Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Portrait: Northern Nevada

I finished student teaching in December. Teaching is one of the jobs that you are ALWAYS supposed to be able to find a job (you know, teacher shortage and all that?). Well, the day I graduated there were thirty posting in all fifty states. No one was hiring. I was not the only one with this problem. I've had several friends graduate with "useless" degrees and mounting student loan debt. I had a friend whose fiance walked out of her, her daughter and their mortgage seven months into the relationship. She stayed at home with her daughter, watching other children in their home. Now, she's facing foreclosure and will lose not only her home, but her career.

Fortunately for me, I found a long term substitute position. Unfortunately, it's in a school district that is talking about closing an elementary school. If that happens, they have to place those teachers into schools, according to seniority. That means, I'm out. That means the newlywed, recent college grad who teaching across from me is out, even though she has a contract. That means teachers are going to be forced to quit or retire or leave their coaching positions to go back into the classroom. Teachers are facing pay cuts, on the large side. And this is not the only district facing these problems. It's statewide. Heck, it's nationwide.

I have no idea what I will do in the fall. I'm looking at having to go to another COUNTRY to teach. Not county. Not state. Country. That means leaving my family. Leaving my friends. Missing important children in my life grow up. Losing time with my father who was diagnosed with cancer a year ago.

Something needs to change. It would be one thing if I had an opportunity to go 500 miles away and find a job. But, thousands of miles? That's not reasonable for anyone. Worrying about the economy should not be the biggest concern for a 23 year old college graduate. It should not be the biggest concern for the kid graduating high school with no idea of how they are going to fund their college, but knowing that finding a job, any job is going to be difficult with or with a degree.

Northern Nevada