I need some advice in seeking a job. A few notes about my history; I graduated in 1990 from a teaching school in Colorado and earned my BA in elementary education and obtained Colorado teaching certificate. I moved to Texas when I got married that same year and took several years to get my Texas certificate because I didn't have the money to take the additional classes and tests needed for certification. During those years I worked in private schools teaching first and second grades and substitute teaching. Had child #1 in 1995 stayed home with him the first year and then worked a year as a resource aide in hopes that I would get a classroom job the following year, but I was told that I didn't have enough experience. I opted to stay home with my son after that year and had an additional child in 1999. I stayed home to take care of both kids until my daughter went to preschool in 2003. I took a job teaching at her preschool as a lead teacher and stayed there (and loved my job) for 7 years. Eventually I got burnt-out and decided to go back to school to change careers. I took classes for three years and tried two different avenues for different careers but neither one worked out for various reasons. I dropped out of my program last fall and quickly found a preschool position in a small school near my home. I love the people and the hours (I teach half day classes) but the pay is very low and the director is super controlling. I have very little freedom to make choices and I am frustrated by the short amount of time that we have to teach (we have three 2.5 hour classes). Expectations are very high from the director of what we should be accomplishing but there is just not enough time to get everything in. I have decided to go a different route with my teaching career next year and for the first time in more than ten years I will be free to really make an attempt to break into the public school system. I live near a major metropolitan area that has many different school districts but it is very competitive to get a classroom teaching job. To give you an idea, typically there are several hundred applicants for each job opening. I feel that because I have been out of school for so long without any "real" public school experience I wouldn't even qualify for a job and would be quickly overlooked even if I was substituting because I think principals would hire a young teacher who has more current knowledge, despite the fact that I do have years of preschool experience. As a result of this I am thinking of trying to get a para job next year. I feel so limited at my current school and the pay is just so low that I don't want to stay when I know I can get a job in a public school making twice as much money, even if it's paraprofessional work. I do like the idea of not having paperwork and less responsibilities working as a para and I feel that might be a good long term fit for me if I am unable to get a teaching job. Does anyone have any feedback or suggestions? I would really appreciate it. I am so frustrated that my professional life has not turned out the way I had envisioned it and I am running out of time to fix it!