Long Commute. Would you?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Jdsmitty10, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Jdsmitty10

    Jdsmitty10 Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2011

    Hi. New to the forum. I am in my 7 th year teaching making 60k. I moved 90 miles from home for this job. Im in a great district with great pay for PA.

    My problem:

    My wife and I want to move back home. We have 3 little ones missing out on family back home. Both of our family's and extended families live there. We have no life here basically otherw than some friends. Back home I would take a 20k plus pay cut if I even get a teaching job which we all know is not the easiest thing in the world.

    I will be making 80k plus before im 35yrs old at this current job and that's with about 12 yrs experience. I will NEVER see 76 k back home. Not even close Money is t everything though. I am more concerned with having luck finding a job in the terrible educational times of Pa with all the budget cuts and teacher cuts.

    I am thinking about commuting 90 miles one way(hr and 45 min). No traffic. All rural/highway. Some mountains to worry about In winter.

    With my schedule I would leave at 5-5:30am and be home by 4:45pm.
    And of course with teaching perks of only working 187 days a year.
    How crazy do you think I am?

    I am at the point of quitting teaching all together to move home which is NOT what I want to do. Or commute..

    Input from other teachers who commute would be appreciated!

    Again, this is all for my family to live near aunts, uncles, cousins, gparents.

    Thank you for any input!
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Oct 18, 2011

    90 miles is a long commute, but you never know how it's going to be until you actually do it. You could always try it then try to find a job closer if it gets to be too much.
     
  4. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I drive about 45 minutes one way and some days I don't mind it and other days I feel like the drive takes FOREVER. The one reason I would like to be closer is because I love going to the events after school and on the weekends. Like this last weekend, I went out until fairly late with some of the teachers, Saturday we all went to the football game, and Sunday we went to spirit week kick off. The kids love seeing us there, which is why I go but sometimes I wish I was only 10 minutes away!
     
  5. bnwteach

    bnwteach Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2011

    I also teach in PA. My first year, I commuted almost two hours each way. I would leave home by 5:30 to get to school by 7:15, leave school at 3:30 to get home by 5:30. I can tell you that a commute that far is extremely draining. It sounds easy, and it might be at first, but it gets exhausting very quickly. It got to the point where I spent the entire day on Sundays dreading the drive on Monday. I was so exhausted that I worried about falling asleep while driving or getting into an accident.

    With the cost of gas and the extra car maintanance, taking a pay cut might even you out.

    I finally had to move closer to work. I'm hoping I can move back to my hometown in the near future, IF I can find a job there, that is!

    Sorry is this is not what you hoped to hear. :/ Hope it helped!
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    For me that commute is too long, especially since it would be voluntary.

    I understand that you want to be closer to family for the sake of your kids, and that is definitely something to think about. On the flip side, they'd lose 15 hours per week with you, since you'd be driving that whole time. Three hours per day times five days per week. That's an awfully long time to be away from your younglings every single day.
     
  7. engineerkyle

    engineerkyle Companion

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    Hey Smitty,

    I used to say I would never drive more than 35 minutes to work. Actually, except for a brief assignment that was about an hour... I never have.

    That being said, some people take to long commutes really well. Nice roads, no traffic, books on tape, etc. My friends doesn't mind his drive from Lansing to South Bend much, he tells me.

    I think it is an individual thing.

    Kyle
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Totally up to you, personally I would never in a million years be able to do that. Like Caesar mentioned, that is an entire 3 hours per day (probably more in snow/bad weather) that you're going to be away and driving. I feel like time spent commuting is time wasted...I student taught 30 minutes away from my college and I even hated that I had to spend an hour of my day just sitting in the car. I have two co-workers that commute 90 minutes and I have no idea how they do it. We also have TONS of bad weather and school is never cancelled, so that commute ends up being 3+hours one way pretty frequently in the winter. Also, as someone else mentioned any time you need to do something outside of school or with coworkers, that's 90 minutes away...the idea just sounds absolutely horrid to me, but to each their own!
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I wouldn't do it, but I worked with someone who did that for years. She didn't think anything about it. She drive part parkway and part rural two-lane highway. We close for snow, even very little snow. Travel in bad weather wasn't an issue.

