Friday, October 05, 2007

do I need a job?

I realized that if I go too long without getting called in to work, I start to feel disconnected and useless, regardless of whatever else may be going on.

Today I worked for most of the school day, as the teacher I was subbing for had to be out in the morning and wasn't sure whether or not she would make it back for the rest of the day. By the time 1PM rolled around, I figured she wouldn't bother coming in, but then she showed up and so I left, feeling very much at loose ends. I wasn't psychologically ready to go, I hadn't finished the day. I admit it, I was a little sad at having to leave!

Yesterday I started thinking again about going back to school and getting my teacher's certification and all that. DS1 will be starting high school (!) in three years (!!) and I'm thinking if I could work in a decent private high school, maybe we'd get a break on tuition. But the idea of teaching full time still scares me, even though more and more when I sub, I feel frustrated with classroom situations that I would handle so much differently, but I can't do anything because I'm just the sub. I think how it would be (so much more work!) to have my own classroom and my own classes. I'm sure I could do it (barring recurrence or any other medical crisis.)

Every time I get on this path I start waffling: what about the writing? Haven't been earning much at all lately, but have done some good stuff and hope to parlay that into something, eventually. I want to get back to the food writing, and should work on putting my columns together into a book... there's a lot of work that should be done there, but so far I am utterly lacking in the discipline to do it.

Two columns can earn me what I make for a day's teaching... and often take less time, and are more convenient. Plus, the writer's life is an infinitely flexible one, whereas the teaching life ties you to the academic calendar. Getting a teaching certificate is going to cost some not-insignificant amount of money; continuing to write is pretty much free, except for time, but of course getting certified would require a huge time investment also. Teaching is fun and fulfilling and keeps me in contact with people in the world at large; writing is fun and fulfilling and isolating, at least the kind of writing I have been doing.

I don't know how to make this decision: go back to school, get certified, teach -- or stay home, sub whenever, and write? I think I will keep doing what I'm doing and see what shakes out.

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