I think I just made a very difficult decision...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mellz Bellz, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    Sep 8, 2013

    I've really struggled towards the end of last school year up until now about my future in the teaching profession. Unlike many others who make these kind of posts, I genuinely do LOVE teaching. I think I'm good at it and despite all the hard work I find it very rewarding.

    As some of you may know from previous posts I moved down to NC from NY four years ago to find a teaching job. I had been subbing for over three years in NY and the job prospects were grim. I had hoped that by moving down to NC and securing a stable job, I would make enough money to really finally get my life in gear.

    Within these past 4 years the education system in NC has turned upside down. For the past 4 years I've been working without a raise. Insurance, gas, groceries etc. have continued to increase, but my paycheck has stayed the same. I had hoped to someday when I got on my feet to complete my Masters for extra pay. NC voted to cut Masters pay to any teacher who does not already have their Masters by the end of the school year. I'd be up for tenure at the end of this school year, but NC cut teacher tenure as well. I'd like to in the future go for my National Boards, but I unfortunately forsee that incentive going away too and even if it doesn't I don't know where I'd find the extra money to finance it.

    I definitely did not get into teaching for the money. I knew I was never going to be making a six figure a year salary. What I was not prepared for was only making just enough money to pay my bills each month. Having to worry that if one thing broke down or if one emergency popped up, I'd be screwed. I went to college to get a degree so that I could find a job where I could live comfortably. Where I could afford the occasional vacation or occasional luxury item. Now I can barely find the money to get a haircut. The stress of living like this is eating me up. I live in constant fear of not being able to afford the essentials.

    Living in a rural area, there aren't very many job opportunities for additional employment and I am stuck at school most days from 7:15am-5:00pm. The expectations and amount of work being thrown at us is insane especially considering that our paychecks have less and less value.

    I've been going back and forth now for months trying to decide if I should A) Keep teaching and just grin and bear it or B) Move back home to NY with my parents, find another job (most likely in a different sector) and try to get myself back on my feet. As I said, I love teaching, but I just can't afford to keep doing it. Finally, today after reading some articles online and seeing that things really are not going to get better within the next two years, I think I've finally reached a decision. With a heavy heart, I've decided that this will be my last school year. Come June I'm going to move back home. It's really going to suck being 30 and back at home living with Mom and Dad, but if I really feel like I'm going to have to take a step back in order to ultimately move forward. I don't know what I'm going to do once I get there. Maybe try to find a retail job or become a TA while I look at unemployment offices, maybe take some civil service tests... I'm hoping another opportunity will present itself. This is probably the toughest decision I've ever had to make in my life, but in the end teaching is just a job. Teaching is all I have down here. I'm single and the few friends I do have here are already married. At least in NY I'll have my family and friends and I'd rather have my family than some job anyway.

    I don't regret these four years at all. In fact, I think that they have made me who I am today. I've learned so much about responsibilty and independence and just life. I never went away to college so in a sense maybe these 4 years have been my "college experience." My heart belongs to NY though and although I've loved the south, it's just way too different from NY. I never really felt completely comfortable here.

    My plan is to try as hard as I can to stick out this school year because I think that it would be a unprofessional to quit halfway through and would send a bad message to my students. I'm just praying that I can get through this year without any major disasters. Sorry for the long post and thanks for listening to me vent.
     
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    :hugs:
     
  4. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    :hugs: Mellz. I know this has to be a difficult decision. I wish you all the best.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Hugs, Meliz.
     
  6. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    Thank you guys for your support. It's a shame that so many young, talented, engaging teachers are finding themselves in this boat. Hopefully someday the powers that be will realize what they are doing to our nation's youth.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    :hugs: and prayers, mellz.
     
  8. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    To the OP - You and I are so alike. I relocated to NC from RI 6 years ago to start my teaching career. I have not yet decided to stay or leave but the question plagues me daily. I completely understand the feeling of impending financial doom. I get so angry when people say things like, "Well you're a teacher, did you expect to make lots of money?" Of course not, but I at least thought I'd get a cost of living raise! I signed my new lease the other day. My rent has increased 4 out of every 6 years, but my salary hasn't kept up. I earned my tenure last June but by July it was already worthless. I was beginning to feel like I had reached a wall in my professional development and I had my eyes on my Master's. It was around that time talks of cutting Master's pay began and I decided to hold off. I'm thankful I did, or else I'd be thousands of dollars in debt with nothing to show for it.

    This summer I started therapy. I'm not depressed, I don't have a background that haunts me. I just want to be a better person. One of the major things I have been working on is my decision to move back home or stick it out. I LOVE my school, I LOVE my city, this is HOME now. It makes me sick to think of turning my back on this new life I've created simply because I can't afford to keep going. Like Mellz mentioned, going home means leaving teaching and that's a scary idea I'm not ready to commit to.

    Hugs to everyone in NC living through this awful age in education :(
     
  9. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    It sounds like you feel better or at least relieved to have made this decision. The good news is that the end of the school year is far away, so if you have any doubts, you'll figure it out and the final decision will be the right one.
    Hopefully some things will change for the better. But in this situation, it just seems like you did your part (think, feel, take your time, decide) and whatever is supposed to happen will happen.
    I wish that the best possible outcome will happen.
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Many hugs, Mellz. Following your heart is the important part, and yours is leading you back to New York. Who knows? You might find yourself recalled and rededicated to teaching later.
     
  11. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    Thanks! I know a lot of teachers in NC are going through this and I suspect that I'll probably be one of many who leave the profession for this very reason. I too was going to counseling last year, but had to stop when my insurance went up and it was going to cost me $70 a session. It's a tough place for teachers in NC. I feel for you.

