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Alternatives to teaching?

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Elegant

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Date: 2/16/2009 5:32:39 PM
Author: Hudson_Hawk
One suggestion if you look into publishing roles. Be sure to read the descriptions and don''t get turned off by titles. The lingo and titles are often weird and not really connected to the actual role....I just don''t want you to miss out on anything because the title makes it sound like a sales rep role or something!
Got it! THanks!
 

mia1181

Brilliant_Rock
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Oct 25, 2006
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Sure Elegant- I''ll try to sum it all up as well as I can.

CONS
- Longer hours- Nannies typically work 50-60 hours per week. This is because you obviously need to get to work early enough for parents to leave for their work commute and then stay a while after they get back to tell them about the day. I am salaried for 44 hours a week but I work more hours frequently and get paid overtime for those hours.

-Oh how I have been thinking about how nice it would be to have summers off! Instead I only get two weeks paid vacation. Some families can offer more vacation time but if the parents work a lot they can only afford to give you so much vacation time.

- Working in peoples'' homes is so unlike most other jobs. It''s very challenging to maintain a healthy relationship with your boss, because you usually become friends. In the professional realm it''s so easy to just focus on the work and not really deal with the people so much. But it gets a little tricky maintaining professionalism with your bosses.

- You can''t just call in sick and take a day off. If I take a sick day, I really need to be sick or I am really screwing my boss over.

- Your salary/benefits are determined by what the parents can afford. This makes the whole raises/bonuses thing tricky. You have to hope they realizes that you should get raises/bonuses too. My bosses are super generous and great employers but last year they did forget my "anniversary" and I had to hint around it so that they would remember to give me a bonus. Asking for raises and bonuses is difficult for me, especially since it is coming directly out of their pockets. In the corporate world your supervisor will award you a raise, but it is doesn''t affect how much money he makes. Imagine if it did, very awkward!

-BURNOUT! You probably know from teaching that burnout happens when you work with kids. In some ways it''s worse when you work with the same couple of kids day in and day out. Add that to the long hours and limited vacation time and there are times where you find yourself not caring anymore. Working with young children especially can be so draining because they need constant attention and interaction. Parents can plop their kids in front of the tv for a break, but that would be unacceptable for a nanny. I move from one activity to the next at work and my downtime is only when/if the children nap.

-For me the huge one is the obvious lack of respect people have for nannies. Sure, there are employers that treat their nannies like crap, but if you are really picky during the interview process that shouldn''t happen to you. But on daily basis sometimes I am treated as a less-than because of what I do. When I am at the girls'' school/activities other parents treat me so nicely until they realize I am not the mother, then they quickly lose interest. When I am out with my DH in social situations, I hate it when people ask what I do. I tell them nanny and their response is almost always "Oh..." I feel the need to explain that I am educated to be a teacher, but chose nannying instead. Oh how I wish I could tell them how much money I make!

-Medical Insurance isn''t always provided, but some employers do. Mine give me extra money to buy my own health insurance.

-Nannying can also be very isolating. Just like a stay-at-home mom there are days when you crave the conversation of an adult. It''s usually just you and the kids, you don''t have any coworkers to chat with on a daily basis.

PROS-
-
Salary! I think I make pretty good money! And if you have generous bosses there are lots of perks that you get to enjoy. Lots of nannies get to use their employer''s vacation homes, get to travel for work, and get expensive gifts. My bosses extended our honeymoon stay in an overwater bungalow as a wedding gift. They have given me some pretty extravagent gifts for my birthday''s too.

- Lots of freedom on the job. I love that I can do whatever I want during the day with the kids. Some bosses are a little more controlling, but my bosses let me run the house. In a lot of ways I am my own boss. I decide how I want to teach the kids and whatever I want to work on. My boss values my opinion on the girls and I get to give a lot of input on how I think they should be raised.

-Okay, lots of warm gushy stuff too! I love the fact that I am a huge part in "my" girls'' lives. I love making a contribution to their childhood. I like guiding my bosses in parenting. I adore the little girls I work with, and love watching them grow and being a part of all of it. I am one of the most important people in their lives, and it feels like such an honor.