    Would the pay cut to move really make a big difference? How does he cost of living compare between the two areas?
     
  10. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Can you move half way so you are 45 mins from your family and 45 minutes from work?

    If I was willing to do that commute, I could have kept my old job in DE. And I did take the almost $20k paycut. It's not cool, either. Sometimes I wish I did commute.
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I drove an hour a day for a long time and so did my husband. After four years, we made a decision never do that again. It was draining.

    Would the cost of living be cheaper in the other town?
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 19, 2011

    In the spring and fall it would be lovely-- a nice time for solitude.

    But think of those PA winters. They're LONG and snowy. So that 90 mile commute in the mountains could easily become 3 hours on a snowy evening.

    I sympathize with your problem, but I'm not sure commuting 90 miles is the answer.

    Could you find a home halfway between the two places? A 45 minute commute is a whole lot more manageable.
     
  13. Jdsmitty10

    Jdsmitty10 Rookie

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    I'm not worried as much about the pay cut as I am ever getting a job there. Cost of living is about the same. I'm looking at salary to help justify the commute I guess. For example, my bro has 3 more yrs in and makes 20 k less as of now and won't even make what I make right now until he has 25 yrs in. So basically I am thinking I won't ever get a teaching job there. Just had a huge opportunity that was heartbreaking when we found out I didn't get it. Most schools seem to want to hire step one first yr teachers in these times.

    Also looking at time away from family, the way I look at it, early morning I won't miss anything since I dont see my kids now as it is when I leave at 6:35am. They are sleeping. And evenings, unless there's a hold up of snow or something I would get home 1 hr and 30 min later than my normal time I get home considering I drive 25 min now. I am concerned about winter considering where I want to move is in the mtns and it does snow constantly. And where I work it doesn't snow near as much but when it does we cancel. I have 4wd and love snow driving. I actually go out on snowdays just to use 4x4 haha..
    Thanks everyone for your opinions so far!
    Keep em coming!
     
  14. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    Oct 19, 2011

    I have a 90 minute commute each way (and that is if the weather and the traffic are all cooperating). I've been doing it for 23 years and it is just simply a fact of life. I love where I live and I love where I teach, so it is part of the package.
     
  15. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    You have to consider cost of gas, added extra mileage to the vehicle and costs that that would add. Also the overall effect of that much driving and time it costs from your day. Is the trade off of quality of life really being gained by doing that. I have about a 15 min. commute, I don't think I would be happy with it doubling to 30 min.
     
  16. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    The farthest I've ever driven for a job was 45 min 1-way, but it wasn't all 5 days a week & I knew it was only temporary (about 11 wks). That's the only reason I did it.

    If it was 5 days/wk for who knows how many yrs, the MOST I'd ever drive 1-way for a job is about 40-45 mins. I don't mind driving, but not to/from work.

    Try it & see how it is, then decide what you want to do.
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    The gas and wear and tear on your car will eat up most of the 20K. Plus a commute that long will be terrible. Your hours also assume no additonal outside contract hours work.
     
  18. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I don't have a 45 minute drive this year, but I have had one in the past...that's about as far as I could go though. Like dg, sometimes it seems to be fine, others it seems to take forever! It's ultimately going to have to be your decision because only you know what you can and cannot live without. Good luck on your decision!
     
  19. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I have a 45-50 minute commute each day. It is manageable, but any longer would not be for me. When we made the decision to move to the rural area we live now, we budgeted in the cost of gas and car maintenance. So, we are doing okay. I still wish that my husband could start work an hour earlier so we could car pool together. (his job is in a neighboring city to where I teach).
    I am with Silverspoons-is there any way you could move halfway? I hate to see you give a up a teaching position that you like, regardless of pay, even though I understand wanting to be closer to family. 45 minutes is not far away, and easier for family to come to you as well!
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I can understand the worry of not being able to get the job to begin with. Why not try getting the job then making this decision based on whether or not it becomes available.
     
