I’m in the midst of applying for a job–well two different positions at the same school, actually. These are full-time, tenure-track positions at college that is a little bit of a commute, but either position may also have online coursework, which would be pretty ideal. These are some of the very first full-time positions that have surfaced in the last several years, since the budget cuts to higher education in California froze all hiring at nearby colleges. Job prospects have been pretty bleak in my field in recent years.
I have been far from enthusiastic about continuing to pursue the teaching profession for a few years now, and I am set on this whole new birth work career path. But I never have landed that full-time gig, so I really have no idea what it’s like not to be a freeway flyer, what it’s like to have regular health benefits and a salary, what it means to have respect in my position, or even a consistent office for that matter. I’ve gotten so very close on many occasions, but I can’t help but think this might be the time, that maybe I should give it one more chance.
It doesn’t hurt that this would mean an incredible amount of stability, that we could send BG to the preschool we want him to go to at J’s university. It would allow us to look toward buying a house where we want to live. And it would help me afford the training I really want to do for doula and childbirth ed. Of course, the bonus with teaching is that summers are off (if you don’t go all crazy and teach summer school), so J and I would both have summers off. We would have summers off with our son. See why this more than a little tempting?
So I’m giving it a go. I have to see if I might actually like teaching again when I have the benefit of a real position and stability.
It’s terrifying to do this, however, for a number of reasons: I don’t want to spend my life amidst stacks of student papers and miss out on my family. I don’t want to have to put committee work and meetings and students above watching my son grow up. I don’t want to get stuck in work that I don’t enjoy just because it comes with a steady paycheck. This last one I’m really afraid of.
So you see, it’s not an easy decision applying for this job, but I have to know whether I have the chops, whether I can make it in academia once and for all. If I can, and I like it, great. If I can’t, it just means I’ve got other things to pursue. It is a bit thrilling, though, thinking about standing in front of a bunch of students on the first day of class again. I can’t deny that the classroom is a good fit for me. And in these last nearly three years away from it, I’ve missed it.