Monday, June 20, 2011

Trying to Get a Feel For Things... So Overwhelmed!!

A lot of stuff has been going on here in Texas regarding education. Basically, our legislature isn't looking at the needs of kids - it's looking at money. Gotta *love* politics, right?? Yuck. On Thursday, Texas passed a bill saying that teachers salaries could be reduced to below state minimums if it was deemed necessary, teachers could be furloughed up to 6 days without pay, class sizes will probably be raised, and basically there is no such thing as being a "tenured" teacher. Layoffs will no longer be based on years of experience - they will now reserve the right to get rid of seasoned teachers just because they get more money. On Saturday, a district nearby (that several friends work for) tried to pass a tax increase to help out with their districts financial woes, and it didn't pass. Now teachers in their districts are facing more layoffs, no bus transportation, loss of fine arts and librarians, among other things. Seriously?!

Right before school got out, my district sent out a memo basically saying that they may or may not lower our salaries to the state minimum (which would mean a $10,000 pay cut) this next school year but will not be able to tell us if they're doing it until basically next school year - so August/September. We had to sign a paper saying that we received the memo and everything, which basically means they're thinking about it pretty darn seriously!! I'll be honest, missing 12 weeks of the beginning of the year, in a new school where I don't know anyone, won't know my kids coming in, with a new state test looming over my head AND the potential of losing $10,000 of my hard earned salary has just about taken away any excitement whatsoever I had mustered up about this next school year. Plus factor in this new mess with our state legislature and I feel like our states education system is going down the drain super fast. I mean what guarantees I'll even be able to still have a job when this next school year starts? If they can't figure a way to make financial ends meet they can still move me wherever they want, which is kind of ridiculous considering I'll be out on maternity leave anyway... It's a little scary to have so much uncertainty hanging over my head with my son so close to being here.

We spent the majority of our weekend (after hearing about another local districts woes as well as the this new mess created by the state legislature) discussing possibilities for our little family. When we moved, we had to make a split decision because we had to be out of our house by a certain date... and all of our options fell through at the last minute. So we are now living 45 minutes away from where we were living previously (which means at least 50+ min from my job). We've been looking at options to be able to buy a house (which we can't do until at least August) but we're both leery of that choice because we don't know where we would like to live. We love the area we are currently renting in, and while it's closer to my husbands work it's much further from mine. And I have to be at work at 7:30 vs 10:00 for him. We also finally finally have some money in savings (that we were going to use for a down payment) but with a baby on the way and so much uncertainty, we'd really like to keep that money there. Which makes it seem like the obvious choice would be to stay right where we are for awhile. However, I have NO desire to drive so far to work... so I need a back up plan. I can't just be a stay home mom... my husband is still building his realtor base at his mortgage job so he's still trying to build consistency so I've got to be bringing some money home. So basically, I'm trying to figure out what my options are before I decide to resign.

I've thought about working in a preschool setting, tutoring (which I haven't the first clue about how to get some clients...), TpT... I'd really like to keep whatever I do in the education setting since I do plan on teaching again in the future and I'd really like to start on my masters degree. Any suggestions?? :)

I know my posts have kind of turned into rambling, but there's a lot going on here in our personal lives (which is affecting my professional life!) and I'm just trying to get it all under "control". Especially before our sweet boy gets here and that's getting closer and closer and closer!! Thanks for all your support and suggestions!!


  1. It is so hard to prepare for something when you dont know what to expect. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. Hopefully everything falls into place so you can get some peace before little man gets here!

  2. WOW. What a lot of uncertainty. So sorry for all your going through! BUT congrats on the upcoming arrival of your sweet baby boy!! :-)

  3. All of this is really scary, isn't it? In Ohio, we are facing similar issues, although not quite the same. We still have one more year on our current contract, but I think we're all a little nervous about what will happen after that. I've never figured out how to get a tutoring business started either, maybe hang some fliers in local grocery stores, YMCA, community centers? Also, maybe just let the teachers in your building know you are wanting to tutor, so if they have a struggling student, they can tell the parents that you offer tutoring services as an option for them. I've always heard the going rate is $20 an hour, but I have no idea if that's right. It is definitely tough, but think positive thoughts! :-) And congratulations on your baby!

  4. Things aren't quite as bad in NJ but our Gov is horrible - google him. My suggestion is that you do not leave your district if you have tenure/seniority. I have been laid off 4 times in 6 years and I am getting a lot of interviews because my masters is in special ed, but districts just don't want to pay me anywhere near a 7th year teacher's salary. If you can stick it out, do it! I looked into the preschool thing and at most they wanted to pay $16 an hour (and NJ supposedly pays teachers better than other states). Tutors here can get up to $65/hr for elementary and more for higher ed. You might get clients for that on craigslist. Good luck and relax - at least you have a baby as a good distraction from the chaos!

    Miss B, Busy Bee