What is the maximum amount of time a new teacher should spend commuting?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by bioteachnj, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. bioteachnj

    bioteachnj Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2009

    Fortunately all my classes are the same level so I only have one prep, woohoo! The maximum commute I'm considering will be about 40 minutes each way. I know I'm going to need all the time I can get during my first year teaching. Does 40 minutes sound reasonable, or am I crazy?
     
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  3. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Jul 22, 2009

    40 minutes sounds okay to me. I have always had shorter commutes, but if you are in a city 40 minutes really isn't much at all. Use that time to decompress, listen to NPR, and reflect on your day. You might come to really value that alone time!
     
  4. ohteachr

    ohteachr Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2009

    I drove 45 minutes each way for student teaching, and though it's not quite the same as teaching, I found the time alone in the car in the morning very helpful. It gave me a lot of time to wake up and gather my thoughts, lay out the day ahead in my head and mentally prepare for it, and just spend that time with myself. The drive home after a long day was sometimes a pain- you just want to get home and take your shoes off- but could also be valuable if I needed to brainstorm for the next day or upcoming lessons.
     
  5. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Jul 22, 2009

    What everyone else already said. Find ways to unwind during your commute. I will have about 45 minutes each way. I love audiobooks, especially the Teaching Company lectures. I don't think it will be so bad, although I'm sure it will be a bit wearying on those days I just want to get home.
     
  6. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Jul 22, 2009

    My commute is 25 minutes one way. If find it a great time for self-reflection and prepping for the day.
     
  7. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jul 22, 2009

    I think an hour each way should be the maximum. It really is a great time to decompress and reflect on your lesson. I drove about 45 minutes each way for my internship and in the AM I could think about what I was teaching (and even practice what to say) and the afternoon drive I thought about who got it and who needed more time and how to differentiate. Now I drive 5 minutes and end up staying at school reflecting on the same things ;)
     
  8. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jul 22, 2009

    That sounds fine. I was lucky enough to get an apartment about 10 minutes away from my school, but during student teaching I was driving 30+ minutes to the schools. It wasn't really that bad. I allowed myself to unwind and listen to some music while driving home. :)
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 23, 2009

    Does that mean that a 45 minute commute would be out of the question?

    I think there are a LOT of variables. For one, to be honest: how badly do you want to work? NJ is a brutal job market, so you may be forced into harder choices than a teacher in another market.

    Also, the weather is a consideration. There are several members of our faculty who live an hour away-- in September. But on snowy days, they've been known to have a very long drive home.

    For me, the big one is children. When I was 22, I applied to every single district (121) on Long Island, as well as the NYC Board of Ed. Three children later, it simply wouldn't be practical to be that far from my kids.

    I say apply EVERYWHERE you can, then narrow down your choices when the offers come in.
     
  10. ambritlit

    ambritlit Companion

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    Jul 23, 2009

    I have a new job that is 45 minutes away. Not my ideal, but it's better than unemployment.
     
  11. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Jul 23, 2009

    My job is 30 minutes away. But really, once I get in the car, it just seems automatic and I'm there without even thinking about it.
     
  12. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jul 23, 2009

    I think 40 minutes is a reasonable commute for a new teacher. Why not? I'm only 6 or 7 miles away from work but I'm in a huge city so that can take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes depending on the weather and the traffic that day. I love the time to myself to listen to the radio and sing along to oldies at the top of my lungs. It's invigorating.
     
  13. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Jul 23, 2009

    I would take almost anything when I was looking. I had to actually move to a different town for my new job last year, and now my commute is only 10 minutes. But before I got that job, I was willing to drive almost anywhere..... Illinois and Social Studies was a brutal combination.

    If you're not settled down with a family and have the funds to do so, moving close to the school could be helpful if the commute is long, and gas gets more expensive (but of course, will moving really be cheaper than gas, probably not.....)
     
  14. jforegolf

    jforegolf Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2009

    The job I have is 1hour and 30 mins from my house but I am fortunate to be able to take the train then subway to work. It was my first job out of school so I had to be willing to expand my search just to get a job. I actually enjoy having the time to myself and some of my best lesson ideas come while commuting. People are always shocked when I tell them how far I go but I am going into my 4th year at the job and love it. If you are commuting to a great school each day I doubt it will be that bad.
     
