Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Job offer

Yesterday I was offered a teaching job. It didn't matter that my teaching license is expired nor that I never had an ID license. I was told that I'm rare in that my degree is from one of those Concordias and especially that I am LCMS. Add in that I have experience teaching at a classical Lutheran school and I'm really really rare. I do admit that it feels good to be wanted as a teacher after living in the Midwest where there were more Lutheran teachers than there were teaching jobs.

I didn't even have to think about it to answer. No thank you, you can try to ask me again in 10 years. I tell people I retired from teaching in the classroom in 2003. If financially I ever need to go back to work, I don't know what I'll do but I don't expect to go back to the classroom. I'll write the resumes and figure it out when I need to, but I'm hoping that isn't until the Lambs are close to high school graduation.

Teaching at a Lutheran school is hard. You try to please the headmaster or principal, the parents, the congregation members, and be a good teacher for the students. It is impossible to please every one. It was one thing to teach when I was single and then for a few years before I had children. I put everything into my students as they were my "children". It would be totally different to do it with a family. Some of the teachers I taught with were really good at juggling teaching and family. I don't think I am one of those people-it would either end up being unfair to my time spent for my students or the time spent for my family.

The person that offered the job said it's so simple-the kids go to school and you have the same holidays. Most of the other pastor wives here work and many of them are teachers. It seems ideal to have the same schedule. But there is so much more to teaching than 180 school days and the time required to be at school.

Some of my friends have gone back to work after a few years off to raise the kids. They are happy to be adding to the family income and get their family running on a nice routine now that they are back to work. I am happy for them that they are happy working again. I'm glad that as women we have freedom to do what makes us happy.

I think one difference that I have is I was 28 when I got married. I had plenty of time as a single woman to be a teacher and travel-I went to conferences all over the United States. Then Ram and I were a couple for 2 more years before we were blessed with children. I taught for more years than I was in college. I didn't get married before I graduated from college. I didn't have children right away.

If I were to teach at a Lutheran School I'm sure it would end up costing us a lot more money than I were to make. Taxes, driving 1/2 hour to the school where the job offer is, putting the Lambs in school, and spending $ for classroom supplies would be the majority of the costs. But even more would be the costs for me to not be at home-we would eat out more, I wouldn't have time to shop wisely or use coupons, I wouldn't make jam to give as gifts, and I honestly don't know when the housework would get done.

I don't know because we never tried the Lambs in school, but I expect that all our Lambs would have a really difficult time in the classroom. I spend a lot of time each day working with Lamb 2 especially. If I went back to teaching, none of the Lambs would have that time with me. I can't even imagine dealing with their problems in the classroom and teaching at the same time. Ram is too busy as a pastor to deal with that either.

Also my time volunteering at church would be cut way back. I know the pastor's wife shouldn't do everything at church. But I would miss being involved in what I do at church. I would especially miss being able to go help in the middle of a school day when needed, like helping clean up after a funeral dinner.

The one way that I would consider going back to teaching is if Ram was going to be the stay at home dad. It would be really hard for me to give up so many of my tasks to Ram, but it would be necessary. Ram has a full time Call to our church now so that is not a possibility.

The real reason I didn't blink when I said no is a cost that is not measured in money. I wouldn't be happy. If Mama isn't happy then no one is happy. I know the Lambs would adjust to a new routine. I also know that Ram would not be happy. You can't measure the little things I do for Ram and the Lambs. Lamb 1 is almost 10. Those 10 years have gone so quickly that I imagine 10 more years will go quickly too. I don't want to give up that time with my family.

So I remain the weird pastor's wife here that not only is a SAHM, but I also homeschool. I love it and won't even consider the job offer.

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