I’ve barely scraped the surface as far as classwork goes, but there are a significant amount of reading assignments already, with papers, quizzes, tests, and field observations on the horizon.
I have also continued my research into the fastest way to actually get paid for being in a classroom. Every state has different requirements and regulations into allowing one to captain the classroom ship, and wouldn’t you know it, Pennsylvania has one of the strictest set of requirements in the country. Figures.
I won’t get into the pro’s and con’s of needing to be fully certified to teach. Certainly as a parent with two school-age children, I want to know that the caretakers I entrust my children to every day are fully qualified at what they do.
But from a teaching perspective, and someone who pays the bills, I’d like to be getting paid for my time in the class, not merely observing.
Pennsylvania won’t even allow you to substitute teach until you are 100 percent fully certified. No real argument here. Just disappointment in that I’d like to be getting paid.
Fortunately, we live only a short 15-minute drive to New Jersey, and New Jersey does offer a substitute certificate. An undergraduate degree, background clearances, and of course the pre-requisite fees are all that’s required to obtain a NJ substitute credential.
Satisfying the necessary requirements, I am now a certified substitute teacher in New Jersey. Cool. And I’ve already had a handful of substitute assignments in the Garden State. I even get one of those cool necklace thingies with my ID badge attached.
Make no mistake, substitute teaching certainly isn’t the goal here. The substitute teacher’s life is full of uncertainty from day to day – where will I be tomorrow, what time does school start? Where the heck is Woodbury anyway? Not being a native Jersey son, I find myself glued to my GPS and maps just about anywhere I go over there.
But I am getting paid (a little), which of course is better than not getting paid at all in PA. Certainly a step in the right direction.
So to recap, I am now taking two graduate-level college courses, substitute teaching on a day-to-day basis, and still trying to line-up some hardscaping projects for the spring/summer. Implicit in the hardscaping side of things is the fact that I really don’t want to find myself in a position of chasing down projects fruitlessly, or that will interfere with what is now my top professional priority – school, and eventually trying to secure a full time teaching job. All while managing family responsibilities, shuttling the kids to karate and acting and soccer and gymnastics and scouts and … well, you get the idea.
Soooooo, what this means is that my already hectic schedule is becoming even more crazy with a new set of responsibilities. Something’s got to give. And unfortunately, I’m afraid, this means that this blog needs to get shelved for a bit. At least as far as the weekly posts go.
It certainly isn’t a shutting down of the blog. I do plan on posting some project updates in the spring and summer once the projects start happening. And most likely a few other miscellaneous posts here and there. But for now, I do need to back off a bit, if for no other reason than to maintain some sanity while I get accustomed to the new schedule.
Perhaps the focus of the blog may change a bit too. Instead of relevant hardscaping and construction information, there may be a focus on my studies, teaching info, the trials of getting certified, etc. “The trials of a mid-life 40-something career change.” Or something like that. We’ll see how it plays out.
In the mean time, though, I need to take a break for a bit. I most likely will continue with a few biz-related Facebook posts, and I’ll be checking in on others’ blogs and posts on various forums and platforms. To all of you have been regular readers and commenters on my posts, thank you. It’s always nice to know that my musings are being read by somebody – anybody – and hopefully of some value to you the reader. The blog has re-kindled my love of writing, and I’ve certainly enjoyed the process.
So for now, farewell, see you soon, and keep on keepin’ on.