Back to School?

Well, my little world just got turned on its head tonight. I was thrown for a loop and not exactly sure what to do about it or what my course of action should be.

First of all, for the background, read this post, and then read this post. It explains what has been going on and the emotional turmoil that’s been going on. I know I have some new readers, so this should help.

But in case you don’t feel like reading 3 whole posts, here’s the short version: I went to school to teach high school English. Interviewed for a job that was English, but truly, mostly a drama teacher position- which entails putting on two (very high quality) shows. We moved 1.5 hours away. This was the school I student taught at and, from what I can tell, they loved me. They didn’t hire me for that job. I believe because they knew I would leave in 3 years and they didn’t want to have to hire another drama teacher. Self esteem= big puddle of goop on the floor. (for more details, read the posts.)

So here I am. I decided to put thoughts of teaching behind me, at least for now and focus on other things. This retail job isn’t what I wanted to do long term, but it was a job and I am excited about it. I felt so accomplished having a full 8 hour day. I even relished in only having 30 minutes for lunch and shoveling food into my face and racing back to work.

And then tonight happens.

I get a Facebook message from my supervising teacher tonight that the school, which I will call MHS, has a new opening for a high school teacher.


It is listed as an interim full time position through the end of the school year. This doesn’t necessarily guarantee a job for next year or anything. I messaged her back and asked who was leaving and she replied that someone (not her) was getting a new position. I have no idea what that means.

Sounds great, huh? A position at a school that I’ve already been and they know me and like me (presumably since the principal said she would be a reference for me.)

But wait. Remember, this school id 1.5 hours away. That means, 3 hours driving. every. single. day. That means a tank of gas every other day. Which would cost about $200/week. And my car is 9 years, going on 10 years, old and over 180,000 miles on it. We were just hoping it would get through a couple more years. If I drive it like this, I don’t know that it would make it through May.

So, I would have to be at school no later than 7:30am everyday. So, I would leave at 6am at the latest. I would be at school, all day long, and if I left at 3:30pm, that puts me home at 5. But if I had anything to do after school, I’m not getting home till the earliest, 6pm. That leaves me 3 hours to grade, lesson plan, eat dinner, and shower before needing to be in bed by 9am so I can wake up at 5am and still be rested so I’m not a zombie. 3 hours. I did this to an extent when I was a long term sub and worked an after school program. 3 hours goes super quick when you have a pile of papers to grade and all you want to do is eat and cuddle with your husband.

And, if you read the second post, this means I’m around the girl who I really don’t care for all that much.

And I don’t even have a job offer. This is just an open position that I would have to apply for and interview for all over again.

Did you guys read how pathetic I sounded in the second post? Because I re-read it and I was in tears remembering that. There are people who have it a million times worse than I do/did, but that was terrible for me. I was a sobbing, blubbering mess. My poor husband, who had only become my husband a month and a half beforehand, was probably thinking he made a mistake. (Lucky for me, he’s the most understanding guy in the world and I could not have gotten through all of this on my own.) My self-esteem was at its all time low and I just wanted to disappear.

And as Jessica from Acting Adult and Melissa from DuolyNoted told me via my Twitter rant today, the fear of being rejected again isn’t a good enough reason not to apply. I’m just terrified. To get rejected twice would be heartbreaking. It’s almost as if I wish this opportunity never presented itself so I didn’t have to think about it.

But at the same time, I can’t help but wonder if this is a sign. No, I wasn’t meant for the job that also included directing two plays since I would really be too far away to do so. But here is another chance. A job that doesn’t require as much extra attention, but still a teaching job. What I went to school for.

The other problem is that I have been wondering if I was meant to teach. I see some of the things my teacher friends post on Facebook, and all I think is, “I would never have come up with that.” I think the worse thing is a bad teacher because all they are doing is hurting the students. A teacher who doesn’t care or who doesn’t know their material is much more detrimental than a class with more students. I don’t want to fail the students.

This is so hard and confusing. I’m afraid to apply, because then if they offer me the job, I feel obligated to accept. This is why I am thinking about all of this before it’s even truly necessary.

Mr. A thinks it might be a good idea. He says we can afford the gas and that I would be making a full-time salary with benefits. Also, he thinks this might be the perfect chance for me to decide if I really want to teach or not since it doesn’t seem like this position would necessarily guarantee a job after this school year.

