Should I live in my school district or not?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Unbeknownst, May 9, 2010.

  1. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    May 9, 2010

    A year ago when I decided to become a teacher, I intuitively thought that I would not want to live in the same district as my students.

    My reasons:
    1) I like to differentiate my personal life from my work life.
    2) I do not think I want to shop with the parents of my students
    3) I really enjoy being a husband; as such, I would like be able to perform these duties without having to juggle it with being a teacher while in public

    I just really want to be able to take off my "teacher hat" when I get off work. I don't want to have to "perform" while I go out to local restaurants or the grocery store.

    I don't know, I've thought a lot about this. Do any of you experienced teachers have any advice on this?
     
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  3. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    Let me mention that I will be in a SMALL town as well.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I live within walking distance of my school and many of my families. My own family teases me that whenever I go anywhere I run into someone from school. I don't have a problem chatting while I am out and I have never had anyone come to my house to talk. Children are excited when they run into me and they like telling me at school that they saw me some place. Overall, I am not bothered by living close.
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I live in the same small town where I grew up, and I teach here as well. I've been teaching for 17 years, so I've had a lot of students. I attend church here. I work here. I live here. I'm from here. I shop here. Students live near me.

    It's never been an issue for me.

    Even though it's a small town, I don't actually see them out and about like you'd think. When I do, it's not a big deal either. Sometimes they talk to me, sometimes not. I don't "talk shop" with parents in public.
     
  6. milteachwife

    milteachwife Rookie

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    sounds nice

    I think I'd like that too! It sounds ideal. I wish something like that would work out for me.
     
  7. Chalk

    Chalk Companion

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    May 9, 2010

    Raises an interesting question

    If you are salaried employee of the government in this capacity. Do you ever really take your hat off while in public? Like off duty police and firefighters and Military, I would imagine certain professional standards are required to be maintained while on the payroll. Unlike say a wal mart employee who doesn't to tell you anything when they are off the clock, they can breeze right by you as if you didn't exist and not darn thing can be done to them for it.

    What do you guys think?

    Government salary = Always on duty to some extent?
     
  8. happypreteach

    happypreteach Rookie

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    May 9, 2010

    I live in the same town as where I work. Yes, you run into people a lot. When my own children were younger it was awkward, because if they were misbehaving I felt that the parents would be judging me. Now that they are older it isn't a big deal. I don't mind chatting for a few minutes with the people from my school.

    But, it sounds like something you would not want to do, so I would recommend that since you don't want to run into these people outside of school, that you not move into the same district :)
     
  9. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    May 9, 2010

    I live in the town where I teach. I go to the Y to work out (yes, I see parents and kids there), I shop at the grocery store, I go to the pool during the summer, I have a glass of wine or two when out for a nice dinner. I go to our local bar on occasion to see a band that I like (which happens to be fronted by the parents of my daughter's best friend).
    I take my "teacher hat" off when I leave the school. I don't talk shop; if a parent tries, I simply say that I'm not prepared to have such a conversation and ask her to call me at school. It's not really been a problem.

    I like living in the town where I teach. I am a member of this community, and I feel free to speak up in meetings both as a parent and teacher in the district. The administration appreciates hearing from those of us who wear both hats; it really does help to put things in perspective sometimes.
     
  10. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    May 9, 2010

    I live one town over from my school district. I still run into parents at the grocery stores. I do not frequent restaurants in the school town but have met or seen many parents in restaurants in the town in which I live. Several families in my school district are members of my church. None of this has bothered me in the least during the past 25 years. If you are looking for complete freedom I would then suggest living several towns away.
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I have done both (lived in the same town/outside the district). I have been much more happier in the town of the district. I know what is going on when the students talk about events that are going on in the town. I hardly run into any students while I'm out. I live in the neighborhood of several of my students, one lives only 2 houses down.
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    About 80,000 people live in my town. I was born and raised here. I teach here. I shop and eat here. Everywhere I go, I see current, former, and future students. EVERYWHERE! Anyway, I really don't mind. I like seeing familiar faces at the grocery store or the mall. Personally, I feel as though I really don't ever take off my teacher hat. Even if I wasn't a teacher, I'd still run into high school friends and friends of my family. That's what happens when you live in a small town.
     
  13. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Most of the time, I like being a part of the community. At 8:00 in the morning at the grocery store without any makeup...well, not so much.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 9, 2010

    I'm in a Catholic high school. Our kids come from something like 60 local districts, including parts of NYC. My husband teaches in another Catholic HS wtih roughly the same demographic.

    There is basically nowhere we can travel within an hour's drive without expecting to run into students.

    Honestly, it's no big deal. So, yeah, I've run into kids I teach at the mall and at the supermarket and at church. The altar boy has been in my homeroom, the checkout girl has been in my math class, and the kid giving my daughter her Happy Meal has been in my study hall. Danny walks by my house every day on his way home from the late bus (He's on the track team.) Katie and Karen were our baby sitters before they went to my school; they've seen the total disaster area that IS my daughter's room.

    It's all OK.

