I spent several hours yesterday touching up my resume, writing a cover letter, digging through job listings and school web sites. There were no actual jobs posted in areas that I was qualified/interested in, but two places just suggested sending resumes directly. So, that’s where I’ll start. As I turned to the higher education listings, I saw a couple of jobs in my field nearby. Both were interesting on the surface. One was at a school that catered to adults returning to school, and that seemed interesting to me. But then I looked at the course load. Five courses a semester. And the other job, four courses a semester. Plus research. Plus service. And I sighed. I just can’t do that. I know how much work I’d put into class prep and grading, and I’d want to do some research, at least attend/present at conferences if nothing else. And so, I know I’d feel overwhelmed pretty quickly. And so I wrote full-time college teaching off my list of possibilities. Maybe if I’d started back before kids or when the kids were young (and *I* was young), I’d feel more like I could do it. But being as familiar as I am with the way higher ed works and my own work habits and commitment to students and institutions, I know that I’d be putting in 60 hours a week easily. That’s not doable for me personally or for my family.
Part-time college teaching still appeals as do administrative jobs in higher ed. And high school teaching, while nearly as demanding as college teaching, has enough of a balance for me to make it worth it. No research requirement. Plenty of time off. Small classes (looking at independent schools), and the likelihood of being home most afternoons to meet my own kids. Not to mention no working in the summer. The thing is, there are things I can outsource if my income increases–housework, house repair–but there are lots of things I can’t. Spending time with the kids, making sure they get their homework done, being at soccer games, taking them to friends’ houses, going on field trips. There were times when I worked full time when I couldn’t do those things. I skipped soccer games to work on my dissertation, for example. Often, neither Mr. Geeky nor I could make it home to be with Geeky Boy after school and he frittered away his time and fell behind in school. I don’t want to go back to that. So I’m being careful. I think I’ll find the right thing eventually. And though it’s not an employee’s market, I’m lucky that I can afford to be a little choosy (for now).