Tuesday, 30 September 2008

They Are All Doomed

I have been acutely aware that I need an existence, and subsistence, that will run alongside our life, and hopefully, not allow me to become all too consumed in my son’s world.

He will always be priority number one, he has been pretty much since his arrival, but I believe there should be a two, three and so on.

At the moment I have a pretty active me-time schedule.

I get to the football regularly, amongst other ad hoc stuff, I even enjoy the more than occasional away trip, which means I get a few beers in with my football chums, and Max usually stays with a set of grandparents.

Since Samantha’s death I’ve thought, which is about the sum of all action, about what I may like to DO with my life.

I had a good job before, well a considerably paid one anyway.

But I didn’t really enjoy it or ever get a rewarding feeling doing it.

The very thought of going back to a job just for the spondoolies, makes me a bit sick.

So, I’ve been searching for something - while decently paid - that would give me some satisfaction other than pounds, shillings and pence.

Writing is something I enjoy, and it has always been an ambition of mine to do that professionally. I have had some works published. But I need to push, and pitch myself more.

In the meantime I’ve looked at other things, as perhaps a base to work from. And who knows if I get enough regular writing work that could become my base.

Every specialist or career advisor has pushed me down the teacher route. As I’m a single parent I suppose the benefits of only working term times are obvious.

However I’m no teacher.

My mother was.

I’m not a big fan of the profession.

I’ve seen it from all sides.

Instead I’ve looked at supporting roles within schools, even school management or administration.

I could walk into a classroom assistant job, but the financial rewards reflect that fact.

However there is a role I think could suit me, and ticks most of the boxes.

With our governmental obsession with targets, and schools striving to achieve them at all costs, they are looking at different ways to do that.

Learning Mentors are now being employed within all sorts of schools. The idea being that these mentors can help the under-achievers, erm, achieve.

Officially they are supposed to be removing barriers to learning, whatever they happen to be.

These can be kids with problems outside of the school walls, learning difficulties, or bright kids who can’t see the point of trying too hard.

As I fitted right into that last category as a school child, my thinking is I may be able to draw from my own experience.

I also hate the thought of the class room, which I’m sure is also something it would help to be able to relate to.

And there is the whole not really getting the whole teacher thing.

So, I’ve made a few contacts, and to avoid committing to anything to bearing, I’ve agreed to do a bit of volunteering.

With a less formal arrangement, it means the school only has to get me checked out and offer minimal training and guidance.

I get to pick and choose when I do it.

I get a chance to see if it is something I actually enjoy.

I get to prove that I can get results.

And it is experience to add to my CV if I ever choose to try and get a permanent remunerated position.

I’ve also chosen to work with a middle school, before kids get to the business end of their schooling. A less pressured environment.

My initial experience has been good, and so has the feedback from the school, and probably more importantly, the children.

It also appears that this is a job, that if I find the right place, could be tailored to really suit my lifestyle.

I wouldn’t necessarily have to work to a timetable. As the schools don’t like kids to be removed from classes for mentoring at the same times.

That said, they also don’t expect children to be mentored outside of the normal school hours.

Let’s face it, a reluctant child is unlikely to want to spend any more time than is absolutely necessary at their palace of torture school.

Another thing I may have in common with the little fellas.

Very much a suck-it-and-see situation, but if I live up to my son’s genius tag, one I hope that will yield a positive outcome. Share/Save/Bookmark


Dan said...

Good for you. I've been in touch with schools myself to do a little volunteering as a reading coach. I have vague ideas about becoming a teacher when I get fed up of nursing (which at the current rate will be very soon)

Kori said...

I think it is SO great that you are moving forward and thinking of what you want. Men are lucky in that they get to actually DO that, whereas we women are pretty much, you know, stuck. Can you tell I am a little bitter today? But in all honesty, I think it really IS a good thing, a look toward the furture; everyone should be able to do something they really, really like.

Single Parent Dad said...

Dan - Rather you than me. Nursing and Teaching, means you're a special fellow in my book.

Kori - Cheers. I'm a bit puzzled by your 'lucky men' thang. Dangly bits shouldn't make any difference, they certainly don't for me.

Snickollet said...

Sounds promising!

I don't know if this job exists in the UK, but John was a school counselor. It was a great position as it was better paid than teaching (since he was a specialist), he didn't have to do lesson planning or grading, and he got all the school holidays. Just thought I'd put that out there.

Good luck. And pursue the writing angle. It's slow going at first, but things will start to come your way.

harassedmomsramblings said...

That sounds really exciting!!

A chance to make a difference and do something you enjoy!!

Hope it all works out ;)

I am standing on the edge asking myself the same sort of questions about work - WHAT do I want to do when I am big! Not sure if I take a leap of faith or stay rooted on solid ground!

Roads said...

'Working with the most rewarding people in the world'.

That was such a good line in those recent teaching advertisements in the UK.

