How to find a job with school hours (9-3)?
May 25, 2023 9:46 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find a job that allows me to work 9-3PM with no evenings or weekends in order to be with my kids (5, 11, and 15) during summer and after school. What roles should I be considering, and how should I find them? Right now, I work part-time in a public library and need to work until 5PM one day, until 9PM another day, and a full weekend day twice a month.

I have a master's in library science and experience working as a solo librarian at a government contract library for early childhood education( pre-kids), as an assistant in a circulation department, and as an assistant in adult reference (current position).

I'm interested in finding a role during school hours because the kids often need transportation and parental presence after school, especially 3:30-6:30PM, and during the summer when they're not at camp or working (oldest). I've mostly been home with them except for the circulation assistant job 7 years ago, and my current role, which I've been in for 6 months. I've been thinking about a school library position, but also interested in working from home.

We don't have any family in the area to help out, and aren't interested in child care or a nanny because so many of the activities they're in involve having a parent present (driving them places, attending games for their sports, facilitating play dates for younger kid). Up until now, my husband been taking care of the afternoons and weekend days when I've been at work, but he wants to get back to the office 5 days a week downtown, and we're an hour north of the city.

If you've been in this situation, how did you find a flexible job limited to school hours?
posted by percor to Work & Money (9 answers total)
You can look for other jobs at schools outside of librarian positions. Most schools don't have many librarians but they do have admin staff and other roles that aren't teachers.
posted by SaltySalticid at 10:24 AM on May 25 [7 favorites]

How about as an Early Years drop in facilitator? (baby classes, Storytime, themed activities, Montessori type play, etc). Usually the activities do happen during school hours.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 10:35 AM on May 25 [1 favorite]

I'd also consider being a homeroom teacher - if you have experience doing library instruction for little kids, you may be attractive as a kindergarten or first-grade teacher.
posted by coffeecat at 10:45 AM on May 25

I have a few suggestions but may I just caution you slightly on taking a much different role outside of your career area because your husband "wants to" get back to the office 5 days a week downtown? Obviously that's a very very personal calculus and you two know what's the best individually and for your family...but it sounds like one of those compromises people make in a relationship that has big results, and it sounds like this one is falling along gender lines. Is the win for him worth the loss to you, if it's not a mandated change?

It makes me wonder if there's a compromise where he goes in 1 more day a week and your 15 year old does some care for the day until 5 (so just a couple of hours) and you can maintain your library career.

Anyways, some actual suggestions:

- any role in a public school that permits summers off - if substitute teaching is something you can do without a teaching certificate in your area that might be a win, and you could block off days where getting home a bit late isn't possible.

- possibly a part-time role in an academic setting that isn't needed over the summer

- roles that might be part time mornings - medical receptionist, other receptionist, grocery store, coffee shop, day care, etc. Also some roles with seniors are best in the mornings. You would probably have to quit/go on leave over the summer

Some other ways people I know handle this situation, sometimes year-round:

- hire someone that can take the kids to the activities (either on public transit or like a university student with a good driving record); hire a summer nanny who can drive

- team up with other parents at the activities (if your 15 year old can cover the childcare portions)

- pick activities that have busing/after school programs - some martial arts programs do for sure
posted by warriorqueen at 10:50 AM on May 25 [20 favorites]

I've seen school library assistant jobs posted that could be ideal if you can handle the low pay. They don't require certification as a school librarian- something which in a lot of states requires you to be certified as a teacher- and you don't take any work home at the end of the day. Obviously, same hours as school. A lot of schools have renamed school librarians as "library media specialists" so look for those. Look at your school district's employment openings. Then if you really like it consider taking whatever few courses you'd need to be certified. Also check private schools if there are any in your area that you don't find offensive.
posted by mareli at 11:00 AM on May 25 [4 favorites]

At-home daycare for the young children of teachers. A friend did this specifically so she could be closed the same days the school district had off. (This presumes your kids can walk to the bus by themselves, as they'll be heading out at the same time that your charges are being dropped off.)

Dogwalker. Do a round first thing after your kids are gone and a second round after lunch.

Lunch lady, playground attendant, or similar support position for the a school district. There's a big range in pay; cafeteria staff seem to get the lowest, special ed paras get near the top end. Some of these will require you to be at school before it starts, though, to meet the students when they get there.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:14 AM on May 25 [3 favorites]

I jumped on the same thing warriorqueen did: it sounds like your partner is choosing to do something they feel will benefit their career to the detriment of yours, and leaving you holding the bag regarding child care. You ask what we have done in this situation, and what my coparent and I did was BOTH of us got jobs with some flexibility so we could cover each other, which it sounds like is what you're doing now.

If you've decided this is the best move for your family and established how your coparent will compensate for your career setback, some possibilities are:

Bank teller or retail (quit in the summer)
Elder care
Morning school bus driver (partner does morning routine with kids)
Self-employment (whatever you're good at, but friends do indexing, editing, house cleaning, landscaping, and furniture refinishing)
I've found colleges/ universities to offer flexible part time options
Negotiating with your current employer regarding hours
posted by metasarah at 1:00 PM on May 25 [4 favorites]

The Container Store will hire folks for the "school day" shift.
posted by oceano at 2:43 PM on May 25 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you for all the suggestions! I am currently looking at school library/media center positions (assistant and librarian). They seem to be the best fit in terms of schedule and staying in the field. I wouldn't be happy working retail or other service jobs, and would definitely dislike running a home day care (don't much like the baby stage!). I should mention that my partner currently earns about 30x what I do as a part-time library assistant, so working equivalent jobs isn't really an option. 15 year old and 11 year old have extracurriculars that are well-established with no options for public transportation or busing. One of them requires a parent to be at her games that begin around 4PM during the school year. We do carpools with other families, but I need to be responsible for one part of the drop-off or pick up.
posted by percor at 7:54 AM on May 26 [1 favorite]

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