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jazzer jazzer is offline
 
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Is it worth it?
Old 06-21-2020, 09:25 AM
 
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I have some anxiety about returning to school in the fall as many here do. Despite concerns, most say they will go in. This is understandable considering many need to work and this is what they do.

I am an assistant after being sort of semi retired from teaching band, music, and theatre. I took the job so we have an extra cushion to not burn through our reserves as quickly.

I wonder if it is worth returning and risking being infected for the measly $16 an hour. I am 51 years old and mostly in good health though I could have a minor underlying condition.

I am looking for a job that would allow me to work at home, but these types of jobs are more competitive because everyone wants to work at home now. I teach English online part time but my students have dwindled to almost nothing in the last couple of months.

I also have been looking into music positions at private schools as well, but those can be tricky at this time.

Otherwise, I liked my job and know I need to go back if nothing else comes up. The union is negotiating a new contract for us that would include raises and possibly hazard pay so that can help. I am lucky to be in a district where teaching assistants are protected by the union.

Would you want to take the risk for such little pay?


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I think
Old 06-21-2020, 09:45 AM
 
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If you can afford to not go back then you shouldn't. I personally have to and will go back. This how I pay my bills. This is how I eat.
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Old 06-21-2020, 10:03 AM
 
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If you can afford to stay home, then stay home.


I, personally, cannot wait to go back. And I'm older than you (with asthma).
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Old 06-21-2020, 10:11 AM
 
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It sounds like the kind of job you think you want is unlikely to fall in your lap. Those haven't been very dependable in your past work life.

I would continue at my job. You're finally in a public school job, and I imagine have health insurance and some semblance of a retirement plan. Those two things add a lot to the value of job as an assistant and make it worth more than $16 an hour.

I don't think you're at any greater risk than the general population. Many of us are learning to try to be safe, but we have to function in the world-we need jobs and a social life. We all have to take risks. We can't live bubble-wrapped for the long term. Wash your hands; wear your mask; don't go to packed events in arenas.

My advice, don't resign.
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Old 06-22-2020, 06:04 AM
 
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If I were you, I would continue working. If things feel unsafe once you're back you can always quit. You can also continue to look for another job. (Plus, your district could suddenly go remote again.)

$16 an hour is around $2500 a month and $23,000 for 36 weeks (before taxes).

Wages are low where I live, so to me, that's a lot of money. A job that pays similarly is probably a lot more stress. Your job is probably much less stress than a Target or grocery store job, and unlike a teaching job, you don't have to bring work home.

Personally, working helps me with more than just money. It gives me a routine, a sense of purpose, a sense of self, interaction, and things to think about.


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Old 06-22-2020, 06:51 AM
 
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That ďmeaslyĒ $16 an hour is more than some people doing physical labor make, and you have a union that may argue for a raise when people are losing their jobs? Lucky you. Only you can decide the risk youíre comfortable with, but I would say a lot of people in this country would love to have the luxury of deciding whether or not to keep a 16/hr job to supplement their retirement income.
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Old 06-22-2020, 07:13 AM
 
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I would keep my foot in the door and not resign. If things go back to remote sometime this year, you wouldn't be in any danger but would still be part of the system.
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Old 06-22-2020, 08:00 AM
 
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Thanks. As I said in my original post I will not quit unless a much better option arises that offers higher pay and insurance. I am being picky in what I consider.

Trust me, I am very grateful for what I have, I am just scared about what the immediate future holds with COVID, and the potential risk of possibility getting really sick and maybe dying.

I don’t make that much money a month because insurance and other taxes take a lot out. I only bring home 1,390 a month. Like subs, we don’t get paid for holidays, snow days, etc. it is basically $105 a day.
I understand that this is still more than working somewhere like Target and probably a lower risk.

It seems like I am the only one who is scared about the future with school.
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Old 06-22-2020, 08:05 AM
 
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You donít take home much because insurance and taxes are taken out, but without the job you are still going to have to pay for insurance. Donít discount the value of employer available insurance.
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Old 06-22-2020, 09:08 AM
 
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Quote:
It seems like I am the only one who is scared about the future with school.
I think everyone is scared, teachers, parents, kids, politicians, you name it. I know I am because no matter what they devise, it's gonna be tough.


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What to Do
Old 06-22-2020, 09:21 AM
 
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I would go back to school in the fall. You have a decent job with benefits, and there's no guarantee that you would feel any safer if you got another one.
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Old 06-22-2020, 11:12 AM
 
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At the beginning of the virus I used to fear getting sick and dying. Dh and I had some very serious conversations about it.

I no longer have that fear. There are more recoveries than deaths and we know more about how to stay safe.

I wouldnít mind working again in a school. Once we move I would like to to look into a support staff or office position. I still need to take care of my mom so I need to be flexible to get home. I will probably have to wait until she is in assisted living until I can work.
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Keep your job
Old 06-22-2020, 11:24 AM
 
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A job that pays $16 per hour plus benefits is worth keeping, especially during uncertain economic times. You also have union protection which should presumably help make your work environment as safe as possible. And the job itself does not sound too difficult or high stress, which is a bonus.

Yes, there is some risk, but unless you and your husband have retirement reserves to cover the next forty years, working now at 51 is probably a much better option than needing to work at 71 because the money ran out.
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Old 06-22-2020, 11:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruby Tunes
A job that pays $16 per hour plus benefits is worth keeping, especially during uncertain economic times. You also have union protection which should presumably help make your work environment as safe as possible. And the job itself does not sound too difficult or high stress, which is a bonus.