    Aside from that swamp in which my girls sleep, I have nothing to hide. I don't stagger around drunk, curse out my kids or the neighbors, or skinny dip in the pool.

    I'm pretty much an open book. So I'm OK with running into kids everywhere from Disney World to the airport in Raleigh-Durham NC.
     
  15. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    I love living in the town where I teach. It has a great community feel. After having lived in a few towns since growing up, I find I really appreciate seeing familiar faces at the grocery store.

    It's never been a problem seeing people outside of school (i.e. people don't try to hold conferences with me at Target).
     
  16. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    Wow. I totally did not expect this response.

    I have a lot to think about.
     
  17. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I live in a small town and I teach on the military base that's connected to the town. I have seen students probably only about 5 times in the three years I have taught. I've seen most of them this year, since we started doing our grocery shopping on base.

    However, when I student taught in junior high and high school music, I saw kids all the time. I didn't like it very much. Before teaching I used to run to Walmart in my pajamas or sweatpants if I needed to last second. When student teaching, I was concerned all the time about going out in public and seeing students (not that I was ever doing anything wrong). But I tend to worry and overthink things too much!

    If you're worried about it, I would live farther away.
     
  18. MissSkippyjonJones

    MissSkippyjonJones Comrade

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    I live in the district I work in...when I was in school I was in this district! I live across the street from one of my former students. I see him once in a while when I'm driving by or getting the mail so I wave, but that's about it. In the 5+ years I have worked in this district, I've seen my students in public only about 5 times. I do live in a large town (over 100,000) so that def. comes into play!
     
  19. Blkjacq

    Blkjacq Companion

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    I live down the street from the school and since my house backs up to the park, lots of kids know where I live (due to the viewfence). When I moved in, I was sure I'd get TP'ed, but I've been here for over 5 years and its never happened. :) And I teach 7th graders! LOL

    I like living near my school. I think it makes me more invested in the school and I don't mind seeing the kids when I'm out. They always say "I saw you!!" the next day. I've even seen families at nearby restaurants. Not a problem - quick hello and they're on their way.
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I teach in a large city with around 2,000,000 people. I live pretty far away from the neighborhood that our school pulls from, but I still run into students all the time. Like, constantly. It's not really a big deal for me at all.
     
  21. midwestteacher

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    I teach in a town of 1200 people and live about 5 miles from school. My neighbors are my students and former students, my students bag my groceries at the local grocery store, and I see students everywhere I go in my county. I frequently see students and parents when we venture to the nearest mall - an hour away. It really hasn't been a problem except for this one crazy parent. I have had her kids in school for five years and look forward to the next five years before the last one graduates. This woman has no boundaries. She has followed me from store to store in a neighboring town to talk about stuff going on at school.
    Most parents are pretty respectful of "private time." I get the ocassional phone call at home and sometimes are parent will ask about something in the gas station. But, for the most part, there isn't a problem at all.
     
  22. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

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    I sub in 3 different districts, the closest one about 10-12 mins away from my house. I see past and present student at the store and mall every now and then, and I think it's nice. It's good to be connected to the community, though sometimes I'll be embarrassed if I don't know their name and they recognize me.
     
  23. hac711

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    May 10, 2010

    I live 2 blocks away from my school...
    I shop in two towns over, only go grocery shopping when it's "bed-time"
    When I do go out during normal hours, I have to be completely dressed (no sweats, jeans etc) no music playing from my car etc...
    I also work in private so expectations are a little different...
    If I were you, don't **** where you eat...
     
  24. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    May 11, 2010

    I don't, and I wouldn't. I value my privacy way too much (I teach in a small town and live in a big city).
     
  25. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    May 11, 2010

    I have lived where I teach for over ten years. I appear in yoga pants and a tee shirt at the store. I wear jeans. I am a member of my community. Know what? My principal appears at the pool in his swim trunks, the school secretary has her nails done at the local salon, and the president of the PTO works out on the treadmill next to me. We are all part of a community. I can't imagine feeling as if I couldn't live my life because I might run into kids or parents. Was it weird the first couple of times? Yeah, but not any more. I don't consider shopping at my local grocer to be ******** where I eat.

    I guess it all boils down to what you are comfortable with. Where I grew up (in southern Illinois) it was very common to see my teachers out and about with their families. I didn't think twice about it. Perhaps that's why I feel the way I do now.
     
  26. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    May 11, 2010

    We're currently required by law to live in the city of Chicago- that being said, it is so big that I don't know many that live in the same neighborhood that they teach in- but some do.
     
  27. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I probably will when I become a teacher. Most of my teachers K-12 lived in town. My old special education teacher did until she got married, then she moved to the county seat with her husband for his job, now she has a 30-45 minute commute.
     
  28. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I live very near the school where I teach. I run into students out all the time. It's especially fun when students are out on date, and my husband and I are at the table across from them! I had students trick-or-treat at my house when I taught elementary.
     
  29. gottagoodgig

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    I enjoy seeing families out and about. I live in a town of 125,000 and it happens quite a bit. I have small children and so we frequent many of the same places that my first grade families visit.

