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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Must Be Nice…

I subbed two 5th grade classes on Monday & Tuesday this week. The first was a tough day, the second pretty easy.

Those were the only subbing days I’ve worked since the Thanksgiving break. Five days of vacation break followed by an additional seven days of no calls.

“Must be nice”, she said going out the door to work while I’m lounging in my PJ’s.

My wife has one of those regular jobs where they expect you to show up for work on a regular basis. She’s also into a ton of extra curricular, non-paying activities that most times make for some real long days away from the house.

She’s tired and stressed. She’s got too much to do and not enough time to do it all. I understand completely what she’s feeling. She’d like to have more time to herself. She’d like an unscheduled day, week or even a month off. I know I enjoy it!

I don’t have to ask for a day off or “get it approved” by anyone. I don’t need a reason. I don’t have to prepare for someone else to do my job for me in case I have to cancel at the last moment. It’s actually pretty stress free most of the time.

While regular teachers DO get a lot of time off, I get even more. I get the three months of summer plus 3-4 weeks during the school year for the scheduled holiday weeks. I also get any days that I can’t work due to personal commitments and days where I simply “don’t wanna go”. Add to that the days I don’t work because I’m not needed and it sometimes seems like I’m not working at all!

So when she says: “Must be nice”, I know I’m supposed to feel guilty. To assuage that guilt, I simply state that she could have all those same benefits (plus low pay) that I have. All she has to do is quit and start substitute teaching too!

But…she reads this blog and “must be nice” doesn’t much come to mind compared to her current job.


Mrs. K. said...

Hello Mr. P:
I have been subbing in Placer County (Northern California) for two years. It IS nice to have the flexibility to teach or not to teach.
The money, however, sucks! I am an English teacher and I still can't think of a better word for the lousy compensation! I did the math and figured that even if I got an assigment every day of the school year (180 days), at $90 a day, I would make only about $16,000 a year. Minus taxes and a few other deductions, I make about $100 UNDER the poverty line! And that's working everyday!
For the retired teacher, that's do-able, I suppose. But I have spent two years and $20K securing a teaching credential. Teaching is so impacted now, I am applying for jobs with the federal government.
At 51, I can't sit and wait for teaching opportunities.
I love kids (yes, even the high schoolers) and I love the high from the actual "teachable" moments I have as a sub. Breaks my heart to leave my dreams behind. But I need something that pays better. I am pursuing any profession that doesn't involve a pole. LOL.
Looking forward to reading your blog. Mrs. K.

GT Goddess said...

I am always happy on the first day the phone doesn't ring - I sit around in my pj's, blog, etc too. By day 2 I think "well, this won't last" and get out to do errands, clean the house, etc. Day 3 I'm in full panic mode and believe that the school district has some sort of vendetta against me.
Mrs. K - I get paid more than $90/day but still have a second job for weekends, slow days, and holidays. And it sucks to have to rely on that when you have a master's degree!

Ashley said...

No matter how you slice it time off is always good. Sure, the pay isn't the best, but having time to do (or not do) the things you want or go (or not go) on trips can be well worth it. No matter the money doing what you love (and you have to love it if you're a teacher) is good. But doing it when you want to is better.