  21. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    My husband commuted 2 hours to work and then 2 hours home (4 hours total) daily. He loved the job and though it didn't pay well, the benefits were really great and if he stayed long, it would have paid better. However, it was so difficult on our family life. That time you are in your car, is the time you should be with your children and wife. Extended family is really important, but you, your wife and children are most important! It drained our marriage and some days the kids never saw their father. They were so used to having dad in their daily lives, it was really difficult for them not to see him. And I felt like I was raising my kids on my own, doing all the chores, working, running the kids to their activities, ect... It was the most difficult year of my life!
    Could you live on $20,000 less a year? Do you go visit family often? Maybe you can stay were you are, still keep the pay, and visit family a weekend every month! Your kids are probably feel like your home now is their only home after 7 years! They have their friends, schools and activity groups that they are comfortable with. Moving will upset all that balance. I know, I moved across country 5 years ago with a first grader and fifth grader. It took a good 3 years before my kids really started making good friends and started feeling included. It was a hard road for my children! But where we live now is where they feel the most comfortable. Moving is really difficult on kids and having a commuting father is also hard!
     
  22. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Oct 19, 2011

    When I taught (before kids) I had a 40 minute commute. No traffic, just miles and I enjoyed the time to get rid of the concerns of my day.
    DH took a job 85 miles from home when our kids were 4 and 6. It was a great opportunity and I didn't want to move so he commuted. After a year, I couldn't stand it anymore. He was exhausted and grouchy and the kids missed him. We moved closer to his job and away from family. It was hard at first but we love it now.
    And welcome from another in PA!
     
  23. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    90 min. away? I'd love to be that close to family! (I'm 12 + hours away).

    Growing up 90 min. was nothing to drive to visit family. We'd do it in a day. It wasn't every weekend, but it was frequently, maybe that it was because the other side of the family was 45 min. away. We were visitng almost every weekend growing up, or they were coming to visit us.

    Personally, I wouldn't give up my job to move closer to family & take a pay cut. I might consider a home closer to family 1/2 way. Or I would make the commitment to visit them on the weekends or have them come visit.
     
  24. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I can't imagine driving for 3 hours every day (longer during the winter months). I'm in my car for about 1.5 hours in the winter and I absolutely hate it, but then again, I hate driving, but if you enjoy it, go for it!
     
  25. Jdsmitty10

    Jdsmitty10 Rookie

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    Oct 20, 2011

    couple more facts to add..

    My kids are not school age yet. So the move is perfect timing for that. They hate it down here just as much as we do. We make a trip to our hometown almost every weekend and when we don't travel there, someone travels here for a weekend. We are sick of living out of a bag on weekends and stressing the kids out with all the traveling. I would much rather stress myself out then my whole family. It is a tough problem to have and alot of people have it worse but it is tough being stuck somewhere you do want to be.

    The other thing keeping us here is our house which we OVER payed for in 2006 and now can't even come close to selling for what we have into it. IF we ever sell it, I will try the commute. But as long as I have a house in my working town, I will live here.

    Our goal is to be home before our oldest starts school in 2 years. Yes i have 3 kids and our oldest doesn't start school for 2 years we are crazy i know. 3 is the final number though lol...

    Looking at time again. If i quit teaching and get a 9-5 job, I will be missing the same amount of afternoon time.. may have some morning time, but once they do start school I won't. Plus I would work ALL year and make less money probably. Man this is tough.. I do appreciate all the thoughts and suggestions...
     
  26. sonflawah

    sonflawah Companion

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    I moved 90 miles away from a job before in February, but finished out the school year. It was at a private school so I was only making $23K. It wasn't the money that kept me driving back and forth everyday (I was only making about $10/hr after I took away what I spent in gas), but rather my commitment to finish out the school year for the students' sake. I quit that job the following year, and was unemployed. It was not worth it. The commute was draining. I had no time for my family, and all the time I would normally spend prepping and grading were taken up in the car.