Yes, there is some risk, but unless you and your husband have retirement reserves to cover the next forty years, working now at 51 is probably a much better option than needing to work at 71 because the money ran out.
I agree with every wise word.
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Old 06-22-2020, 11:44 AM
 
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Jazzer, and I write this with the gentlest of alll possible "tone" to my post, you did write the post to ask people's opinions about going back.
I don't want to minimize your fears. If you're worried, you're worried. I think a number of people are worried.
I know over the years that you've worked very hard to find a job that suits you. You've done a variety of different teaching jobs, given lessons, run your own travel business.
I think finding an ideal position is going to be next to impossible at the moment. So very many people are out of work. Many who are older or in worse health are looking at available online/work from home positions. I think it will be challenging to try to get the types of jobs you mentioned. And truthfully, I don't know that teaching in a private school would be any better right now.
As to the safety issues,, the illness is scary. I am taking recommended safety measures and be extra cautious. Having said that, I'm only a few years younger than you and don't have any serious underlying health issues If you have a health issue, that might change things but we aren't in the oldest age group and are in good health. I think you could return under those circumstances.
I think RubyTunes has made an excellent point. I seriously wish I had the financial reserves at this point to cover my living expenses for the next 40 years (including inflation and the likelihood of living in a home). 51 is fairly young and I'd rather be working now than when I'm older.
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I understand your worry, jazzer
Old 06-22-2020, 12:27 PM
 
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I would be too, and I am 35. I wanted to tell you that a job opportunity outside of teaching presented itself because I had volunteered there for many years. This is more of a long-term solution, but if there is a place you can volunteer where you are very passionate about its cause, and you know for a fact there are paid positions, it could develop into a long-term job opportunity. People saw how much I loved my volunteer work and kind of hinted at the fact that it might turn into a job. I didn't think so at the time but here we are.

I wish you the best. I don't feel as though I can give you advice because only you know what is best. However, If you are eligible for a leave of absence for a year, perhaps that can be done. It would be unpaid but it might keep your job secure and things could look very different in a year from now. I pray by then we will have a vaccine.
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Old 06-22-2020, 02:54 PM
 
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I taught for 20 years. The last 13 years I owned a music education business and taught at the same schools for the duration so no I did not spend many years trying to find a job that suits me, I liked what I was doing. I would still be doing it if it didn’t start running its course with client schools wanting to do something different after many years. The travel agency and other things happened after I closed my business and went into semi retirement.

Again, I will say that I won’t quit the job unless a much better opportunity comes along.. I will be very picky about what I consider better and weigh the decision carefully.

I guess I was just wondering if others were scared about everything going on. I do appreciate the comments.

Last edited by jazzer; 06-22-2020 at 03:11 PM..
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Old 06-23-2020, 03:34 AM
 
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I found out a few weeks ago that my doctor might not recommend that I go back to teaching next year. I was a bit shocked. I thought he would tell me to take precautions and continue on with teaching. I am high risk, as I have three issues (heart defect from birth, high blood pressure (due to heart defect), and diabetes). While my diabetes and blood pressure are under control, my heart defect was not able to be repaired as the risk was too great. I could retire, I have the minimum about of years needed to hang it up. However, I was planning on teaching at least two years more, and I am just 49 years old. I did not like distance learning, and I have felt very isolated during all of this (I am very social). I canít imagine being in lock down in my house 24/7. I will go crazy. My doctor said he will not make a decision until later in the summer. I am anxious about all of it. I donít know what will happen.
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Old 06-23-2020, 08:27 AM
 
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This is such an uncertain time. Currently, I am waiting for decisions to be made by our state and my local school district. I am 51 and have an underlying health condition. I desperately want to be back in the classroom...but I also want our decision makers to make sure that the adults in our school buildings are safe as well. I have many sick days saved up so I am going to basically take one day at a time, stay current on the data from my local area and the state. I am also going to seek the opinion of my family doctor. Right now, I don't think it is a good time to make any long term decisions such as leaving a loved job. I also realize many teachers are in the same situation or have more challenging health conditions than myself so I know I am not alone. I work mostly because I love my job but my family also depends on my financial contribution and the insurance it provides us. I am also anxious like you but I try to remember that this is a constantly changing situation, I am not alone, and I do feel if outbreaks arise in schools our leaders will act swiftly to keep our school buildings safe.
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Old 06-23-2020, 08:58 AM
 
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I teach English online now too and things have slowed down because students in China are taking their exams. Summer is hit or miss for online teaching in Asia. I find that the rest of the year I am booked as much as I care to be. I wouldn’t give up on it yet.

Are you in any way crafty? Can you open an Etsy store? Can you give private music lessons?
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Old 06-23-2020, 05:02 PM
 
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I have actually gone back. Our province decided to reopen schools for the month of June. I only had 3 kids so the social distancing was easy. We all had masks and wore them when needed. Washed our hands a ton!


I was anxious about going back but I am glad I did. After a short time, we adapted to our new normal and I honestly felt pretty safe. We are basically we the same age, although I do not have underlying conditions.


Although my province has very low numbers comparatively so that also eases my mind...I likely would have felt less safe if we were living somewhere where the numbers were scary.
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