I was a full-time social studies teacher for fourteen years. For the last five years of that time, my wife, also a social studies teacher, stayed at home to raise our four children. In 2009, my wife wanted to get back into full-time teaching. I thought that it was now my turn to give since my wife has always given so much of herself. I told my wife that if she landed a full-time teaching job that was more than an hour away from where I was teaching that we would move for her job. I would give up my teaching job and be able to find a full-time job in teaching, business, or industry if I had to. After all, I have marketable skills and a Masters degree and I had never been without employment since the time I was twelve years old.
Needless to say, 2009 was the wrong time to leave a job of any kind, especially that of a social studies teacher. We have struggled for the past three-plus years and I have broadened my teaching job search to include ALL English speaking countries. Unfortunately, there appears to be a dearth of social studies teachers world wide. No one needs social studies teachers. The market is flooded!
My wife teaches at a private, Catholic, classical academy and because we are sending our children to the other Catholic school in town for middle school on, my wife will be asked to leave her current position at the end of next school year.
After spending some time over the past three years as a contract writer, copy writer, editor, and substitute teacher, we desperately needed full-time employment for me. I have been working as a credentialing coordinator through a job agency for the past year and I long to be back in the classroom.
I usually get up around 5:00 am and I am at my desk by 7:00 am. I basically do data entry, staring at a computer screen until lunch at 11:30am. At 12:30 pm I return back to my desk and computer and stare at the screen manipulating data until 4:30 pm.
From 5:00 pm until 5:30 pm I have supper with my family. After supper, I generally watch one television show for a half hour to an hour. I do this in order to prepare for my attention to shift to my laptop for the rest of the evening. If I’m not working on tasks for an online course, then I am doing research on social media websites for educational technology topics. If I’m not engaged in one of those activities I am looking for and applying for teaching jobs anywhere in the world, except the places my wife refuses to move to (Afghanistan, Pakistan, pretty much the entire Middle East, and China).
This process lasts until somewhere between 10:00 pm and 12:30 am. And then I try to get some sleep. The weekends are a little different in that I usually only work four hours on Saturday (we need the overtime to make ends meet). We occasionally will do something as a family like go out for coffee or visit the local Barnes and Noble store or visit my parents or my wife’s parents. Sunday includes, church and maybe a family game late in the afternoon. Other than those brief distractions it’s research, class, or networking and job searching.
That’s it! That’s a day in my life. A former colleague of mine recently asked me if I was happy. As a person, I am happy for all that God has given me. As a teacher I am frustrated in having to continually look for a job. The pressure is really on to find something permanent and full-time with benefits because next year my wife will be out of her full-time teaching job which we literally sacrificed for.
I hope and pray every day that I will find full-time with benefits employment soon. I hope that God still wants me to teach but He has not opened any doors in that direction which confuses me to no end. At the end of the day I can be happy in the knowledge that I have put in a full day and that I am trying my hardest to find out where God would like me to be 😎