This has been an insane couple of weeks. If you have not been following the news, America's War on Teachers is in full swing. As a result, it appears that the superintendent of my employing school district is looking to cut a quarter of the teaching staff and many of the secondary programs, such as home economics, technology education, business and French.
I will refrain from ranting about my feelings on this subject and leave it at the point where I am uncertain about my professional future. If things continue in this trend, I may be leaving education in the next few years. I will be unhappy about that, but I have babies to feed and every year that I stay in education will make it harder to do something else.
In an effort to save a little bit of money, we examined the day care situation. I will be playing stay-at-home dad for the summer, sending Harper to day care once or twice a week so that I can get some things done. In the fall, with Sara and I both working, we would have to send the girls to day care every day. On top of this, I leave the house around 5:15 and Sara leaves around 6. The day care, however, does not open until 7:30. This means that in addition to the $1300 per month that we would be paying for both girls, we would need to find someone to take them over every morning.
So, we're exploring the idea of a nanny. I've put an ad on Craig's List and we've started interviewing people. I thought the first interview was promising, but Sara wasn't convinced. She has concerns (rightly) about a stranger being in the house and taking care of the girls all day.
Due to my inherent "ivory tower" liberal snobbery, I didn't even write back to half a dozen women who sent me replies with horrendous spelling. I was tempted to give an interview to one woman just because I was curious what she was like in person. Her e-mail was:
"I seen your add on web. i'm gr8 with kids and they like me to. i have lots of free time and i will be a good baby sitting person."
You wanna do what now?
Sara's concerns are well founded.
So the process continues. I need to write a grant to study the effects on homeschooling and get the gubment to pay me to stay home with them.
As the school year draws to a close, I can feel myself fraying at the edges. I have several projects that I'm planning for the summer, including a few trips to the Philadelphia area. I'm working my way through building a retaining wall in the back yard, which I'm enjoying immensely. I've discovered a new love of physical labor that I've never really had before. I was doing boxing almost every day, but the outside work is doing wonders for how I feel. Also, you would be surprised what being sick to your stomach for a week will do for the waistline.
I've been discussing it with my coworkers during our "What are you planning to do when they close the school and send all of the kids to private schools?" talks.
I'm thinking more and more that if I can't find a job in education, I may turn towards being a laborer for a contractor. In education, you almost never get to step back at the end of the day/year, point to something and say "I did that."
The summer that I worked on a carpentry crew, I went home tired, dirty, hungry and satisfied.
The problem is now that I' have kids and a mortgage, a laborer's salary will not sustain us. Time to start doing Extreme Couponing!
I have a lot of thinking to do.
In any event, here are the pictures you came here to see (and a video!). If there is something that you would like me to talk about, feel free to leave it in the comments.