Tuesday, March 1, 2011

'Tis the Season...

...to start applying for teaching jobs for the 2011-2012 school year, yuck. As everyone knows, thanks to the wonderful economy, there are very few teaching positions open each school year. Applying for jobs is like a job in itself. There are several hundred, maybe even a thousand applicants for each position, so it's a pretty tough time right now. And among those hundreds of applicants, I have to make myself stand out when we all pretty much have the same qualifications. As much as I say that I want to apply "everywhere" there are several factors that I have to keep in mind.

1) Tim and his job. Right now Tim's working about 5 minutes from where we live and also taking a class at the local community college. It's not too easy for us to just pick up and move anywhere right now. Also, our apartment lease isn't up until August 1st, so we won't be able to move until the end of summer. So, if I were to get a job later in the summer that's far away, that limits the amount of time we have to find a place to live.

2) Commute. Gas prices are sky-rocketing lately, and I really don't want to have a huge commute to and from work. I love living close to where I work, it makes everything so much easier.

3) Distance from family. If that one day finally comes where a little Veitengruber enters our life, I would love to live close to family to have their help and support--especially because Tim and I are going to need to keep working.

4) Staying in Illinois? Last year when I was looking for a job, Tim suggested that I look outside of Illinois, but I really don't think I could do that. Going along with 'distance from family', I don't want to be too far from my friends and my comfort either. I'm not a huge fan of moving out of my comfort zone, but Illinois is not doing the best financially...but, then again, I don't know many states that are. Another thing is if I wanted to teach out of state, I am certified in Illinois, so it would cost money to take a test, or possibly more classes, to be qualified in a different state.

5) Connections. Right now, I feel like the only way I can get a job right now is through my connections in the school districts because there are so many applicants for one position. And as of right now, I really only have connections in one district. I would love to keep working in that district, but it doesn't look too promising for next year (teaching-wise, there's a possibility for assistant, maybe). It would also be nice to get into another district to build up those connections, so I'll just have to wait and see what happens.

6) A place to live. This one kind of goes along with all of the above. I feel like if I were to get a teaching job for the fall, I wouldn't find out until late in the summer, if not a couple weeks before the school year starts. This makes things pretty difficult for Tim and I right now because we're trying to look for a new place to live, but if I don't know where I'm going to be working, it's tough to settle on a place--especially if I get a job over an hour away from where we are currently living.

7) Staying an assistant? There's probably a greater possibility of me getting another assistant job for the next school year than a teaching job, but I'd much rather have my own classroom. I do love the current position I am in; I work with great staff and great students, but sometimes it's hard just being the assistant and not the teacher. Another problem is the pay. Being an assistant is full-time, but I am getting paid about half as much as I would if I was a teacher. It kills me because I'm certified and I'm not using that degree to it's fullest, and I could be making so much more. Getting that teaching job would help us save that extra money to hopefully by a house in the near future. Being an assistant this year though has given me an extra year of experience with so many different staff members and situations to help me become a better teacher, so an extra year of that experience would be good for me, but I don't want to get stuck as an assistant year after year.

So, that's my/our current situation right now. There are just so many important decisions, it's tough. I'm really determined to get a teaching job next year, so I hope that my efforts are enough. I'll keep you updated on the hunt. Wish me luck! :-)

I really dislike the unknown!

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