My Unemployed Teacher Dilemma

It’s 12:19am and I’m searching for ANY job opportunities.  Teaching abroad, US Foreign Service, the Department of Ed’s in the tri-state area – I’m looking…..and looking….and looking……

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Still looking....never stopped looking I guess..

Sadly, a teacher highly qualified in Art Education isn’t really in demand right now, especially where I live: the Tug Valley region/Eastern Kentucky. Yeah, I could move – and I’m not totally opposed to that but that needs to be SOMEDAY, not TODAY.  I moved back for a reason and I’m not ready to leave just yet.

Still, there are opportunities coming up if I can just hold on for the next year.  There is the random Art job in Floyd County (not THAT bad of a drive) for this upcoming year.  That is, there is an opportunity that I may have missed in Floyd County because I wasn’t searching for a job because I thought I had one – but, hey, it is what it is right?!  Who knows, I may still have a chance there.  The position I really, really, REALLY want to get is the job of middle school pre-engineering, STEM teacher.  Will that be an option for the 2013-2014 school year?  No…no, it’s not…but if I can just hold on.

Just hold on another year – that has become my mantra.

My dilemma isn’t really the “not having a job currently” situation.  As a non-tenured Art teacher, I’m used to the non-hire letters. My dilemma is deciding whether or not to apply to unemployment.  It has been suggested to me by several colleagues over the years that, yes, apply and get unemployment over the summer when you are not tenured and are let go.  I have moments where I shake my head up and down and say “yes, I’m going tomorrow and doing this.  I paid into it, I should get something back from it!”  Insert my self righteous indignation and *boom!* I’m ready to roll out and do it.

Then I sit down, look through the employment opportunities, and just don’t feel right going.  At least not at this point in time.  The nice thing about teaching is that while the nine months you are working with students are very intensive, draining, rewarding, and very difficult at times (among other things), my salary is divided up so that I will still receive a paycheck over the summer months.  While I’m receiving my paycheck, I just don’t feel right going to sign up for unemployment.  Now, if it turns out that I cannot get gainful employment over the next month and a half, I’m stuck with no income at all, then I’ll revisit the unemployment question and will probably have very different feelings about it.  Like I said, this is just me and not a comment on anyone else who has made a different decision with this “dilemma.”  Honestly, it’s probably not the smart move.  If I had kids, a ton of outstanding debt, some other “x” factor then I wouldn’t be having the dilemma.  It would be a no-brainer in fact.
 I’d go over and sign up in a heartbeat.

This is just me though.  Well, it’s me, and my cat Ralphie.  I won’t get to go to Hawaii any time soon, but I’ll be fine for the next two months.  Decisions will have to be made sooner than later, and it’s not dire straits, but it’s been something weighing on my mind.  I don’t know if many of you out there have had this same type of dilemma or if I’m making this more than what it is, but it is a concern. Every summer, wondering if I’ll have a classroom in the fall, just causes anxiety. That’s how I react to things though: initial freak out, absorbed in the fear of what to do, then it passes (quickly I might add) and things get done.
So…where to start if going to the unemployment office isn’t an option just yet?

First things first, it would probably be a great idea if I’d just calm myself down, enjoy having some time to do the projects I want to do, and just keep searching…searching for all the things!!!