I spent five years teaching although it was at a university. Different from teaching at a school in lots of ways, but maybe not all that different in others. I really ejoyed it. And it really was rewarding.

It's interesting how the right career path often finds us, rather than the other way around. Another reason to go with the flow.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Good on you.

I don't think I could be any less 'rewarded' from my current 'career'.

The idea of working your way into something you would really enjoy and feel good about is fantastic.

I've often thought that if we ever didn't need our current salary levels I would try some teaching capacity.

Penelope said...

This is extremely cool! Well done you! I think you'll get as much out of it as the kids will ;o)

Diane said...

I stumbled upon your blog via someone else's (no idea whose now... no short-term memory ;) and I'm glad I did!

I'm a single, custodial parent who has been trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up and I keep coming 'round to teaching. I'll be interested to read about your experiences. Best of luck and take care!

dadshouse said...

Sounds like a great plan. Follow your gut and your passions, and walk through any doors that open for you. You never know what you'll find.

Single Parent Dad said...

Snickollet - That sounds just the job, and similar to what I'm aiming for. I will keep plodding with my writing, I hope to combine the two.

Harassedmom - Thanks, and take the leap!

Roads - University lecturing may be fun, but teaching a class of unruly teenagers really isn't ever going to be my bag.

Xbox - Simplify man, simplify. Seriously, when I had someone to share the monies with, it didn't seem that bad, my job simply facilitated the rest of our lives.

Penelope - I think I will probably get more.

Diane - And I'm glad you found me. Thanks for your comment and please hang around.

Tismee2 said...

That's similar to what I have been doing. Although I am a qualified teacher, most of my experience has been in work based learning and employment type programmes. One of these was working with 16-18 year olds who like you hated the whole 'school' scene. There is so much potential out there trapped inside people who have been failed by society and education. If someone can help them find their way before they leave school then everyone will benefit.

Well done, I think you will find it very challenging but also extremely rewarding.

Matthew M. F. Miller said...

Just found your blog today - and I'm charmed and rewarded by your words. Thank you for sharing your life - can't wait to follow along on your journey.

Whatever it is you decide to do with yourself.

The Dotterel said...

Sounds an excellent idea, and you'll be precisely the sort of person schools need. Don't give up on teaching, though. (What am I saying?) School's need quality people (to counteract the dross!).

Violet said...

Good on you - I hope you get something out of it (either the answer to your question of whether it's the job for you, or some amount of job satisfaction, or both). I've tried different things and come to the conclusion that what works best for me is to work part-time in something I don't hate, and ensure I have plenty of time for more important stuff, like my family and other interests.

Crash Course Widow said...

I, too, am often wondering what on earth I want to do "when I grow up"--the incestuous cousin to your "what do I do with myself." I didn't LOVE my job before Charley died, although I enjoyed parts of it...not the least of which was the salary. Immediately after he died I took a 6-month personal leave, and I don't remember if it was before or after I was subsequently laid off at the end of the leave, but at some point it started seeming nauseating, abhorrent, to go back to my old field like nothing had ever happened, like Charley hadn't died. (Don't you love the absolutely bizarre ways the twisted, grief-monster, widowed mind works in those earliest months?!?) Thus started the whole "what do I do next" saga.

I really, really, really liked the idea of going back to school and becoming a grief counselor. Talk about (what seemed then like) the perfect way to make grape juice out of the lemon of Charley's death. I needed his death to mean something, somehow. And parts of me still like the thought of doing it, but the thought of going back to school full time for 2-3 years as a single parent gives me hives, especially to start out on a crap salary again, except now with a little tyke to have to support and raise on my own. If there were a second parent to help float the low salary, it wouldn't be nearly the issue. But my situation is what it is...and I have to be able to live somehow.

So now the plan is to go back to tech writing again. I've been reminded by writing my blog just how much I do like words and playing around with them...even if it is just for boring old technical writing. Or at least I'll give it a whirl, and if I end up hating it after all, then it'll be time for a Plan B (or make that J, P, X...I've lost track which iteration of "The Plan" I'm on now). I have about six months or less until I have to go back...now I just have to hope I'll be able to find a job once I really and truly need it. Stupid US economy going down the crapper....

I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that this trying-out period works well for you and that you find a satisfactory answer to the question!

(And sorry for the babbling, long comment; it's 4am here and I can't go back to sleep...stupid widowed insomnia....)

Single Parent Dad said...

Tismee - Thanks. I may well be calling upon you then for your experience.

Matthew M.F. Miller - Welcome. And I do hope you hang around.

The Dotterel - I couldn't hack the classroom, I hated it as a child. And working amongst (some) dross really doesn't appeal.

Violet - I think part-time will be the way I go. Perhaps some mentoring, some writing, or who knows.

Crash Course Widow - Thanks for your comment, and for sharing. Tech writing doesn't sound that bad. I think I should look for some B2B writing. Your good-self and your babbling are always welcome with me, anytime.

Rachel said...

Love this blog. You're like snark with a heart.

I support that.

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