Monday, March 24, 2008

to every thing a season

i've written some about here in santiago. basically, i teach english. i love my job, i really do. but everyday i can't help but think there is no advancement for english teachers here. maybe that sounds drastic - like being a teacher is not fulfilling... it is. but there really are very few ways to move up.

i teach in a little institute that annexed off of a pretty popular private school. the school is great. the teachers are well paid (and therefore happy), well educated and overall enthusiastic about teaching. the school is organized with vice principals, coordinators, gym teachers, art teachers and computer teachers - a rare find in a middle-class school. the owners are fantastic. a big - ok, HUGE - part of the reason that i'm still there is becasue the owners are that great. i'm allowed to do whatever i want in my class, organize activities and anything. they throw extra money my way occasionally - especially when i'm not expecting it.

the problem? the institute is not organized. the coordination is pretty inexperienced and in order to keep things running, i usually have to take the reins. horrible? no. just not ideal. theoretically, the coordination should be my job. it was offered to me. but i was pregnant and didn't know what i'd be doing. theoretically i could take the job in june. and move up. but then what?

i'm working on my business plan. but its a big jump. with no net. right now we make enough money to pay our bills. we put money away for samil and try, really hard, every month to put at least 5% of our money in the bank. my job at the institute guarantees the water, electricity, apartment maintenance and telephone being paid every month. and while i have 30-some students in my house, that money isn't always sure. i get new students, lose old students... people sometimes can't pay. tons of things.

i need to make a decision soon enough to give my little job notice. am i going to go at my own institute full-time or do i need to keep my two-day-a-week gig? deep in my heart i know that i need to go at it full-force, follow my dream. everything points to "yes". but it's a little nerve-wracking to give up my only steady, sure, source of income.

what do you think? to jump right in? or take baby steps?


Dr. j... said...

I can really relate to your dilemma.
My life, my jobs, my education and my calling and passion have led me to the unusual predicament of providing pastoral services and pastoral counseling to people who either can't find it in their church or don't have a church. SO MANY HURTING PEOPLE OUT HERE!
I meet new people everyday ... pray for hundreds and email them all every week ... teach random people how to actually study the Bible (something most Bible studies just never do), and like you, I LOVE my job.
BUT as Jon and I approach retirement age (okay, it's still 10 years away) but still ... what am I doing!? I make almost nothing and the credentials have cost us an enormous amount. I'm running a non-profit organization that I know is God's idea, but I frankly I just don't do the business side of things with any enthusiasm at all. I'd love to work for my business, not run it.
SO, what to do? My heart screams ... follow this thing!!! And yet I'm tired of explaining that I work so hard at a ministry that's hard to describe and needs MY MONEY to survive!

If you find the magic button that gives the answer, please email it to me! I will keep praying ... both for you and for me. I don't mind running full steam ahead if I know I'm on the right road!

(Kevin was home for Easter and says hi)

simplicity said...

I think that your questions are good and ones that we all have, all the time about various things that we will always struggle with. I say do what makes you happiest.