Thursday, February 21, 2008

Shell game

Under shell #1:
Private school teaching job in the language I taught before (in a private school). Grades 9-12. Levels 1-4. Starts next year. Extra duties, part of expected load: advising and "other involvement in the school community." Located in Big City, therefore insane commute.

Under shell #2:
Public school teaching job in the language I taught before. Grades 9-12. Levels 1-4, though current schedule involves multiple levels meeting during same period. Starts in 2 1/2 years. Would need to take at least some certification courses. To make the position full time, would need to qualify to teach in another area. Since it's public school, no extra duties expected without additional compensation. Located in Springfield, 4 miles away, on bus route.

Under shell #3:
College (more like university to you Canadians) faculty position in Great Books program. Some overlap with field and other interests. Would be expected to teach any of the classes offered; great variety in first few years, eventually rotating through same classes. Schedule includes two to three nights a week. Starts (if the stars align correctly) in 1 1/2 years. Advising and general interest in school community expected to achieve tenure. Located in Capital City, commute of under an hour each way, but would be returning as late as 10 or 11 multiple times per week.

Additional complications (because there always are):
  • Salary: no idea on #1, but #3 pays at least $10,000 more than #2.
  • Pregnancy plans: if things work out anywhere close to our current plan, I'll deliver in the first four months of 2009.
  • Schedule: #3, being a college, has more overall vacation days, but these might not match Scooter's school holidays. #1, being a private school, would have an intermediate amount of vacation, again possibly not matching Scooter's days. #2, being part of the same school district as Scooter's elementary school, would have the same extended holidays; as a teacher, however, I'd have in-service and other requirements a few times a year.
To be fair, it's not as if I've been offered any of these. Rather, these are opportunities that have caught my attention. With my particular education and experience, however, I feel pretty confident that I could easily secure either of the first two positions; it doesn't hurt that there just aren't that many people qualified to teach my subject in this area. The third option is practically my dream job in terms of what I'd be teaching and their educational philosophy, but the logistics of the second are much more appealing.

Again, no offers in hand, but I find myself mentally moving the shells around. Teaching job that starts soon--money coming in sooner, back in the classroom, no certification courses, but shit commute. Teaching job that starts later--chance to take certification courses piecemeal (and a bit cheaper then), stay home with potential baby #2 longer, stay close to home with a schedule that's a better fit, but less money and not making use of the PhD I'll have. College teaching job--interesting program, some use of my PhD, deep intellectual stimulation, but frequent late nights and the likelihood of missing more of my son's activities.

But that's the way of the shell game--no obvious winner.


Bea said...

What is the course load like at the college? 2-3 evenings seems like an awful lot - is it primarily a commuter college and that's why so many classes are scheduled in the evenings?

Mouse said...

It works out that each year of the program has a required course that meets twice a week at night, and so it's a standard part of the teaching load. There are, I believe, two daytime courses also. It's a total of 10-12 hours of teaching a week, depending on the specific classes. The third night depends on extra activities on campus--some of which I would need to attend to be a good "citizen of the college community."

Lisa b said...

No obvious winner but several good options.
I would really have to lean towards the one which makes most sense for your family that 'good citizen' game can really eat up a lot of your time.