This is the first year that I haven't made any resolutions or come up with any great thoughts on how to improve my life for the future. I'm still reeling from the impact of my latest life changing decision and haven't decided whether I have made a mistake. For such a planner, I am at a loss for the future.
For the past four years, PH and I have been talking about a move. Although PH has a great job, it's not what he wants to do forever and I really dislike Florida (I know - surprise, surprise!) Our initial thoughts were to move North to New England. It would be closer to my family and I miss the change of seasons. Then after a few vacations, we began entertaining the idea of trying to find a job overseas. At first, it was just fantasies about winning the lottery, quitting my job, finding a good nanny, and moving to the Alps. The talk became more serious as we volleyed around ideas of how we could earn a living. No, we're not technology people, international business people, or military. And between the two of us, we speak some basic french and one of us is fluent in Norwegian [not a very useful language in most countries - sorry Renny :)]. Still, we are educated, with advance degrees; there must be something we could do overseas to earn a living.
PH and I were in the same line of work - law. I was working part-time to be available to parent our new children. Decent pay, great benefits, and part-time with something I had done for years. PH is a partner -- great salary, great hours but he is ready for a change. With the talk about moving, we decided that I would go back to school, take a few classes so I could work at a lower paying job that put me on my kid's schedule. I went back to school so I could teach. I never expected it to be easy but we thought it would be easier to find jobs once we moved if we weren't in the same business.
So, we had a plan. I'd change career. It would be better. It would give us options. Only it hasn't quite worked out that way. I'm working for a private school that is going through an administrative change. Because of the upheaval, parents are currently running the school. Not literally, but for all intens and purposes, they are calling the shots. I have been screamed at and insulted; I have had parents barge into my room ten minutes before class starts demanding I change my lesson plans; my credentials have been questioned; grades are changed upon the demand of parents. These are parents who would have never dared talk to me this way before I became their child's teacher. There is some assumption that because I have "lowered" myself to teach that I am fair game for attack. Additionally, the school does not have a mentor program and no one else is teaching the classes I am teaching, so there is no collaboration. Also, there is no set curriculum; other than asking other teachers what they have done in the past, I am responsible for developing my own curriculum. I have been told this is not a typical "first year" teaching experience.
I know I don't have to do this forever. I keep reminding myself this is for us to get out of here. I only have a year and a half left, and then I can start looking to move. But more and more, I'm realizing that it is not likely that we could both find jobs overseas and support ourselves. Today, I received an e-mail from a well meaning expatriate that sums up my fears. The e-mail discussed the average teaching salary, the tax code, the cost of housing, etc, etc, etc. What's the likelihood that two people, one who speaks only a smattering of french and one who is fluent in Norwegian, will find jobs in a foreign country? And not just any jobs, but jobs that will allow them to support their two young off-spring? Jobs that will not blow their saving that they have worked the last ten years to accumulate?
So now, I wondering why I'm sticking with a job where I am treated badly and I'm not sure if I even like it? If we're just going North to New England, why not just stick with my original profession? Did I make a giant mistake in changing careers? And at what point, do you have to grow up and become realistic, and give up on the idea of moving to the Alps?