I called my mom and she was so shocked and blown away, like I was, that she wants us to both have time to think about it and talk this weekend. I was resigned that a teaching job wasn’t going to happen this year because of the shitty economy and I would just go a different route until later. But now I’m wondering if this is God putting something before me that I never expected.

I don’t know. I need help and I need advice. I plan on e-mailing the principal on Monday to get some more information, but I need to make some decisions this weekend. Because if I interview and they offer, it seems like I would be starting right away.

What would you do? Is the commute worth it? I would basically never see Mr. A during the week and I would probably spend most weekends grading and planning my life away. Also, I would feel guilty already quitting this new job, so I would probably still work weekends and all during Christmas break for them and then be done when the holiday season was over. I need some serious guidance because my mind is swirling and I can’t figure out what to do.



Filed under Freak Out Much?, Life After College, What to do?, Working Girl

13 responses to “Back to School?

  1. I would do it… This is what you *really* want and you will find ways to pass the commute. Now I’m all listening to sum & substance (fml) but in my pre-law-school days I loved to listen to audiobooks or brush up on foreign languages during long drives. I think a lot of people are in this situation with the economy right now (I definitely was last year) but I think the best thing you can do is keep moving forward ahead with any opportunity presented to you.

    Good luck… I know my comment is super one sided but it is a really tough choice ❤

  2. I think I’m with Mr. A. This could be a huge blessing for you. And while it could be stressful for a time, it seems like ya’ll would be able to make a little more money, maybe build your savings, and help you figure out what is best for your future. That could be invaluable down the road. And if you got it, it’d be a half a school year, not much more. Pray, listen to your family, and be confident!

  3. Sarah

    I agree with Mr. A. And Jaime. And Mrs. Jones. This is what you want and you should definitely go for it. Like I said on Twitter, it doesn’t hurt to apply and just see what happens. It might not be for more than the rest of the year, but it’s a good opportunity to find out what you really want. Good luck making the decision! 🙂

    (And as for the other new teachers who come up with lots of really creative ideas? My mom was a teacher for years and she would frequently give her lesson plans to new teachers to help them out. It’s not necessarily that these new teachers are coming up with this stuff on their own, it’s most likely that they have good mentor teachers.)

  4. I love it when my Twitter answers are quoted back to me. 🙂 Yes, rejection isn’t a good reason not to apply. It’s what you went to school for and if you can afford the gas, then there are two reason to apply.

    Don’t feel bad about quitting retail. It happens *all* the time. Not a big deal!

    I think you’re smart for really thinking about whether or not you would want the job before you even apply. My mom always told me you should apply and if you get an interview, then you are actually interviewing the employer as much as they’re interviewing you. It’s a two way street. But I can see that you would want to decide if you want the job before going through all that, given that you have a relationship with that school.

    Email the principal and see what they say, but I think it would be a great opportunity. Especially if they’re not sure the job would be there next year – you’d have a chance to test out teaching and see if it’s really what you want to do.

    Good luck!!!! 🙂

  5. I say at least apply. It never hurts to apply. If you get it, you add something to your resume for a while AND get the added bonus of time to see if you really want to be a teacher, and if you can do it. And if you find out you DO want to teach, you have experience and references and so forth. If you find out you don’t, no big deal and you move on at the end of the schoolyear.

    For the record, I’m totally bringing my own bias along here – I’m working at a not-perfect job for the experience and because I need to do something other than retail while I wait for a great job to come along. Even on the worst days, I’m still grateful for having a job that is mostly in my field, especially while so many other people are unemployed.

    • I would agree with that and I think I’ve decided to apply. My dad has come up with some ideas about how to make the commute more bearable and such. Also, making real money will be HUGE for us and getting state benefits would be amazing. And you’re right. If I decide I don’t want to do it, then I can move on at the end of the year. It might also build my character a little to have the commute and long hours. Haha.

  6. Oops. Meant to say this in first comment.

    Do you have a friend or something nearer to the school who you could stay with a few nights a week? It would make the commute a bit more manageable to go home for the weekends and on Wednesday while staying in town on Monday or Thursday or whatever. Just an idea. I know being away from spouses is rough, but sometimes it makes everything a little better in the long run.

