Farewell, Funemployment!

The last 295 days have been some of the most relaxing and enjoyable days of my life. I have seen (almost) my entire extended family, driven through half of the United States, visited seven foreign countries (six that were new), raced a half marathon and a sprint triathlon, been to the beach on both coasts, moved across the country, made tons of new friends, and just taken time to breathe. It has been a true blessing in my life, and one I will not soon forget.

During my “fun”employment period, I have also transferred my teaching license to California, taken and passed the GRE (again), taken and passed the CBEST (similar to the PRAXIS 1, which is a basic skills test for educators), applied to colleges (still waiting to hear from two), and applied to countless jobs. As those of you who read these posts frequently know, this has been an area of struggle for me. Do I want to be back in the public school classroom? Do I want full-time? Do I want math? Do I want college admissions or study abroad? What to do?

Well, I think I’ve found a great solution at least for now! I officially started, after a whirlwind application and training process, on Thursday at Halstrom Academy. It is a private, 1-on-1 teaching school with seven branches in Southern California.  It’s been around for over 20 years and caters to students whose schedules or circumstances don’t allow them to attend regular school. This might mean actors, athletes, or children with minor learning disorders who feel overwhelmed or overlooked in a public setting.

Right now I am working 20 hours a week, but we are building and adding to that daily. The goal is to get to 30 hours/week and maintain that for three months to allow me to start receiving benefits. It’s a pretty flexible schedule. I have asked to be three days a week for now because the campus with openings is in Mira Mesa (San Diego) which is about 25 miles from my house. Luckily I’ve been working 10-4 or so, so traffic isn’t an issue. There is a campus 1.5 miles from my house here in Carlsbad that I hope to transition to through the summer and by the fall.

It’s set up kind of like an independent study or home-school program, where students are assigned 3-5 hours of homework for each 45 minute session we have together. Most arrange that to be once a week, but a few of my students are twice a week to finish the course faster, they just take less courses at one time. Right now it’s a little crazy as I work to get pacing guides created and figure out our e-textbooks. Everything is digital (I even got a work iPad!) and two of my students are remote right now as they are on-site filming, so I’ll essentially Skype them in for class. I’m teaching Humanities and Math, so right now my schedule includes: English 9, 11, and 12, US History, World History II, Psychology, Sociology, Art History, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus. Ahh!

I’ll hold off on some of the potential downsides to this job, since it’s literally been two days… but for now I have Mondays and Wednesdays off, which gives me long weekends still, and I have really liked my students so far.  If nothing less, I am being forced to find more digital resources, learn new contents, and I’m bringing in some money again! I will keep y’all posted as time goes on, but for now I am gainfully employed and loving it 🙂

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Belinda
    Apr 06, 2013 @ 17:39:40

    Karen, Congratulations on this new job. Students in California, just as in Virginia, deserve an excellent teacher like you. I am so proud of you. Belinda

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