Ever since Sarolta commented on my earlier post about not wanting to take a middle school teaching job because it would just be a job, I have been meaning to respond. Guess I am finally going to do it now.
Sarolta couldn’t understand why I didn’t take the job if it was offered and I needed one. It sounds simple, I know. But to me, at least, is isn’t.
First of all, I have temporary work which keeps the bills paid for now. And my husband works. So we aren’t destitute.
More important, though, is the other aspect Sarolta mentioned: that I could just leave this job if a better one came along. In the US, public school teachers are under contract. We cannot just walk away from a job as you can do in other countries. Now, I know people here do it all the time, but I come from a time when you honored a contract.
So that makes the issue more complicated. If I take a teaching job now, I am committing to it until June. No matter what else comes along. That makes it hard for me to want to take a job just to have a job. Of course, I may have not pursued this job and still not get offered anything closer to what I am looking for. That is a gamble I have to take. But I would rather take a job at a bookstore that I could walk away from with two weeks’ notice than sign a contract that I would be tempted to break.
So, I don’t think it is entirely a cultural issue, as Sarolta suggested, but it is tied more to the differences in conditions of employment. Either way, I am still looking for a job. But today, at least, that is OK.