Ironic that this is this week’s topic, given Iowa’s union-busting abolishment of collective bargaining for public employees. Now, I’ve questioned my career choice of education many times, but up until now, it really hasn’t been all THAT bad.
Sure, you get some poos in your class, and the constant changes and odd mandates and long hours and stacks of papers to grade, and numerous other things, can get overwhelming.
The truth is, up until now, I felt a valued contributor to society and the future. Pay was…OK for what it is. It’s nine months of work, and with summers off, we’re able to stretch those nine months of checks to be issued over 12 months, and salaries are fair enough that MOST (depending on if there’s a spouse, what that person does for a living and if there’s some outstanding bills/loans) of us don’t need to take another job over those summer months. Our (district) insurance is good, we can’t be fired without due process, sick days are generous, personal and family days are reasonable.
And really? Even with the occasional poo, when I get the chance to just teach, I enjoy what I do in the classroom. Yes, standardized testing and crazy “try this new thing in education that’s ‘proven’ (in a very narrow and limited situation) RIGHT NOW” that we get about every six months do tend to try my patience, again, the classroom part of my job – you know, the part that’s actually in the TITLE of my job, is great!
On bad days, I’d dream of doing something else (what, I wasn’t sure) or even nothing and yet able to maintain our current standard of living.
Thanks to Iowa’s senate and governor that is looking more like a need than a daydream.
But what would I do? Seriously?? A couple years ago, the Jim Henson company was seeking to hire women and minorities. I did some hefty research on that. (Not totally crazy; I DO have a theater background and love of puppets.) But I have zero actual puppet education and experience other than a couple of assignments in college. Thus, nothing no (no servos and robotics), no voice work, no audition tape, no performance or building experience. And then there was the matter of moving halfway across the country…….
(Fun fact, a muppeteer once came to a town about 20 minutes away and held a FREE workshop. It was one of the best things I have ever attended, and I got to play with actual muppets [used in actual Jim Henson productions], though not any famous characters.)
I don’t want to sell things. I don’t want to answer phones. I don’t want to be a trainer. I’d like good hours and decent pay – something to make up for 80 days off in the middle of the year I’d no longer have. It would be stupid to go back to school when not only do I not know what I want to do, but I’m still paying on my original college loans. There’s also not a whole heck of a lot around here.
Giving museum tours would be fun….but the nearest museums are an hour away, not hiring, and not only are usually volunteers but prefer knowledge in history or art (as there are other duties involved if a paid position).
Data entry would be a dream. I’m not a kidding. I’m a quick Tyler – even numbers – and I can pretty much space out. That would prevent my brain from being completely exhausted both intellectually and creatively when i got home, so I can pursue hobbies such as art, crochet, and flute more.
Speaking of which, there was a time I’d have loved to be a professional musician. I’m still good, but out of practice. That can be remedied, but I know a whole heck of a lot more about what that’s like. I read The Show Must Go On by former London Symphony Orchestra first flute Garett Davies. That life is NOT for me. Small job stuff, like weddings, would be fun (and do-able) but there’s no way I’d get enough work to replace the job I have.
So I don’t know what to do, and I’m open for suggestions.
My true dream job is one I enjoy. I’m not enjoying teaching (well, the education career) right now, and it’s not going to get any better, but there’s nothing I can think of to replace it.