I am about to wrap up another year teaching high school, and our contracts for next year are looming in the next week or so. Every year, I have been excited to go back (regardless of raise), but this year raises some significant financial concerns!
I am due with our second child this July. Our first is only 2, so both will have to attend day care in the fall. In my area, this equates to a minimum of $1400-1600 a month. As a teacher in a rural area, my monthly take home pay is only about $2000 (I work for an alternative school, and they have already made serious staff cutbacks this year, so a major raise is unrealistic.). My husband earns roughly the same as I do.
It has come to our attention that I could easily make more money staying home with our kids and taking on 2-3 additional children for an in-home daycare. I feel very competent in the field, enjoy being with children, and am not concerned about finding clients.
My main concern is sort of an egotistical one - last year, I earned my Masters in Teaching with Technology. I really like my teaching job, I feel like I'm using my degree, and I like that I have some seniority and authority because of it. By working at home, I'll be losing these "benefits", and also not using any of the skills from my degree. However, I don't really want to work solely to send my children to daycare. My husband and I are in the process of paying down debt snowball style, and we only have car and student loans left. Keeping my current job would free up very little cash to put towards that, while an in-home daycare offers much more earning potential and flexibility. It's just not as... "important".
Any thoughts would be appreciated. A few notes to consider would be that at the present time, moving is not an option for us, and I have applied and interviewed for other teaching jobs throughout the spring, but in a small area, many many people have applied for each position. Thanks!