    Yea, I'm not ruling out teaching forever. My NY license is now expired and you do still have to have your Masters there. I'm not in a position to go back to school right now, but if I can teach for a year or two on a provisionary license that might be an option. Jobs unfortunately are really hard to find even in surrounding states like NJ, CT, and PA.
     
  12. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I'm sorry, Mellz Bellz. I hope you're able to find something that works for you ASAP. I don't blame you one bit. :hugs:
     
  13. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    My RI license is also expired and you also need your Master's in RI. We really are in the same boat :) I don't know what I would need to do to get my RI license current again. I know NC and RI have reciprocal agreements, which is how I was able to "transfer" my RI license to NC.
     
  14. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I feel for you. I left and have never looked back. My situation was different in that I have a spouse who could support us if needed, but if I was on my own I could not have made it. I looked to higher Ed and I love it. Consider positions like academic advisor, student support and/or services, or other college positions and it may reinvigorate you!
     
  15. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Big :hugs:. I hope things improve for you. Hey, no shame in being 30 and moving back home. Sometimes you just do what you've got to do, and it sounds like that is a very logical step in finding your way. ;)

    I, too, feel like I'm on the bubble of making that decision. The education system here in Oklahoma, and my district in general, is going down the toilet. DH and I just talked about a few hours ago, in fact. It sucks. I feel like I'd be a quitter, but there's a point where enough is enough. I am tired of having so much patience for other people's kids and the day-to-day demands on my time that I'm so worn thin I don't feel like I have anything left for my own child. Anyway, sorry to insert my mini rant into yours. It's hard to job seek when you basically have three months out of the year to hope something comes along. I have to be honest, though, if the right thing came along during the school year it'd be very tempting. :(

    I hope things work out for you.

    Beth
     
  16. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    :hugs::hugs::hugs:
     
  17. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    :hugs:, Mellz Bellz.
     
  18. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Praying that no matter where your road takes you that you're in a place of contentment and feeling much self-worth. :)
     
  19. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Thanks for that post. I think there are a lot of teachers who are going through similar things and would appreciate reading your post. I really wish you the best.
     
  20. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    This could be me writing your post. I moved to NC about 10 years ago for the sole purpose of teaching. I am from a very small town in a very small state. I had so much hope and I loved living here for the first 6 years. Now, it's all we can do to make ends meet. I have picked up a second job. My life is a little different than yours, as I am married and have a son. But, my husband is a state employee too, so his job isn't too much better. We do not spend frivolously, but we have a lot of medical bills that had to go on credit cards. We don't even own a home. We rent a 3 bedroom apartment. We can't buy a home because we don't have the money for a down payment, and we technically make too much for any assistance. We have also chosen to not buy a house because we would never be able to pay for the upkeep. A simple home improvement would mean more credit card debt. I am jealous of all of my college friends who decided to go into other fields. They are all growing and advancing in their careers, which means more money. Then here I am working my arse off daily and getting $31,000/year basically until I retire. I love teaching too, and I can't imagine not doing what I do. I will keep you in my prayers, and I sincerely hope you find something that makes you happy when you move. :hugs:
     
  21. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I am so sorry that your dream is not working out, but NC, and other states, are making the profession untenable for many. Good luck as you chart your new path.
     
  22. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I'm in NC too. This is my second career and on the way to both of them I worked a lot of different jobs. I know I can find work elsewhere but I am concerned that if I wait too late I'll become too old to be attractive to new employers.

    After this summer's fiasco I decided that I'm in this gig until my youngest child graduates high school. Then I'll move on to somewhere else. Not what I set out to do by any means. I love the students and I love the tasks involved in teaching. ACTUAL teaching - lecturing, tutoring, planning lessons, analyzing assessments. But dealing with the BS and getting crapped on by the public and politicians is just too much. I deserve better.

    So I'll be here for a few more years. Unless I get fired because my students don't score high enough on their tests, of course. @@
     
  23. elleveeaych

    elleveeaych Rookie

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    I had to double check the OP's post to make sure I had not written it myself! Same situation, my bf and I both moved to NC from NY, got teaching jobs and now we're only 2 years in and our paychecks are barely cutting it. We both got our masters before we left NY so we have student loan payments and regular bills but we both own our vehicles so no car payment...yet, no kids and it's still not enough. We can barely save anything. We've been together 5 years, what happens if we want to get married? Or buy a house? Or actually take a weekend vacation instead of lesson planning for two days? Its so sad because we love it here and we love our schools, but it's just not going to be possible. We'll most likely have to leave within the next two years and that's very upsetting
    for us : (
     
  24. MathTeacher29

    MathTeacher29 Rookie

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    I had moved to NC from NY 7 years ago to teach. I loved it at first but the last couple of years I was so frustrated with how everything was being run. I had a baby last year and my husband and I decided that we didn't want our son going to school in NC. He found a new job in NY and we moved over the summer. I don't miss teaching or NC at all.
     
  25. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Whoop whoop for 30 year old former NC teachers living with their parents! :party:

    Kidding. Your situation stinks. Trust me, I know. I have the same situation- moved in 2007. I never let my license lapse though. I have less than 2 years to get a masters here, though. Yikes.
     
  26. SouthernBuckeye

    SouthernBuckeye Companion

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    I'm also in NC. About to PM you so please look for it!
     
  27. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Mellz Bellz, I honestly think you're making the right decision & I'd be saying the same thing if this was a whole different type of career. The main point is, you've given your job a good chance (in my opinion) & you see that it's not working & hate this feeling of not being able to "punch your way out of this paper bag", so you've decided to make a change. I'd be doing the same thing if I were you. Life is too short to be stuck in a (financial) rut...nothing against teaching. Yes, it's an admirable career that anyone should be proud of, but when it gets to barely beingable to afford the essentials, it's time to make changes.

    Best of luck to you!
     

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