    I involve my family quite a bit in my classroom and hope my students get to know me not only as their teacher, but a responsible citizen, a husband, a dad, etc. MANY of my students do not have positive male role models and I think it's good for them to see a man who cares about their learning and also provides an example of a healthy family dynamic. When they hired me, they got a whole family! :)
     
  30. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    Y'all sure know how to make this decision hard ...
     
  31. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    May 11, 2010

    It does have to be something that is comfortable to you. I would think that the area would also play a big part on your decision.

    I live in a small town, that I've lived in most of my life. I went to school here, went to college here, and now teach here. This is where my family is. I have no problem seeing students from our school out and about. Even if I were to live in one of the neighboring towns (large or small), I would still see my students. We shop in our neighboring towns as well as our own.

    Only once have I had a situation, and it wasn't really that bad for me. I was shopping in Wal-Mart and a little boy ran up to me to say hi and give me a hug. He then ran up to his parents and said "Mom! Dad! That's the teacher who took me to the office for fighting on the playground!" The parents looked at me and kind of smiled, then quickly turned the corner. Every time he saw me (4 or 5 more times) he would say the same thing very loudly. I had no problem with it, but the parents wouldn't look me in the eye and their faces were very red. They didn't know who I was, and I didn't know who they were. But you know, I never had to get on to that child during recess duty again.

    I like going to my student's ball games, and it makes them proud to see me there cheering them on. When I do get to go I'll stop by the soccer field and watch a daughter of a friend's (practically family) game. Watching her games I usually see at least 4 of my students (on her team and the opposing team). Then I'll go across the street and walk the mile around the baseball fields a couple of times. If I know of a student game I'll stop and watch for a little while. They love that I take Finnegan (my dog) with me to watch. He is a very good boy and really watches the game. Of course he wants to really play with the ball, and sometimes after the soccer games he gets to. That's another story.

    So to sum it up, I love living and working in my little town. I may not know everyone, but I feel very comfortable talking to students and parents in the community.
     
  32. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    May 11, 2010

    How much (or how little) do you value privacy?

    That is what you should be asking yourself.
     
  33. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    May 11, 2010

    I believe ultimately we are going to be guided by what kind of deal we can get on a rent home.

    However, all things being equal, I believe I'm leaning towards living outside of my school district, but being heavily involved in my school district's community.

    I want to be able to go to the grocery store in sweats and a 15-year old T-shirt :)
     
  34. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't really mind running into my students whilst I'm in PJs and a hoodie (my standard at-home attire and also what I wear to the grocery store). I think they get a kick out of seeing their teachers in their natural habitats. :lol:
     
  35. MissSkippyjonJones

    MissSkippyjonJones Comrade

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    May 11, 2010

    I never really think about what I'm wearing, etc. when I go out either.
     
  36. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    May 11, 2010

    I guess I should have explained this earlier (perhaps this thread would have made more sense!).

    I'm very quirky with respect to looking professional outside of the work environment.

    It is very rare that I do not consider my appearance when I go to a public place like the grocery store. This is because I always have a good chance of running into someone I know on a professional basis, and I just hate looking like a slob (my favorite attire!) during these occassions.

    When I think about being a teacher and going out in public, the thought of looking dressed down in the community that will inevitably expect so much from me gives me pause, to say the least.

    I want to allow myself the freedom to relax after work, and I just don't think I could let my guard down if I lived in the community I worked at.

    However, I realize this is a quirky thing, so I know it probably won't make a lot of sense to some folks :lol:
     
  37. MissSkippyjonJones

    MissSkippyjonJones Comrade

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    May 11, 2010

    I get it. I guess my thing is that I live and work in a VERY laid back casual area (it's southern California!) so nobody really seems to think twice about dressing up/down. For the most part nobody who works in my district dresses up for work (I've subbed and/or taught at almost every school). Jeans are pretty much a daily thing for everyone.
     
  38. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    May 11, 2010

    Also consider this:

    In a thread a while back, someone mentioned that they felt uncomfortable having a drink in a restaurant because students were in the restaurant with their parents.

    The poster wasn't getting three sheets to the wind -- just wanting to enjoy an adult beverage with her or his meal, but did not feel comfortable doing so because she/he felt all eyes on her/him. Ditto for visits to the liquor store and quick trips to rent a movie.
     
  39. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    May 11, 2010

    It sounds like you know what you want to do! Remember, whatever you choose isn't permanent. If you decide you would rather live closer to your school later on, then do it. Right now, it seems as if you want to be farther away- so do it!
     
  40. Blkjacq

    Blkjacq Companion

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    May 11, 2010

    It's all what you're comfortable with, like the other said. I'll add that I have taught kids on my street (and I'll have another next year). It's funny how they call me by my first name at neighborhood parties or playing outside, but it's Mrs. XXXXX at school. Works for me.
     
  41. hac711

    hac711 Companion

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    May 11, 2010

    MRS.R

    Like I said, expectations are a little different. If I appeared in public with sweats or jeans on, I would be fired. Different situations call for different protocol
     

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