Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Professional Opportunities in Times of Uncertainty

One of the hallmarks of the American Experience is the mobility of the population. From our immigrant ancestor's original trip here to our ability to move to better our conditions, Americans value mobility across the country and through the class ranks. This mobility remains especially important in times of economic stress. As educators, we can move to new schools or educational settings.

Educators have a variety of reasons for moving, but two important ones include, finding a new school to earn more money and finding a better working environment.

As individual educators, you don't have to be young to change jobs, just be willing to adapt. Children all over Earth need our help, so we can always find places to skillfully practice our craft.

What about those of us whose spouses or families cannot adapt with us? Well, in my experience, you can always commute. My husband's work and investments are in the land, so he must stay where we live to keep everything working.

In 1998-99, I was following a professional dream to be an independent contractor helping various schools with their curriculum and professional development inservices. I discovered that I needed more economic stability. I chose to take a job in Wichita, Kansas where I found a high level of professionalism and pay in their school district. I taught there from 1999 through 2004. Even though I had never taught in a city, I found the experience exhilarating.

Since this was a weekly commute, I rented an apartment. My daughter joined me in 2000 and we lived in the city during the week. We drove home on Friday afternoon. My husband's help was critical to the success of this mission, and my daughter enjoyed her elementary school years in Wichita.

My family's experience is not unique, but I wanted to share it to let others know that when you need them, you can find professional opportunities out there. During this time of economic upheaval, I hope anyone who needs to improve their teaching or economic situation will consider such viable options as moving, short commutes or weekly commutes.


Brent Jones said...

I hate to commute, but have done it plenty. Not practical for me to move at this point in life and market. Looking for a new school and hoping for the best.

samccoy said...

I admire your tenacity. I had to be determined to work through those years.

Even though it is a comedy, I love the captain in Galaxy Quest's motto: "Never Give Up! Never surrender!"

I like that you are working the online component. That helps create opportunities for professional development and possible employment.