Welcome to Krant World!

by Krantcents · 20 comments

Post image for Welcome to Krant World!

Krant World is not a destination, amusement park or an international newspaper!  It may be all those, however I am revealing my world. Although I have achieved many of the goals most of you want to achieve, I still have to deal with real world problems. Financial success does not remove all problems! Money does not solve all problems! I decided to share my strategy to problem solving.

The last few years have been pretty rocky! I lost my teaching assignment in June, 2011. What does that mean? I no longer had a permanent assignment although I had a job. If I did nothing, I would be a pool teacher. A pool teacher is a permanent substitute teacher. Each day, I would receive a phone call telling me where to go and I would cover various classes. It may sound interesting to some, but it has many pitfalls. Substitutes are treated badly by the system, students and even the permanent teachers.

Often, there are no lesson plans, students think they can do what they want and you are just babysitting. In most cases, they are unplanned absences and that is why there is no lesson plans. This is not limited to education! In the real world when your boss is away everyone relaxes a little bit. In a classroom, students act out because they think they can get away with it. Your classroom management skills become paramount! You are no longer a teacher, but more of a disciplinarian.

Faced with this future, I tried very hard to find a permanent position. I spent ten (10) years teaching computer science and business in high school and wanted to remain there. Unfortunately, I was displaced! I was a casualty of budget cuts and I needed to find a permanent assignment. I found a position in a high performing middle school (6th -8th grades). I accepted the position despite my misgivings of teaching younger students. More budget cuts and my position was eliminated!

Displaced again and I was placed at a high school to cover a computer class. Much better, but I still am teaching in an environment where budgets are tight and elective subjects are disposable. I am in the same category as art, music, and other electives. The emphasis is on core subjects to meet state standards. If you ask students, it is the electives that they are interested in. Budgets trump everything and electives are hit again and I am displaced again.

Faced with the same situation, I expected to find something!  I did all the usual searches within the district and even some outside the district. I interviewed for a couple of positions, but nothing materialized. I started school as a pool teacher and no real teaching assignment. I was at my default school which meant I was there unless I had an assignment. I performed every task needed and did them well. I had a job to do and I was going to do my best.

I issued textbooks, called parents, administered CELDT tests and covered a variety of classes. It was an opportunity to show my skills in everything I did. It is turning lemons into lemonade! Although I demonstrated my skills, no permanent assignment was in sight! I have been covering the same classes for two weeks now as a substitute teacher. The permanent teacher is out on disability. She will return in a week and I will return to covering classes. I am optimistic because I look to the future.

A pool teacher travels from school to school, no permanent classes and at the will of the district. It is tough, but I have a job! I am creating a positive reputation everywhere I go which keeps me positive. This is only temporary and I can call on a lot of administrators for recommendations. I am still checking the job postings and networking. The union is negotiating with the district to lower class size which will add jobs or in my case a permanent assignment, although I do not expect any changes until the next school year.

Final Thoughts

For some of you, it is no big deal and others would just check out! I considered retirement, but I am not ready to retire. I like teaching and want to work about three to four more years. It was part of my strategy to use my pension and Social Security as my fixed income portion of retirement. Retiring now would also mean a lower monthly amount of money and no benefits. One of the benefits is lifetime medical which is a Medicare gap policy for my wife and me. The cost of a medical gap policy is $1-3,000 per person every year depending on your age. Beyond the finances, I plan to maintain my choices and look for opportunities to continue working. Welcome to Krant World!

Photo by:  Flickr


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Holly@ClubThrifty October 29, 2013 at 6:35 am

I think it’s great that you have such a positive attitude about it! And, at least you have the option to retire if you wanted to. I think being a substitute would be hard. When I was in school, people used having a substitute teacher as an excuse to goof off.

Krantcents October 29, 2013 at 4:12 pm

I approach everything positively, but it is difficult to maintain. In this instance, I am trying to turn lemons into lemonade.

Money Beagle October 29, 2013 at 7:28 am

Sounds like you’ve had a lot of unexpected changes, but you’re working through to make the best of the situation you have. It’s important to keep a positive attitude otherwise you will find yourself not enjoying what you’re doing. While not every day can be 100% full of joy and happiness, if you find yourself in long stretches of unhappiness, it really wears on you. I see that you’re still staying above that, and applaud you for working hard to do so. Good luck ahead!

Krantcents October 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Thanks. There are many ups and downs, but I try to stay positive. I really do not have much choice otherwise the next 3-4 years could be really difficult.

Tie the Money Knot October 29, 2013 at 7:55 am

I think that the ability to adapt and persevere through obstacles and unexpected changes is something that can separate those who stay stuck or fall apart from those who continue on to happiness and success. Good for you!

Krantcents October 29, 2013 at 4:16 pm

In some ways, I am testing my limits! I always felt that I was the most determined person I know. I may not be the smartest, quickest etc, but I stick with it while others don’t.

SavvyFinancialLatina October 29, 2013 at 11:54 am

I’m glad you are able to adapt and stay positive. Keep doing it! Hopefully, you will find something permanent sooner rather than later.

Krantcents October 29, 2013 at 4:17 pm

One of the bright spots is class size is supposed to go down next year which means there will be more positions. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, although it seems far away right now.

Kim@Eyesonthedollar October 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I am always amazed at how our education system has taken everything away from electives and focused it all into those core topics. I’ve know lots of kids who only tried in school so they could be in the band or choir. It’s a sad state, but it’s great you have a good attitude about the whole thing. I can certainly understand wanting to stick it out, unless it gets so bad you can’t stand getting up in the morning, but somehow that doesn’t seem like words that would describe you in any situation.

Krantcents October 29, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Thanks! One of the best parts of teaching is there are always some students who appreciate what you do. Things are changing, but I do not expect anything tangible until next Fall. Hope springs eternal!

Miss Thrifty October 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Oh, what a rocky couple of years! Falling victim to budget cuts more than once in that time must have been gutting. It sounds like you have a great attitude though: what, over here, we call “Blitz spirit”. You’ll make it through. :)

Krantcents October 29, 2013 at 4:21 pm

No doubt, however I wish it was not so difficult. Thanks for the support.

Untemplater October 30, 2013 at 8:17 pm

I really admire you for your persistence and commitment to helping students. I can imagine it is quite a challenge to be a pool teacher. I didn’t realize that meant going from school to school. You’re right that a lot of people would just give up if they were in your position. Big props for sticking with it and for staying positive!

Krantcents October 31, 2013 at 6:51 am

Thanks! I am keeping my focus on my goal of finding a permanent position and staying positive along the way.

Daisy @ Add Vodka November 1, 2013 at 6:22 am

I admire you for being so positive about it all. While it can’t be easy to be a teacher in any way, I’m sure it’s more difficult to have issues with job security.

Krantcents November 1, 2013 at 6:52 am

As I get closer to retirement (again), I realize that there are many more important things than money. I am staying optimistic about the future because day to day, it is up and down.

selling structured settlement November 8, 2013 at 1:57 am

I don’t think that a substitute teacher is a bad option,. If you know how to teach and gain attention of students then it’s not different at all.

Krantcents November 8, 2013 at 6:48 am

I prefer getting to know my students and not focus on discipline.

Brandi Hurst November 16, 2013 at 2:57 am

The team at THSC is committed to providing current NYC teachers with a wealth of resources, information and support services unlike any other urban school district of our size. We administer workshops, host recruitment fairs, offer daily phone and email support, and continually work to deliver crucial resources to teachers.

Krantcents November 16, 2013 at 9:17 am

Apparently, I should move back to NYC. The cost would be overwhelming and I am talking about money and emotionally too.

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