When it’s time to change

I’ve been chatting a bit with my summer school partner-in-crime about next career steps. She is ready to go and has been rather open about this. I’m of the generation that plays ’em close to the chest but she’s been pretty transparent about her plans. Naturally, I will keep our chats private as I have no idea just how open she really is with her aspirations.

I tend to waver around whether or not it’s time to go. My state ranks in the bottom five for teacher salaries and despite all of the chatter from our leaders, no big change appears to be imminent. Our union has fought valiantly for raises of less than 4 percent. I suppose we should be grateful for anything more than than zero (or for a positive number)but when inflation and the cost of living are outpacing our raises by a factor of almost two, it’s hard to celebrate. After much discussion with my significant other, I’ve realized that as someone in his mid 50’s, it’s difficult to jump on the career-switch bandwagon that so many of us are riding. I thought about becoming an instructional designer like everyone else but I don’t want to work at the companies that are hiring IDs. As for the heaps of edtech jobs that are out there, I’ve done my time in the startup world and found it morally bankrupt not to mention being tumultuous as hell.

I feel like I am in a minority when I say that I still like being a teacher. As a special education teacher, I don’t have to be in the classroom anymore and have far more autonomy than my peers who have full classes. I’m not living paycheck to paycheck but I fear that I will hit that point where the increase in living expenses will reach the point where I cannot keep up. I’d like to find a second income stream that won’t kill me. I know a few waitresses and Instacart drivers among my peers. I have heard over and over the advice about passive income streams. My ideal scenario would be to teach and then have an alternate income stream where I don’t have to run around at night or the weekends. I’m starting to wonder if it’s possible but the thought of pounding the pavement at my age fills me with much trepidation.