Friday, April 29, 2016

Are We Done Yet?

Last summer, I was offered the opportunity to be part of a cohort that would be teaching Intermediate Writing at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC). I was offered four classes, which I was delighted to be offered, because at the time I didn't know I would be offered a full time position teaching English at Copper Hills High School. Once I was offered that full time position, I scaled back my SLCC availability, which I felt rather badly about, but I felt I had to prioritize a full-time position (benefits! a pension! an actual salary!) over one that was not.

Then, in the fall, I was asked if I'd consider taking classes for an ESL endorsement. The district would pay for it; the endorsement would be six classes and would take a year. Sure, I said, if you're footing the bill. Not a bad feather to have in my cap. Plus it's an additional 18 graduate credits that could be applied towards a salary lane change at the high school. (One can earn a raise by earning 30 graduate credits beyond one's graduate degree.)

Then, at about the same time, I was tracked down by the writing center director at Long Island University, where I had begun (but had not completed) a previous master's degree; the director said that since I only needed to finish a thesis, would I be interested in completing that, and she would be the primary reader? Sure, I said. It will definitely lead to a raise at the high school.

So I've been juggling a few things this year. but my various obligations are coming to an end. My thesis has been put on the back burner until this summer; I've made some good progress, but there are still some revisions that need to be done. I hope to be completed by December. And the ESL endorsement will be completed at about the same time. My adjuncting is also finishing up this week; next week our cohort has a post mortem. On Monday, there will be a month remaining of my enjoying my high school students.

In the past month I've had two colds and an ear infection. I'm still getting over one of those colds and the ear infection. I need a nap.

P.S.: I did agree to teach two summer classes at SLCC, mostly so that I'd have a summer income, and also so that I wouldn't become to bored I'd do something stupid like become a notary again. (A few summers ago, I was in fact so bored I became a notary. I'm not allowed to do that again. I didn't get to notarize anything because Ed wouldn't allow me to buy the nifty notary gear.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Having It All

I've been reading a lot of articles lately on "having it all" and "hitting the glass ceiling" and Equal Pay Day.

I'm still not sure what "having it all" means, nor am I sure that it's good to always get everything you want when you want it. I'd like to have a kid - that's probably not going to happen, although one can't guarantee something happening; I can either let it destroy me or I can do other things. I can watch my nephew grow up; I can pay attention to my students and hopefully have a few students I grow close to over the years. Perhaps if I wanted to work in business or another field, or wanted a supervisory position, or to be a school district superintendent, there would be additional pressures.

I work in an industry that doesn't differentiate pay based on anything other than education and experience. I can't speak to higher education; although I'll continue to adjunct as long as I can, I don't think I'll pursue a full-time job in high education. Within K-12 public education, there are salary schedules, so within that school district, one's education and one's experience is fairly easy to determine. It's not perfect; My experience part-time college teaching doesn't "count" as teaching experience. That said, this issue is not specific to me. Furthermore, education is education, although there are exceptions: A colleague recently mentioned that the Ph.D. he's working on might be difficult to prove because he's earning that doctorate in another country. However, my master's degree is not worth more than someone else's. In other words, the salary schedule is an equalizer.

I know a handful of people who do want those corner offices, or who do not consider themselves successful unless they have a certain salary. I'm happy with my job, partly because it's been a struggle to get any full-time job that I've liked. Neither Ed nor I are acquisitive, so perhaps we already have it all.