Hello beautiful readers –
I need your help. No seriously, please pull up a seat, put on your listening ears, and get ready to vote. I’ve been using every person I know as a sounding board and I figured why not reach out to my thoughtful, amazing followers? I have been annoying my friends and family, using all my resources at work, and questioning Drew to no end. I understand why, but no one has given me a definitive “do this and run with it!”. Whatever I end up choosing, it’s a huge deal, and what friend wants that kind of pressure and would want to be so blunt? That’s why I’m turning to you guys. So please, don’t be shy. At the end of the post I will have a poll and of course my comments are open to everyone. Let the flood gates open and guys, steer me right.
I need to decide what my next step in life is going to be, and for most of my options, the clock is about to run out. I am leaning towards a few, feel confident in most, but I can’t seem to chose just one yet.
I guess I should tell you guys where I’m at now in life, a little background to help you all pick the best course.
Currently, I am a special ed teacher’s aid in a gorgeous, brand new high school. I got my degree in history, but I am an aid for the English department. I’m beginning to fall in love with English, possibly more than history, but that’s another story, for another Monday.
I want to do more than be just an aid though. I watch my fellow teachers and I know I need to keep moving up. I could see myself in their shoes and loving it. At the same time though, I felt the same way about my college professors. I loved going to classes, and my whole academic experience. Up until recently I figured I would be a college teacher, but higher education is expensive and a huge time commitment. That’s why I got the job I did. It was a foot in the door, great experience in my field, and something I could enjoy and make some extra money while I figured things out. But now it’s opened almost too many doors and I’m more confused then ever.
Here are my options.
– Provisional license + Masters.
In special ed, there’s a thing called a Provisional License. It’s a temporary license that some educators can get for three years as they are working towards their masters and actual licensure. You can only get one if you are already in the school system and have all this paper work filled out. Luckily for me, I can fulfill those requirements before next summer. If I got one, I would be able to become a full time, real, fully employed, special education teacher. If someone hires me of course. Wanna know the best part though? I’m in a new school, which will be expanding for the next five years. Positions will be opening up left and right, and I’m shinning and working extremely hard. People already know me and trust me, I would have a huge advantage and an actual chance of getting a position NEXT FALL.
The problem? That job would mean twice as much work, well over twice as much pay, crazy responsibilities and hard days. But that would mean a lot more money and the ability to follow a master’s program and become a college teacher debt free. Not to mention amazing experience for a resume. Major downside? I have to create lesson plans and schedule IEPs and meet with parents and have unbelievable work loads every day at work and even when I come home. So yes, I would have more than enough money to get my entire degree (not just 18 credits), but would I have the time and energy to go to class and do homework? Would I be able to keep up with everything I needed to do?
– Teacher’s Aid + Masters.
I gotta be honest. I don’t make much money as an assistant. Sure, it’s extra spending money and savings during the month for Drew and I, and a little more finical stability with two incomes. But if I was to get into a master’s program, debt and loans would be coming in rapidly. I love my job though, and I have no responsibilities when I’m not in the classroom. This double edged sword? I would have the time after work to actually do homework, enjoy classes, fight traffic. But the money would be thin, and I’d have a big fat loan to pay off when I get out.
– Provisional + Save.
There’s another option, that I’m not really leaning towards, but does have it’s advantages. I could get my provisional license, double my pay, get great experience, challenge myself in the workforce. But this time around, I could just forget about going to school altogether. I have three years to a provisional, so I could work making that amount and save a huge chunk. Maybe after I’m done, I could get out of the system and start a family. Or with my savings go to school. But it would be starting either of those long processes almost four years from now. Which is reasonable, but I can’t help but feel uneasy waiting to follow my actual dreams. A smart, but frustrating choice.
– Teacher’s Aid + Relax.
There’s an even safer alternative. I could keep being a teacher’s aid for as long as I want. I could save the little extra money I get, relax every night, and just take it easy. No homework, no extra commute, no debt, no tuition, no bringing work home, or trying to get a job, or go through paper work. While in many ways, this sounds like the best option, I don’t see myself being happy with it. Already just a month or two into this life style and job, I am flustered, confused, and I feel like I’m missing something. I’m itching to be doing more. I don’t think I could stay this way for long, let alone… years? It’s not the worst thing, but the most boring thing.
– Provisional licensure + High school licensure.
Just for the heck of it, I thought I’d throw this in as an option. I’m mostly just curious if anyone would encourage me to pursue this. I could still go through the process, get my provisional, and become a special ed teacher. Instead of trying to get my masters in history or English to teach college, I could try to get my actual teaching license. Like I said, I have my foot in the door, unlimited resources, and I have already fallen in love with my school family and the environment I get to work in. THIS option is the hardest and the most work. Not only am I taking the harder job, but I would also have tons of extra school work as well. There are four to six huge, expensive, challenging testes you have to take to get your license. The competition for those jobs are fierce. The hours are long, the requirements are grueling, the standards are daunting. But I’m in this place and I can’t help but feel like I want to stay, at least just a little. To be a peer with my co-workers and stay in the family. I don’t know.
That’s the thing guys.
I DON’T KNOW.
I guess I should tell you what I’m tentatively planning. I’m thinking that Plan #1 with my provisional + masters might be my best bet. I would start taking classes for my masters starting this January. That way, I’d have a little bit of loans, but still time to knock out almost a full course load. All the while, I’ll be preparing my provisional paper work and applying for special ed jobs. And if I decide that even being a TA is hard while in school, I’d still have my provisional for when I do have time, if I even want to use it! It’d be a great option to have, if ever needed. In the summer, I’ll take more master classes and hopefully get hired as a full time teacher. By next fall I would then have 12-15 credits (you need 18 to teach introductory classes) completed and I will be going into the new job with only one class left. That semester I’ll finish my 18 credits, but will still be making my much bigger pay check. I’ll have that whole next semester to continue my masters, and/or apply for jobs, while still having the pay check and security of my special ed teaching. If things are horrible and I don’t get hired as a professor right away, I still have my provisional and pay check for three years. But hopefully, with time, I would get out of the system and into a university quickly and debt free.
Now that’s a lot of ifs, buts, hopefullys, and fingers crossed. I might not get my provisional. I might not get hired as a special ed teacher. I might not get into my master’s program. I might not get hired as a professor. I might crash and burn. But I think personally, that this plan is my best bet for me to feel happy and challenged and is the perfect mix of what I want and need.
Maybe college teaching doesn’t pay and I’d end up hating it. Maybe I’m overestimating what I can accomplish. Maybe I should start a family sooner than later, so I should just stay the course and get pregnant soon. Maybe I should look into teaching in the private sector without a license but the good pay. Maybe I should look into being just a special ed teacher for longer than three years.
I DON’T KNOW.
Or you know guys, Ordinary Adventures could suddenly become famous over night and I could quit everything and blog full time.