Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Change of Plans

I'm really struggling with something in Coach and I's life right now and it occurred to me maybe writing it out will help me; it usually does.  Coach is seriously considering leaving teaching.  If he didn't have a strong feeling obligation to stick out this year and wouldn't possibly lose his teaching certificate he'd be gone ASAP, he is currently at the point of frustration where he would leave if he could right now.  
I guess I should back up.  Thursday night at a church thing he was helping his dad with, a man his dad knows in the men's club mentioned that his company is desperate for people with math backgrounds.  He asked Coach about his, which of course ended in Coach explaining his degree in Math from UT, his work at his current school growing the calculus program, and inevitably ended in him telling the guy how 3 years ago the calc program was 24 kids (of which 6 finished the year) and this year he has over 50 kids enrolled in 2 different types of calculus, over 3 blocks.  In a low-income high school.  And he can answer any math question you throw at him in seconds.  He's so math smart; just don't ask him to write a sentence with correct grammar or spelling.  yesh.

The guy jokingly offered Coach a job on the spot making 20k more than what he's making now with better benefits and better hours (only 60 hour weeks, instead of the 65-80 he does during season).  The guy gave him his card and told him to contact the company if we were interested in learning more.  
Come Monday, Coach's room at school is 88 degrees because no one has fixed his AC unit (3 weeks of emails and phone calls with no response from the people supposedly handling it), and he's told by a student before his 2nd block class that they have him for 4th block.  4th block he says?  He doesn't teach a 4th block class.  Well I guess he is now: 23 kids who failed the state standardized test are now in a class he's teaching with no curriculum and even the admin doesn't know what he's supposed to do with them all semester.  Nice. To say he's frustrated is an understatement.  Today he finds out from his Assistant Principle that the other APs and Principal (?) are mad at him.  For what, he has no idea--it's worse in the admin with drama than the kids.  This from a Principal who had 30 teachers leave last year.  From a AAAA school, aka that's a crap ton of teacher attrition.  

Here's where I'm having a hard time dealing--he is talking about leaving teaching and coaching, something he has always been passionate about.  To do something with math.  Which he is also passionate about, but we're talking a desk job from 8-5 M-F 52 weeks a year.  This sounds wonderful to me on that level.  No take-home work.  No students needing rides from their house after their parents have abused them (physically or verbally) and throw them out (truth), no kids needing him to stay late so another family member can pick them up and take them somewhere safe (truth), no late night phone calls with more horror stories.  But to quit teaching? He's so good at it, he makes these amazing connections, helps these kids (see above, obviously).  But our benefits with the teacher system are HORRIFIC and it will cost us probably almost $6,000 for maternity care with the next baby because they cover nothing  and pass on every cost to the teacher--our take-home pay is pathetic after the deductions for healthcare.  

I grew up in a world that your career caused to you move cross country and changed inevitably over the years--but you always had a stability in working for the army and the strange safety and community it provided. I've always missed that in civilian life and I've been in this life longer than we were army kids.  Maybe it's that I always assumed I'd marry back into that life because it's always been what's more comfortable.  I think there's some serious anxiety thinking about this huge life change but still being the same--how does this work for most people?  Leaving teaching would change our whole life, everything in our world revolves around football, school, grading, and all the crazy demands--always has even when I was working full time.  But we still have no community and what community we had with teaching will be lost too.  

Coach and LTzey (aka my sister's husband) have always had a good relationship, since they met.  Coach has always joked with LT about joining the Army so he can bother him from closer proximity.  Now he's asking me if he's to old (almost) and if it'd be possible (probably not).  That scares me too.  I know he's partially joking about that, but it makes me lock up.  The only plus side to this life is knowing we are going to be in this house forever (also scares me a bit and I don't know what to expect from that either), our children will be raised here and have the same friends their whole life, be close to Coach's family.  For Coach, what if he finds some awesome job not here?  It's possible.  He's smart enough to do some scary math things, we have friends who do that sort of stuff for the government and he's called them (!) to see what his possible options are there in that area too.  What does this mean for us?  

In short, I don't know what to even say when he asks me what I think.  The dust will settle eventually with whatever we're supposed to be doing.  But this whole things is so huge for us as a family.  Everything could change.  Not worse but change is change.  Fingers crossed.

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