Sunday, August 1, 2010
Careers: To Choose, or Not to Choose.
So my mom was complaining about having to go back to work tomorrow (after being off the past month) & I was like "WTF?" She said that, as a school counselor, she only gets one month off, as opposed to the teachers who get like 6 or 8 weeks off. I told her that she should be glad she gets a month. At the State we only get like 12 weird holidays every year & have to work all 12 months without any kind of Winter Break, Spring Break or Summer Break.
Honestly, if I didn't detest those vile little creatures called children (glad I never was one), then I'd totally consider working for the school system...
Well maybe not... I don't think I'd fare well in an ISD.
(The next part is ONLY what I, personally, have observed throughout my time as a student as MISD & a citizen in the Mexia ISD.)
Have you any idea what they pay a first year teacher? Or a 2nd, third or 4th year teacher for that matter? At that pathetic base pay, not even the school holiday-breaks would be worth it because I'd be having to work a 2nd job during Christmas, spring & summer breaks just to survive financially...
Plus, from what I've observed from watching MISD, the politics are worse than working for the State. Not only do you have the Superintendent & a Principal or 3 (which I've heard at MISD have a major favoritism problem),but you also have an elected Board, who chooses whether or not to renew your annual contract, based on what they feel & hear instead of actually observing you teaching in the classroom. It all appears to be way too high on the "buddy" system, which is not good for me since I prefer to work my tail off to prove that I can do my job, & not kiss the behinds of people who may or may not renew my contract because I'm not a member of the right crowd.
On top of that, there is few little room for advancement in the school system. You start as a teacher (making pennies every month) and the only way you're going to advance is if you go back to school (and debt) to finish a Masters degree in a certain field, then hope you're part of the right crowd to get a position in your ISD as either a counselor, principal or reading/math/English specialist. If you're in a horribly political district (like MISD) & not in the right group, you will probably have to end up finding a job in another district which means uprooting your family, leaving your friends and so forth, just to advance your career to try to make something of yourself & help your family. If you choose the Administration route, after serving several thankless years as a principle, you're then eligible to apply for a position as a district Superintendent. From what I've observed in Mexia, Superintendents generally come from another district (where they've been run off from their board) and only serve one or two contract periods before their Board decides they aren't worthy & runs them off again. Way too much temporary-ness for someone who likes roots, such as myself.
While the pay of the ISD becomes tolerable (after like 10 years in the system), what's the point since you're going to either have to stay a teacher, hoping that you can stay on the right side of whatever admin comes in the next year, or as an administrator who's on the move every few years because you can't please everyone & have to make decisions that obviously not everyone will like. No thanks! Not the place for me...
While I may tease my mom about her "one month vacation," I'm really happy for her that she is fortunate enough to be in a small, happy district (from what I have seen, due to a low-turnover rate, and everyone seems to love their jobs). She's in a position she enjoys, in a nice school w/ good teachers & Admin. It's not as "clique-ish" since it is a small town & there's not really enough people in it to have more than one group lol. It's also ideal for her because she's doing what she wants to do & she doesn't like to play the political "game" which exists in so many larger places. I've noticed the teachers, aides, administrators in her district are so much more laid back, that if I had to work in an ISD, I'd definitely choose one similar to that.
However, it still isn't what I'd want. While my momma's content in her career, I'm still young (& ambitious) enough that I'd want to climb higher. While I personally am not a fan of political games, I understand that they exist everywhere and don't mind playing enough to get where I want to be.
I guess what I've realized is, that everyone is different. For some, the ISD is a perfect place for a career, while others it's horrible. I'm sure that for some the State wouldn't be ideal, and somewhere even more cut-throat with a corporate ladder is what they crave.
So in conclusion, I imagine that I've found something else to "mark off" my list of what I want to be when I grow up. I love my facility and couldn't see myself leaving to teach little beasts all day in exchange for lots of time off during the year.
I wont say that in the future, as I take more into my personal life & get older & tired of fighting I may look at something in the field of education for the aforementioned reasons, but right now, I absolutely love what I'm doing, love how it effects my personal life and I look forward to the future advancement, knowledge and whatever else it may bring me. I also encourage everyone to pursue what will give them the most out of their life. For some it seems money is the major incentive, while others want power, and some want ease. People should pursue their personal interests in careers, which is why we have so many different fields of careers in our world today.