  7. If you get a job teaching definitely do not feel guilty quitting your retail job- it happens ALL THE TIME and the retail industry is not known for being a very loyal industry so don’t feel guilty. Additionally, my short lived experience in retail was great because it got me out of the house but I hated the schedule and hated waiting on people who often treated me like I crap. After 3 months I was really burnt out. Your experience could very well be different from mine (and I hope so! I hope you love it for as long as you work there!) but I would keep looking for a teaching job in the meantime since that is really what you want to do.

    The commute is definitely something to consider. I mean that is a really long day, and there will most certainly be days when you will think “what the hell was I thinking?” But maybe it would be good to throw yourself into your career for awhile while your husband is focusing on law school? If it was for a job you weren’t passionate about I would say the commute isn’t worth it OR if you husband was in a 9-5 job and you would be sacrificing evenings with him. But I am sure if he’s as smart as you say he spends a lot of evenings studying, and since you can’t spend that time with him why not further your goals and dreams?

    But mostly, just apply and see what happens. If you don’t get it, at least you tried – and that’s better then not trying at all! And if you do get it then maybe your excitement will make the commute worth it!

  8. I don’t you, except for your tweets. But you will be a good teacher because you don’t take for granted that you will be.

    As far as whether or not this position is the one for you, you have to weigh all the pros and cons and come up with the answer. No one can do that for you, I’m sure you realize that.

    All that said, I agree with the rest. Apply and if you are offered the job and have peace about it, then assume that it is what God has for you. You can handle the stress of the time for one school term. And as someone else stated, it will give you the confidence to continue there or look elsewhere. In this slow economy, any job reference in your field will help when applying to schools closer home. Sometimes, we have to make huge sacrifices up front, before the true blessings come our way.



  9. Liz

    Go for it! You have nothing to lose!

    Like everyone else said, it would be a wonderful chance for you to decide if teaching is what you want to do. You’ll gain experience, add to your resume and probably be in a better position to find another teaching job when it’s over.

    Yes the commute may suck, but I think there are so many aspects that outweigh the driving and make the opportunity worth it. If you don’t at least apply you may always wonder what would have happened!

    Don’t feel bad about quitting the new job, the turnover rate in retail is so high and I’m sure the dept. store you work at is used to finding replacements!

    Good luck with whatever you decide!

  10. Okay, I’m finally weighing in for comments after talking about it last night on Twitter. If the benefits of the job outweigh the weight of the drive, go for it. You can handle it, and the experience would be well worth it.

    Good luck. 🙂

  11. Well darling- I do the commute (but take away about 35 minutes each way). I’m up before 5 if I want to look good….but I have resorted to just getting up at 5, quickly get ready, down a quick half cup of coffee to pull me through, and hit the road. My AVERAGE time of being home is 8pm….that is if there is not an event I need to be at. So I’d say at least one night a week I’m home at 9 or 10. You will notice I haven’t blogged, because of all that and I ended up staying at a friend’s house for the 2nd to last week of October. Now I’m on 6 day work weeks with trainings and what not through December 5th!!! BUT when all is said and done- I LOVE MY JOB. It’s totally worth it. The paycheck is also nice. If you do it, it will require devotion and dedication not just by you, but by Mr. A too. So make sure he is in on this conversation, because Doug actually really hates it. He didn’t mind it when I was just teaching because I would be gone before he was up and home by 6 or 7 (mostly 7)- but with his 1L experience, he wasn’t home until 8-9. Now it’s different for him with 2L. Still hard, but not quite as time consuming and he just hates my hours. I hate the commute too, but the second I step foot into my school site, I am in love once again with the kids and the job. So I say DO IT. If you need a venting partner, I can honestly say I feel your pain!

  12. Okay, just read the entry (after our twitter check-in this morning) and I think you should do it. I don’t remember seeing above what the course would be, but if you are teaching English, the drive could be a great opportunity to review materials for class on tape. Also, you should (when you get it), check to see if there’s anyone else at the school who travels from your area. You might be surprised. One of my college friends teaches at a very rural school even though she lives in a bigger city. She was able to find a friend to carpool with and split gas money.

    I think the benefits will take a great weight off your shoulders; plus, I would think it’d be easier to find your next job if you already have full-time classroom experience?

    Good luck!

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