- In teaching you hope to make a little impact in lots of kids lives but as a nanny you make a huge impact in couple of kids lives. When I taught it felt like such a shame that I couldn''t spend much time with each student. Now I get to really focus on just two little girls.

-I don''t know if you have children of your own, but it really is like being a mom. All those rewards that people tell you about when they have kids, except I get to go home at 6:30 and do whatever I want. Sure there are times when I am cleaning up poop/vomit or dealing with a screaming child, but I also get all the hugs and kisses and love too! It is also practice for when I will become a mother myself. I already know how to do almost everything.

- Another option I will have is bringing my own child to work one day. I don''t know if I would ever actually do it, but it is nice to know I could do it.


Okay well that''s all I have for now. What I should also add, is the most important thing is to work with a good agency and be really particular about who you work for. If you want more information I would encourage you to visit this website: http://www.nannynetwork.com/ They have a great message board for professional/career nannies.
 

swimmer

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What a horrible situation. Just one thing, are you certain that the other teachers backstabbed you? Or could the principal be lying about that as well in order to "divide and conquer?" Some principals really get nervous about teachers working too well together and I have seen them plant the seeds of something out of some insane power issues. Have you thought of teaching different age groups? I love teaching college and grad students, but even HS would be a huge difference for you and no evals by principal...but by your teaching peers. Which can also have issues.

You can go to your union rep or check your contract. There should always be a way for teachers to question their eval, hard when not tenured...but sometimes they HAVE to put something negative. Some Superintendents do not allow for all positive comments in first year teacher''s evals. Not that this is your first year, but in the district...insane...but so are so many things we do in a day. Good luck and hugs! You are above this principal and they know it...
 

diamondseeker2006

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Wow, Mia! Thank you for sharing about being a nanny! I think your job sounds really wonderful...especially the part about being able to continue after you have a baby, if you wish. Not many jobs allow you to bring your baby!
 

diamondseeker2006

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Elegant, I teach LD reading and I actually have a good position and strong principal. But my daughter is in her second year of teaching upper elementary and she is very, very frustrated. There is no administrative support for discipline, and she works with an inner city type population. She has applied for a transfer, and if she doesn''t get it, I am afraid she''ll be looking, too. She has her master''s and is a really good teacher. So it is sad to lose teachers like you and her.
 

MichelleCarmen

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Elegant - I have two kids, went through their infancy, and still feel unprepared to watch infants! lol There's some sort of motherhood instinct that kicks in when the baby is your own, but I cannot imagine having it for another child. The best age (IMO) would be 4 and up. At that age the child would be mobile, communicative, and in a booster seat (easy in and out of car, etc.).

Best of luck to you!
 

mia1181

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Date: 2/16/2009 11:18:31 PM
Author: MC
Elegant - I have two kids, went through their infancy, and still feel unprepared to watch infants! lol There''s some sort of motherhood instinct that kicks in when the baby is your own, but I cannot imagine having it for another child. The best age (IMO) would be 4 and up. At that age the child would be mobile, communicative, and in a booster seat (easy in and out of car, etc.).

Best of luck to you!
Most nannies have their age ranges that they feel the most comfortable with. I personally love starting off with infants because it means longevity for the position. Once the children enter school, the parents may or may not need you anymore. But if you start with an infant, you have a good 4-5 years before they are in school But there are also plenty of positions for older kids too. One thing you could do is a household manager/nanny combo which usually means higher pay and you basically do personal assitant-type work while the children are in school.

Or I forgot... the best match for you is actually a governess position. You would basically be a family''s private teacher. That is what I originally wanted to do but these postitions are rare. I do see ads for them every now and then though.
 

mia1181

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Date: 2/16/2009 10:29:10 PM
Author: diamondseeker2006
Wow, Mia! Thank you for sharing about being a nanny! I think your job sounds really wonderful...especially the part about being able to continue after you have a baby, if you wish. Not many jobs allow you to bring your baby!
Thanks! I realized I had a lot more cons then pros! But some of the pros are really huge though! To get paid while having my baby with me would be so cool. But
 

Elegant

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Jun 12, 2008
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mia1181 - Wow, thank you so much for such an extensive and thought out list. You work hard, don''t you? Geesh! Well, it seems like a job that a highly responsible and giving person takes... It sounds like something I might also be interested in. I think I might be a bit shy too asking for a bonus, etc. I''m just not that straight forward of a person. I don''t have children but have been a teacher for almost 9 years. Thank you so much! Hmmm...governess position? That''s good to know.

diamondseeker2006 - You know, it just goes to show how leadership can affect so many people. Discipline has been a major problem - some principals aren''t ballsy enough to put their foot down because they want to please parents. That''s what happened at my previous school. Sad and pathetic. Well, I know what NOT to do by all of these examples when I become a principal.

