View Full Version : Teaching and lupus?

06-09-2007, 10:43 PM
Hey! I'm new... and I posted another question about introducing lupus to my friends and others on the newbie forums. I thought I would drop one here as well.
I am going to be student teaching in the Fall. I am so happy and nervous at the same time. I am really nervous about student teaching and having another job on top of that. If anyone doesn't know, you actually enroll in 12 hours of college while student teaching. So basically, the school gets a free teacher and I pay them over a thousand dollars so I can.
No one wants me to have another job while doing this. They are all really scared that I will be too stressed doing full time teaching and part time job. I have learned that too much stress makes it worse. I will have no income. My fiance is so supportive, and determined to support me on his salary (at a NEW job) for a semester. We will be living together by then, but I just don't want to spend HIS money. Does that sound bad? I want to contribute something to our household and watch it grow...not sit back and have him make ends meet. I'm struggling with this, I am such an independent woman. Yeah, I want to stay home one day and be a housewife/stay-at-home mom...but that's years from now...when I've put as much into it as possible.
Is there anyone who has gone through this, or teachers themselves living with it?
Again, this was a novel. Lol...bear with me, I'm new.

06-10-2007, 07:49 PM
Hey Karibear,
I'm a Latin teacher in a huge public school in Texas. Your friends are very right that teaching full time will be very exhausting to you. Over the years, my husband and I have taken turns at supporting each others endeavors. We were both in college when we married and had our first baby 30 years ago. We helped each other through those first couple of years, and I graduated Magna (with-the filter didn't like the Latin word here) Laude on my daughter's first birthday. (She's a PHD herself now). We both taught for a while, but then Jeff joined the Air Force to support our growing family. We made the decision at that time to live on his salary and for me to stay home to raise children - we eventually had 5 of them. I "banked" my teaching degree and did what I could to help with the finances. I ran a day-care in my home in Missouri, worked with a midwife in Oklahoma and sang with a semi-professional group in Ohio. Once we moved to Texas and all the kids were in school, I started subbing. Five years ago, a friend of mine was named principal of a new school. She begged me to come teach Latin there. All of my kiddos are now adults, and I'm happily into my own career. Jeff has been very supportive and has taken on some of the tasks that I used to take care of. It bothers me that he has had to take on even more now that Lupus has slowed me down, but Jeff says that he "vowed in sickness and in health a long time ago". A marriage is a partnership, my friend, and sometimes one of the partners has to sit back and be proud while the other one has the chance to shine. If you are both serious about being life partners, don't be afraid to consider it OUR money and do what you need to do. Take it easy on yourself and learn to be the best teacher that you can be. Once you have that teaching certificate, you will be able to contribute much more.
Bona Fortuna (good luck in Latin)

06-10-2007, 10:12 PM

06-11-2007, 11:40 AM
Hello and Welcome! I'm relatively new myself!

So I do not teach, but I just finished my graduate degree May 2006 and my husband and I have been married just over a year. My health and finances were both crap when my husband and I were fianced so he talked me into going to school full time and supporting me. It was the best decision we ever made. I was able to finish school, then I worked for a couple of years and went back to grad school. I was healthy most of grad school so I was able to hold down part time work w/ benefits.

We feel the same as Marla and her husband, but it took us some getting used to as well. We were both very independent, had our own places, paid our own car insurance, health benefits, etc. Once we combined, life got a lot easier. Though my husband was the primary bread winner while I was in school, when I finished, he was able to take a lower paying job that he loves. This newish job is 8-9 hour days instead of 12-14, which means our quality of life has improved significantly. It was totally worth the sacrifice we both made (financial & pride :) ) to be where we are today. He wants to go back to school soon as well for a graduate degree and we will sacrifice again, but Marla is right, marriage is a partnership.

Good luck!

06-15-2007, 09:27 AM
I too am a teacher. It took me awhile to figure out what my purpose here on earth was. I didn't even enter college until I was in my mid thirties; I was so afraid that I wasn't "smart" enough. Huh. Once I got there, just the fact that I was present evey day and PAYING ATTENTION put me head and shoulders above a lot of the "Daddy's paying my tuition" group. What made me choose teaching? Because I had always had math phobia. It took me being in math tutorial classes in college to realize that I had HORRIBLE teachers in elementary math. To realize that I was NOT STUPID when it came to math. I was determined to reach a whole bunch of children by teaching that there is MORE than one way to explain math. It is now my favorite thing to teach. I love seeing their eyes light up and they relax when I tell them, "Sweetheart, it's ok. I didn't understand it the first time, either. Let me show you a different way."
Of course, I did this before my lupus became active. I'd have a rash now and then, that was it. For the first several years of teaching, I was sick now and then, but increased prednisone pulled me out of it quickly. (By the way, I agree with you that student teaching is like paying someone else to "let" you work. I felt very bitter about it. Don't medical interns get paid?) Anyway, my final jobs were during a time when my lupus became VERY active. When you are absent in a teaching position, they must pay a substitute to take your place. I always made up my lesson plans a week in advance, with copied materials attatched and detailed instructions that any sub with half a brain could follow. Still, I had a few principals tell me that although I was a super teacher, they just couldn't renew my contract because of all the absences. Looking for a new position every year was very disheartening. I miss the kids and the classroom more all the time.
I just finished chemo and next year I will substitute teach. Then the next year I will re-enter the classroom (if anyone will have me.) On a job inteview, do NOT mention that you have lupus. Your first year out, it will be hard enough to get hired. I would advise that you do what I did, have your lesson plans a week in advance, copies of materials, and VERY detailed instructions, along with your phone number if the sub needs to call. Your "lupus talk" will come sooner or later with your principal. Better to have some real successes under your belt when you have to have that conversation. DO sign up for disability insurance.
Just use common sense with the kids. I like Purell hand cleanser, and I use the Lysol wipes on anything that everyone touches...doorknobs, telephones, keyboards.
I congratulate you on choosing the toughest job you will ever love. The kids are well worth it, and you are NEEDED! Good luck to you!! love, Kathy

06-16-2007, 05:58 AM
Kathy, I didn't get my degree until I was 40! I know what you mean...if you're there on your own dime, you're more likely to do well. My husband works (worked....he just retired) at a local university and he's always told me that non-traditional students (read that "older" students) as a rule do much better as a group than traditional students. I was afraid, too. Hadn't been in a classroom since I was 19. I just wanted to get my degree before my oldest got his high school diploma...and I did!

Teacher's rock, by the way...you all have my gratitude, admiration and prayers. You truly are angels here on earth. :lilangel: