As many of you know, I am currently working towards a Middle School Mathematics teacher certification. I started this program 2 years ago, when I couldn't seem to find a decent job in Wilmington, NC. See I have a Bachelor Degree in Exercise Sports Science from ECU, and I sent over 4 years working as an Exercise Specialist at a Wellness Center in Greenville. The pay was pretty good, so when I started looking in the Wilmington area for work, I knew I was not going to get the income I once had. So I took jobs here and there, and tried to make it work. I hated all of them. I spent more hours traveling from our home in Southport to Wilmington than I did working sometimes. I was putting miles on my car, spending too much on gas, not to mention having to plan an hour drive around my schedule at work. It was frustrating and the more days I had to do it, the more I dreaded it. I finally convinced Brian that it would be cheaper for me to stay at home, considering I was only making $200.00/week and then spending $150.00 in gas each week.
I decided that going back to school would be my best option. If we were planning to stay in the area, I was not going to get a decent job unless I pursued my teaching certification. So, I did what I had been debating for a few years..... I went back to college.
The first semester I took 12 hours. I ended up dropping one class because I didn't understand my teacher's way of teaching. Plus I was teaching aerobics early in the am and in the late evening. By the time I got home I was exhausted and couldn't find time to study. My grades were suffering and I knew I couldn't start my first semester off on a bad note. I hung tough in my other 3 classes and end up with a 2.9GPA. Still not, what I needed for my fresh-start program, but I decided to keep trying.
After last fall (2009), I had brought my GPA from a 2.9, up to a 3.4. I thought ok, you are getting it. You're putting the time in, you're getting the grades, and you're doing it all with screaming infant in your hands. I felt I could master it all. My strength was stronger than I thought. Being a mom and a student was tough, but I was making it happen.
This past Spring Semester (2010), early into the semester Brain and I lost Austin. I wasn't sure what to do. Do I drop all my classes? Do I keep going? Well, I decided I needed to keep going. I'm not going to say it was easy, but I managed to get a C and B out of my 2 math classes. By the end of the semester I wanted to throw in the towel and give up. I didn't have any goals anymore. I didn't have anyone to work hard for. What use to mean so much to me, was gone. I had lost a child; my love of teaching and coaching was gone. I knew I needed some time just for myself to get myself back on track. I took the summer off and to be honest, I did miss school. I was eager for the fall to start so I could start back and get closer to my goal of becoming a Middle School Math teacher.
Now, I'm at the end of my Fall 2010 Semester. I have 2 weeks left of school, and I am finding myself struggling to even care. Since Brian was transferred back to Greenville, I have been working with a lady in the Education Department at ECU to transfer my classes from UNCW and work on a plan of study to keep moving forward with my teacher certification. I knew a few more classes were required in the ECU program, so I knew it was going to take a little longer than the plan at UNCW. What I didn't know, was that NONE of my CORE EDUCATION classes would transfer to ECU. Which means all 15 hours of classes do not matter and the program at ECU goes from 5 extra classes, to 20 extra classes. Which means more time, more money, and more frustration. So I'm stuck with the decision now of......Do I keeping working on the teacher certification, or do I just start over with a completely new program? I can get a 2 year degree from Pitt Community College and make twice the income as a teacher, or do I spend more money taking the "SAME" type of classes at ECU. So my question to myself is, "WHAT TO DO NOW?" What direction should I go? What is the Best option for me and my family?