I''m still struggling with whether or not I should talk to my grade level teachers. Everything in me is saying do it, but then everything in me is saying don''t do it. I have considered that the principal is playing a game because my grade level doesn''t like her either... grrr....
 

katamari

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Elegant, I am so sorry to hear that you are having such a negative experience with your Principal. My inclination would be to change districts, but I know that must be hard if you are attached to the students or in a contract.

As someone who adjuncts, I am not sure I would recommend it as a career. It is great to make some extra money through graduate school, but you are almost never offered benefits, paid comparably to faculty, or appreciated. You are, though, completely invisible, which might be refreshing for a period of time.

My general suggestion would be to find the most autonomous job you can. Yes, bad colleagues exist in every situation, but they don''t have to have power over you. That is the reason I am going into academia. I don''t believe that it is free of politics and I know the Chair, Dean, Provost, etc. will all have a say in deciding whether or not I get tenure but I will get to spend the majority of my work life on my own terms with only my output (and not the process through which I come to that output) under scrutiny.

In any case, though, I would use this as incentive to finish your dissertation! That has to open up incredible options!
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Elegant

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Thanks Katamari - I think I need a change of pace if karma doesn''t work it''s magic by the end of the year with this woman. I''ve really thought about higher ed and will probably consider it as the school year comes to an end. And I am definitely using this as incentive to finish the dissertation - I will post soon in the other thread about my new dissertation topic
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. I swear, I better not change my topic again or there will be heck to pay!

Just an update on what has happened:
Because I just can''t stand to keep my mouth shut and because things just felt really weird this morning, I decided to talk to two of the 4 teachers at my grade level. I told them that on Friday I had spoken with the principal and she told me that my grade level thought I wasn''t giving enough input or participating enough in grade level meetings or planning. They were pissed. I asked them nicely, and in a non-accusatory way, if they had mentioned anything at all to the principal about me. One teacher told me that 2 minutes before I met with the principal she met with her to talk about me briefly. She asked the teacher what she thought of me, and from what I get from that teacher, it was nothing but positives. So when I spoke to my grade level this morning, they were livid and wanted to confront her right then and there. I asked them not to - but I still think the main two teachers are going to go in and talk to her tomorrow or Thursday because they don''t appreciate how she is trying to pit each of us against each other. From what I hear, this is something she is known for doing. So, I have a day long field trip tomorrow and one of them is coming with me with her class on the trip, so I don''t think they will talk to her tomorrow, but it''s coming. They are pissed. Very pissed.

I found out that my principal (this is her 2nd year at this school) was fired from her previous district...not sure of the reason, but I am sure it has something to do with this crap.

I had cried so many times today as I spoke with them - I basically told them that I thought we had a good enough relationship that they would talk to me about things first before they went to the principal...tears shed...talked about how crappy my eval was...tears shed...I am exhausted. And I still felt like signing a resignation letter more than ever after I left work today. I am the type of person who is very laid back, approachable, "real," and hates fakeness. I am having to be someone I do not want to be...

I also told my room parent to spread the word that I may not be communicating with them as much via email (THE major communication tool I use with them) because the principal wants me to stay away from my desk/computer area. She was not happy... I don''t blame her. I think parent communication is key, and now I won''t be able to check emails as frequently or as often because she may pop in my room and see me on the computer... So I have to wait until I get home to return emails, etc.

I am back on this post because I am doing a search for jobs because I got a very strong feeling of needing to leave/escape/resign so I don''t have to jump through all of these hoops. It wears down on me emotionally. I am so tired right now.
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