to be a SAHM.
     
  24. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I never ever thought I would say it, but I also hope I can do the SAHM thing one day. As is, the BF is making enough for me to do my other dream - go back to school full time for my PhD.

    I was much in the same boat as you - cheap apartment, minimal luxuries, paying minimum on credit cards. I am sad to say that the only way I got out of the cycle was when I moved in with my BF and we had a dual income. It makes me angry that single teachers have such a hard time supporting themselves.
     
  25. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I hate to sound like I'm greedy, but I can't stop thinking about the fact that you make 38k a year! I'm a (single) homeowner and there's no way I could pay my bills on that salary.
     
  26. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I'm in the same boat drivingpigeon. I make about what you make with my 2nd job and summer job included as well (of course, that's before taxes, insurance, retirement, everything is taken out) and it's very hard. We also took a 2% cut this year. I live in an extremely high cost of living area and they simply don't pay teachers fairly for what it costs to live here- and they wonder why no one stays more than a few years? My salary is the same that it would be had I landed a job in my hometown, where the cost of living is at least 3 times less what it is here. I LOVE living on my own and having my own place- and I live in affordable housing so that I can do that. I adore my school, but because of the location I'm planning on looking to move on after this school year. If I don't find another position though and end up having to stay here, I don't see how there is any way to do it without having a roommate. Is that a possibility for you? I don't like the idea myself, but as a last ditch resort it would work- that would cut my rent and many of my bills in half. Then I could at least ditch the 2nd job and keep my summer job, which I don't mind anyway. It's just SO hard to work an entire 8 hour day at school, then go to work at my other job so I'm up to 11 hours before I ever even start doing all the "extras" like grading, planning, IEPs, etc. Like I said, I love living on my own but I'm starting to think being able to trade that for just teaching during the year with no 2nd job might just be worth it. Teaching is so time consuming already!
     

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