  15. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Jul 24, 2009

    I think it depends on what you're accustomed to. My commute last year was 35 min and I was miserable - but I'm also from RI where everything is 15 minutes down the road :)
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jul 24, 2009

    I agree Pisces. I've had a 45 min and 30 min commute. I did the 30 min just fine. I gave up an hour commute to take an aide position 5 min from my house. I just couldn't do that commute 5 days a week.
     
  17. MathManTim

    MathManTim Companion

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    Jul 25, 2009

    I wholeheartedly agree with everything except the NPR recommendation. You want to relax and decompress, not fall asleep behind the wheel. :rolleyes:

    I'm in the Chicago radio market, so on the way home I either listen to 97.1 FM The Drive (the hands-down greatest classic rock station I've ever run across), Roe Conn on WLS 890 AM (for laughs), or sports talk on 670 AM The Score (usually during football season so I can get my Chicago Bears talk fix).

    MathManTim
     
  18. MissAmy

    MissAmy Companion

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    Jul 25, 2009

    I commute about 40 - 45 min. one way. It is hard on my children. They could have gone to school in the town where we live but I couldn't imagine being an involved parent that far away from them. I don't mind the commute but it does get tiring to drive so much on top of the hours I put in at the school. This is my fourth year so it is getting better. The drive in the rain or winter takes longer. I guess it just depends on the circumstances. I love my job so it is definately worth the drive for me.
     
  19. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Jul 25, 2009

    Last year I drove 40 minutes to my job. This year I only have to drive 15 minutes with no highways!
     
  20. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Jul 25, 2009

    I love long drives to work. I only live about ten minutes from my school but sometimes I find myself leaving really early so I can drive around a bit before work. Driving is where I can relax come up with good ideas and not be bothered by anyone! I say take whatever job comes your way. Enjoy your time alone and if it turns out to be too long for you, you can always get a new job!
     
  21. bioteachnj

    bioteachnj Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2009

    Wow a lot has been posted since I last checked! I got a job in NJ but of course we want to live in PA b/c it is affordable. Unfortunately I am not "qualified" for a PA license right now, even though I am qualified in the state right next to it... :mad: I just want to make sure I won't be overwhelmed b/c of the time lost on the road, but then again it is my husband who will be driving.

    As of right now our favorite house we have looked at so far is 48 minutes away from where I work (in the morning commute). My husband and I will be commuting together. He would drop me off at school and pick me up in the afternoons when he gets off work. He works about 15 minutes from the school. Teachers have to stay after the bell until 2:30 and today he will be driving home as if he is picking me up and then going home so we can calculate that time on the road as well. I don't think it will be more than 50 minutes worst case rush hour scenario (not including snow, accidents, etc).

    This is a "5 year plan" for us. We are young and have no kids but by the time it gets to that point we will have the money saved and higher incomes to afford moving to NJ at that point if I am still working in NJ. Although we will still be crying because all of it will swiftly disappear to the insane taxes and higher cost of living in NJ... I am planning on looking into getting a PA cert as well during this time period since it seems like I have some work to do in order to achieve that.
     
  22. Genmai

    Genmai Companion

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    Aug 17, 2009

    Hrmm... I am accustomed to public transportation and commuting an hour to work in New York City. For folks who work in New York City, a 1 hour commute isn't unreasonable because most commuters live in the more affordable outer boroughs and work in Manhattan.

    As a previous poster wisely noted, your comfortable level will be determined by what you are used to. Personally, driving 1 hour one way is much more taxing than taking a train / bus for 1 hour each way. I do not mind a 1 hour commute via public transportation. By using public transportation, you have time time to read, think and feel like you're a part of the greater public. As a non-teacher, I always enjoyed watching harried teachers grade papers in the subways.
    :)
     
  23. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Aug 30, 2009

    I'm currently living 30-40 minutes away, depending on traffic. I found out that I'm expected to be at school at 7:30 every day, so I'm looking for a place that's closer to school. Plus, my first week I didn't leave until 5 or 6 each afternoon, and that drive home was loooong. But I hate driving anyway. You've gotta do what works for you.
     

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