    With the economy as uncertain as it is, I would look for a job back at home (probably a lower cost of living too since those districts tend to pay less) if you can afford the pay cut. But, if you don't find a job back at home, I wouldn't quit your current job. Just stay put where you are for now. It would be very stressful on your family if you don't find a job. But the commute, oh no, don't do that! A 90 minute commute one way is exhausting. Trust me!!
     
  27. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I know I couldn't handle that kind of commute...especially in a place where it snows! I would not do it.
     
  28. Anonymousteach

    Anonymousteach Companion

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    My first job was at a middle school 60 miles away! It was about 1 hour and 15 minutes one way, however, if there was a major accident on the highway or heavy congestion due to the invasion of tourists, it could be 1 hour and 45 minutes or 2 hours. Aiyiyi!

    My rule now would be to never commute to a job no farther an hour.
     
  29. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    I am doing a 55 mile commute right now. I could never do anything longer. As someone mentioned previously, think of after-school activities. When I supervise events, I don't get home until 8 or 9.
     
  30. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    I had a P that commuted 90 miles one way. She had 5 kids still at home. She makes it work, but it does take its toll!
     
  31. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    This is a good point too. 90 minutes from family is nothing. I just moved from being 90 minutes from my family to 3 hours. Before if there was an emergency or we were having a family event during the week, it wasn't a huge deal for me to run down if I really wanted to go. I could also run down and pick my little sister up and bring her back for the weekend. Now at three hours, the trip has to be planned a little better and obviously I can't just run back and forth at a whim like I could before.

    Wouldn't you rather drive 90 minutes to see family a couple times a week, then do it every day to work?
     
  32. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    Excellent point silverspoon! My first reaction to this question/post was NO! with no explanation. I think silverspoon found my explanation. Doing this drive every day is going to be VERY taxing on your body. You think you can do it now, but in reality you can't really understand what it will do to you until you actually experience it for some extended period of time. I did a forty-five minute drive one way for 11 years. Having a twenty minute ride one way for the past seven years is heaven sent. I have no clue what a forty-five minute drive is like now. I echo what a lot of other posters have said, 90 minutes one way is really going to have a profound effect on your body both physically and mentally. But I guess the bottom line is we all must do what we feel will be best for ourselves and our family.
     
  33. Tutor

    Tutor Comrade

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    We lived an hour from family when my kids were under 5. It was tough, I came home a lot those first years. After the kids started school our lives became more full and I didn't need to come home as much.

    My suggestion is to really make a concerted effort to be apart of your community. I found that by running home every weekend I was missing out on what our area had to offer. The first years were tough but I did learn to love it.

    Then we moved back within 10 mins of family. Honestly, I can tell you that the grass is always greener....We always say that we saw the family MORE when we lived away. We spent more quality time then. Now we see them more frequently but for a lot less time.

    Also, if you did move and then commuted, you would be 90 mins away from your children every day. Personally I like knowing that if my kids needed me (when they are in school) that I'm only a 10 min drive away.
     
  34. bondo

    bondo Cohort

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    There is no way I could do that. 15 hours a week in a car is a lot of unproductive time. However, if you think you can do it, go for it. It wouldn't hurt to try. It is a good idea to think about your future income level.
     
  35. TripleTeach

    TripleTeach Rookie

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    You need to think about exactly what it is that you don't like about your community now. Is this a place where you would want your children to go to school? Have you tried to become involved in the community to meet people and make friends? Is it a safe community for your family? My children have never lived closer than 2 hours to their grandparents and cousins. Yes, it's hard at times, but they are still very close to their extended family even if we can't get together every weekend. Of course it's not all about the money, but if jobs are as hard to come by in your area as they are where I live, I would think very carefully before leaving a secure, well paying job. Good luck with your decision.
     
  36. Jdsmitty10

    Jdsmitty10 Rookie

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    Oct 26, 2011

    I really don't have a problem with the area other than lacking an extended family life. If we stuck around we would definatley wat to move into the district I teach in. But lately we said we didn't want to live away from family just for jobs. My wife can change hers easy cause she is self employed. It's my job holding us back cause it holds the benefits and nice pay. Our house is holding us back also since it lost so much equity since we bought it.
     

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