And though teaching is done, for now, the road is long from over, as over the next month I am required to take an intensive French summer course and write a 30 page research paper, not to mention undertake a massive online job application blitzkrieg that hopefully results in my gainful employment a few months hence. Easy peasy, right? But here comes the sticky part. Because while on the one hand it would be nice to have a job, any job at all that will pay me to teach French, on the other hand, I kind of don't want just any French teaching job. I kind of want the perfect French teaching job. I feel like I have spent enough years of my life being unhappy in my career (or lack thereof) and unhappy with my location, that I just want to start being fucking happy, for once. I realize this is a lot to ask of a job.
In any case, I've been thinking it over, and these are some of the things that I think might make me happy:
- I want to live in a city
- I would prefer to teach in the suburbs
- I'm kind of through with harsh winters
- I would like to live near friends and/or family
- I don't want to prep for four or five different classes every day, though this is becoming increasingly common for French teachers due to low enrollment numbers
- I want a dog
Let's say, let's just say, that it came down to a choice between these two options: Option A--a very small, private, all-girls boarding school in the middle of nowhere, VA. Downsides--in the middle of nowhere. An hour from DC if there's no traffic. Two if there is. I would be required to live in the dorms. I would be required to prep for at least four classes--French 1 through 4/5. Though class sizes would be small, it still takes just as much time to create a lesson plan for five students as it does to create one for twenty-five students. Perks--living expenses paid (housing, internet, etc.). Though I would be required to live in the dorms, I would only be "on duty" one out of every few weekends. Two week expenses-paid trip to Paris every summer as part of a study abroad program. Students live in homestays during this time, so I would be able to spend some time out and exploring on my own. "Opportunity to build a program."
Option B--American International School in Cairo. Much larger school, with potentially more opportunities to befriend other teachers. Downsides--in Cairo. Far from friends and family. Pollution. The unknown. Danger and potential sketchiness? Two year contract. Salary not great. Parents would freak. (Could also be considered a perk?) Perks--in Cairo. A new country and new continent to explore. Big city. Adventure! Warm to hot weather year-round. No snow! Housing and transportation expenses paid. One free round-trip plane ticket for visit home every year.
I'm not saying it will definitely come down to these two choices, although, dozens of applications submitted elsewhere notwithstanding, they are the only two schools actively pursuing me at the moment. The two extremes. (What I wouldn't give for a happy medium right now.)
But, readers, if it were you...what would you do?