Should I take the job or stay where I am? - offer
November 16, 2018 2:14 PM   Subscribe

I'm finding it hard to weigh up the pros and cons of staying where I am now or making a move. Opinions appreciated!

Cliffnotes: I am a writer who has spent the last three years teaching english abroad as a foreign language. Recently I have been thinking more about my future, ie. returning to education to attain a post-grad degree to earn a better salary as a teacher. To get the ball rolling, I spent this summer researching British English schools in my chosen Spanish city & sent resumes to the ones I felt aligned with my values etc.

I received no response & therefore took 2 part-time jobs - one teaching business English to adults & the other is an evening job where I teach younger kids. Suddenly the last person left & they invited me in for interview, hey job offer!

Current job
- It's nice to essentially be paid for talking to adults who already have a high level of English/no stressful discipline issues.
- I have 3 mornings free to WRITE my novel.
- In the evening job I have my own classroom & most of the kids are very sweet. I have also forged close friendships with my colleagues AND my boss that I am afraid I will lose out on socially should I leave. I look forward to being there generally.
- The commmuute between jobs. In total it is approx 2hrs 15 mins. Lately I am falling asleep on the train but have also been suffering with colds & flus for a month which might be making me more tired/listless.
- There are a couple of behavioural issues I am struggling with that are really getting me down. Maybe I would feel more equipped to handle it if I did not have a darn cold for a month, but there are a couple of students that are consistently causing problems & I am sure with some undiagnosed ADHD (possibly!) is not improving & there is no discipline system so to speak.

New job as a teacher who specifically helps kids who are struggling get up to speed.
- A school with a positive atmosphere in a British English like was my original goal.
- I would earn $500 more per month....hello saving! hello travels! :)
- The school said they would support me in my dream of becoming a teacher if I wanted to - they helped the last teacher in my role get her post-grad & she now works as a fully-fledged primary teacher.
- The commute! Door to door is 90 mins. I barely noticed it.

- Teaching the same kids English every day x5 times a week- I fear the planning & having no time to write/live. I don't know the kids yet, or what issues I will face. It could be worse than issues I face now!
- I will not have my own classroom. Instead I will be in the library, which is a beautiful bright space which basically resembles a zen forest. But the librarian may be present which could add an element of being 'watched'. Not used to that.
- Saying goodbye to my current evening job/potential social life.
- I will work full time, as opposed to part time, leaving less time to write my novel. But I will be out of the door by 16.30 every day.

Help me decide?
posted by Willow251 to Work & Money (3 answers total)
A few questions:

1) You can write 3 mornings a week, but have you been writing on your free mornings?
2) How much extra time do you spend commuting now, and how much will you be if you work full-time? It sounds like a lot of time in transit for both situations.
3) Do you think you're getting sick partly from stress? When I worked two jobs, both of which had their issues, I got sick a lot.
4) With the extra money, could you move closer to the school and thus have more time to write?

I think the extra money is a big deal, as is the regularity of your hours, and the fact that it could help you get your degree, those are all great things. If you can write every morning before your commute, and one weekend day for a few solid hours, that could work well.
You also said "potential" social life, if your colleagues like you they will still like you if you take a job that is a better opportunity for you and you can still hang out with them.

I would see if you can find out why the other teacher left, unless the librarian is giving you a bad feeling it's unlikely she would find your lessons that worthy of attention after a few weeks.
posted by lafemma at 2:44 PM on November 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

If your goal is that post-grad, a school that will actively help you get it and did for the last person is is huge. However if you hate classroom management, do you think it’s because you need more training and support (in which case yay to a structured school and post grad) or that you just hate it (in which case pursuing both work and a career teaching kids might not be the right choice.)

If your goal is writing, then evaluate whether you can achieve that on weekends/during your commute/etc. Are you using those mornings like gold?

Be confident in your experience and abilities in front of the librarian. She might be great.
posted by warriorqueen at 5:06 AM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

The prep of teaching the same thing gets easier over time as you develop a curriculum and materials you can reuse. Not to say it’s ever easy, but it does become more routine.

The librarian probably wants you to succeed, and will probably help with keeping kids in line— if only to keep the library in order. Also, if you do post-grad, people will literally be observing you teaching anyway so getting used to it now might ultimately be a benefit.

I don’t see any red flags of not taking the job. One job (not two) that pays enough money and has a significantly shorter commute is a huge deal. I think you’ll find time to write— maybe not immediately, but you will. (You have to have days off sometines, right?) Plus they’ll work with you on school. I think you should take the new job.
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:22 AM on November 17, 2018

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