Sunday, October 6, 2013

In work we trust

I lost my job about a month ago.

That's being rather melodramatic really.  What actually happened is that I found out the student subject selection numbers for next year were not sufficient for my subject to run again.  And seeing as I'm currently employed just to teach Year 12 Philosophy, I don't have a job if the subject doesn't run.  In fact, I only have about five classes left with the current students until they go on exam study leave.  Usually, that would mean I would begin an 'early start' program with next year's students but as there isn't going to be a class, I'll be floating relief for the rest of the year.

Believe me, I have moped a fair bit over this.  It came at the same time as I was finishing up marking and reports and while I was being audited in order to renew my teaching registration ("Surprise!  You are one of the lucky few who have been randomly selected to provide proof of your teaching and pd for the last five years!").  It was a heavy couple of weeks.

But I'm feeling bright and snappy again now.  I will have at least one day a fortnight's work next year and I'll pick up whatever relief teaching they offer me and that should keep me busy enough.

However, the whole thing stirred up a mountain of questions for me about family and work.  In the mix was the opportunity to apply for a job that would take me up to four days a week work.  Was it the right time to work so many days?  Should I wait and see what else was offered?  What if nothing else was offered?  How much work is too much?

And that stirred up a second round of perhaps more fundamental questions.  What if I don't work?  Or don't work at my chosen career?  How important to how I see myself is work? When I first left work to stay home, it was all exciting and a new adventure.  Years in, and although I am still very glad to be caring for my family, the gloss has well and truly worn off.  Paid employment then looms tantalizing on the horizon.  Not so much the money but the "value" that comes with it.  You are seen differently when you work.  And it's hard not to buy into that.

So if I don't work, what does that mean?  Is what I do outside of work valuable?  I have had to struggle with that all over again.

And in the middle of all of this, I watched this clip from the Harvard Business Review (because where else would you turn to find out how to measure your work?) with Clay Christensen.  He also has a longer TED talk on the same subject.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad this has resolved xxxJ

Karen said...

We seem to live these kind of parallel lives :) I just resigned from my permanent job a few weeks ago and am now facing much less certainty as I am having to pick up casual contracts to keep things going (and registration current...). I found myself asking lots of the same questions as you.

Just hoping that our parallel existences don't extend to being audited for PD now! I think it could happen though, our registration has changed this year and I am thinking that after 20 years of being registered, my number must surely be due to come up soon...

Deb said...

We talk too infrequently! My fault. I should phone you more. :) Hope you are all well.

Deb said...

Oh, I do wish you to be spared from the dreaded audit!!!

Meredith said...

That's sad news, especially given the enormous amount of effort you have put into your classes this year.

And yes, they are big questions. I've not gone back to work and have lost my license and registration to teach. I could get back into the system if I needed but it would now take considerable effort. My week is pretty busy so I am not lacking for things to do but every now and then an interesting opportunity to work comes up and I have to work through all those questions again. It seems this issue just doesn't go away. Maybe when we reach retirement age... Do you think we will still be blogging when we reach retirement age??

Sending you a virtual hug.

Deb said...

I fully intend to find a nursing home with Wifi so I can blog. Yeah, I think the work question is going to be a long-term issue for me too. Priorities and all that.